Posts with tag Research

Cultural Journals on Lit de Parade

In December 2014 the cultural journals found themselves in the centre of the Swedish media debate.

The State Cultural Committee (Kulturutskottet) decided in a meeting just before christmas to cut the budget for the cultural journals with nearly 80%.  The debate was instant and agitated. The effect of the decision would be that the majority of cultural journals would have to close down. Qualified critical journalism and writing was in danger.

Cultural critics, journalists, writers, politicians from left to right, professional organizations and interest groups, were roaring writing articles, debating and arguing.

The debate showed the importance of these journals for the public debate.

At MEG 2015, the Media Days in Göteborg, the media elite in Sweden has gathered to discuss and debate. Nätverkstan with artist Helena Persson has commented on the role of the cultural journals and their near-death experience last December in a Lit de Parade for the journals: an installation called ”The Resurrection”.

It was followed by a seminar with editor and Nätverkstan Chair David Karlsson and journalist Siri Reuterstrand on ”The blue-collar workers in the public sphere – The role and importance of cultural journals”.

6 mars, 2015

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Save the cultural journals!


”A whole segment of critical debate is erased (…)” describes editor and critic Kim West in an article in Kunstkritikk where he writes about the outrage that hit Sweden on Friday (December 12th).

The coalition of Liberal-Conservatives is cutting the support for the rich variety of cultural journals in Sweden by around 80%. This means a whole art form is being closed down and killed. In one stroke of the red pen. No other European country has done the same.

This is possible due to the dramatic development in Swedish politics the last few weeks where the Sweden Democrats decided to vote for the opposition party’s budget, instead of the ruling left-wing coalition’s budget. This meant that the government’s budget didn’t win the election in parliament and therefore has to rule on the opposition party’s budget in waiting for the new election on March 22 2015.

And apparently the coalition of Liberal and Conservatives now take the chance to fulfil cuts of 365 million SEK in the cultural budget. 15 million SEK of these are being cut in one area specifically: cultural journals. The support for this area is 19 million SEK in total today, cutting 15 million SEK of these leaves 4 million SEK left.

This means that a whole sector is sentenced to a sure death.

Cultural journals are already living on the economic edge. Editors, writers, and critics are getting very low payment for their articles. These people are magicians who have dedicated their time to make sure that critical journalism and quality texts are still produced. The wide variety of critical and intensifying perspectives have been a pride in Swedish democracy. The Liberal-Conservatives showed on Friday how easily this could be ruined.

This is also done in a time when the media crisis is being discussed (just lately in three articles in the daily Göteborgs-Posten), newspapers are closing down their cultural pages, and critical and culture journalism is being severely threatened.

These times calls for action!

Sign this petition just to start with: Rädda Kulturtidskriftsstödet (Save the support for cultural journals).

14 december, 2014

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Cultural Policy Analysis

The small public authority Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis (Kulturanalys) is a new authority assigned by the government to evaluate, analyse, and present effects from the national cultural policy. The Agency was formed in 2010 to function as a separate evaluation office with no attachements to the authorities they are evaluating. Common practice, one would think, but in Sweden we haven’t had such an Agency before evaluating cultural policy.

Several interesting reports have been produced so far and hopefully municipalities and regions will use the facts and statistics produced rather than producing their own.

Interestingly, though, one area falls between chairs. Which of the two agencies has the assignment to measure cultural and creative industries?

”Industries” suggest it should be the other analysing authority connected to Ministry of Entreprise, Energy, and Communications; Swedish Agency for Growth Analysis (Tillväxtanalys).

”Cultural” suggest it should be the agency for Cultural Policy Analysis. It will require both openness and cooperation to clear out where lines are to be drawn.

Last week Nätverkstan was invited to the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis to present the report, produced on assignment of Region Västra Götaland in 2010; Örnarna och myrstacken. Vad vet vi om kulturnäringarna? (Eagles and Ant-Hills. What do we know of cultural industries?).

Download the report here (Swedish): ornarna_110925.pdf.

15 april, 2013

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Have you ever heard the sound of money pooring into to your cash register? The sound is illustrated with a big ”Ka-tziing” (at least in Swedish…) when figures like Scrooge McDuck in the Donald Duck cartoons is pooring more gold coins into his already dense cashbox.

”Kablonk” documentary filmer Bengt Löfgren illustrated the sound of the few coins he could cash in after his large film projects. Despite many successful film projects, winning prices and being shown on television, his pockets were still echoing empty he said with a smile. But you have to keep on, not wait for the money, and continue ”listen, learn, and develop” he concluded.

One of the stimulating points of the conference ”Ka-tziing!” in Göteborg on November 14, was when artists within film, literature, visual art, handicraft, performing arts, and music told short pecha-kucha stories of how they live on their art.

The conference and small market fair gathered 250 energetic and interested participants from art, culture, regional office, and organizations working with cultural entrepreneurship, to discuss, mingle, network, and get information of what Region Västra Götaland is doing to facilitate the entrepreneurial side of a cultural and artistic freelance work.

Guest key note speaker was Giep Hagoort, researcher of Utrecht School of the Arts (Holland), focussing on the entrepreneurial dimension of cultural and creative industries (also the title of his latest booklet), addressing the main point that all discussions and research on art and cultural entrepreneurship have to start in close relation to the actual artistic scene – to the practice.

Researchers have a tendency to sit in their ivory towers and not meet with the practice. To reach new interesting research, this needs to be challenged. And a quick hand-up on how many researchers this conference had attracted showed one person.

Perhaps no glimmering new solutions of how to get Ka-tziing instead of Kablonk in your pocket, but ideas, perspectives, inspiration, and a lot of time to mingle and look for connections among those who can support in how to a little better sustain yourself.

The conference was an initiative by Region Västra Götaland and Knep, an educational project run by Nätverkstan, supported by the European Social Fund. Funding the conference was European Social Fund and Region Västra Götaland. Performers during the day was Uttryckslabbet. Download the program here: Ka-tziing_inbjudan.pdf.

15 november, 2012

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Business or Humanities?

One of the success stories of Stanford University, with it’s premises in Silicon Valley outside San Francisco (US), is, it’s said, to be its close relation to the businesses in Silicon Valley. It’s a symbiotic relationship. They nurture each other and many success business stories have started at Stanford; Google, Facebook, Instagram, Apple, Hewlett-Packard.

Leland Stanford, a Republican governor in the late 1800s and who made a fortune from Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, and his wife decided to found a University in their late son’s name. Stanford University opened its doors in 1891 and the device was that the University should not become an ivory tower, but ”qualify students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life”.  From the start, the close relationship to private funding, corporate research funds, and venture capital for start-ups, first for innovations in radio and broadcast media to todays digital technology, has been a base for the University.

The story can be read in The New Yorker (April 30, 2012) and gives an interesting light on the success story behind business ideas developed at Stanford and the philosophy behind it. But also the dangers of such a focus on success and making money.

The campus life and the atmosphere at Stanford is described as open to ideas, easy going, ”people are willing to try things”, risk-taking, access to venture and risk capital, creative. But there are also questions raised if Stanford has the right balance between commerce and learning, between getting skills to make it and intellectual discovery for its own sake? Is corporate money stearing research priorities?

David Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, who has also taught for many years at Stanford, express his worries that students uncritically incorporate the possibilities of Silicon Valley, but it’s a lack of students devoted to the liberal arts and the idea of pure learning. The one and simple question stearing choices is: What will I get out of it?

The philosophy now promoted at Stanford is the ”interdisciplinary education” and getting students to become ”T-shaped”, that is they have depth in a particular field of study and breadth across multiple disciplines. Social skills are put forward and an effort is to put together students with different majors (engineering, business, medicine, science, design) to together solve real or abstract problems.

David Kelley, the founder of design firm IDEO, is also director of Institute fo Design at Stanford (, and is driven by the mission to lift empathy in his students. He wants the students to learn to see the human side of the challenges posed in class and that way provoke creativity.

Still, fewer students get into liberal arts and humanities and many become, as said by a senior Miles Unterreiner, ”slaves to the dictates of a hoped-for future”. Students become instrumental and only get majors in subjects that lead to jobs, something also supported by Universities.

It’s an interesting development. Reading Steve Jobs story and listening to many of his talks, he puts two processes next to each other as crucial for his success: The development of technology and the liberal arts.

The post is based on the article in The New Yorker (April 30, 2012) ”Annals of higher education. Get rich U.There are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be?” by Ken Auletta. The photo is from a TED talk on the web.

Read more from posts on IDEO, San Francisco, and the Arts from our visit in 2008 here and posts on other interesting US visits here. Read also here the report from Svenskt Näringsliv which last year promoted less money to humanity education in Sweden, a very criticized report.


25 juni, 2012

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Prisoners’ Dilemmas

The lack of relevant measurement methods for culture has even made artists react. Swedish artist Staffan Hjalmarsson called it Five squares of Sorrow in a blogpost last year, pointing at a study

commissioned by Region Västra Götaland to follow up the region’s performance within its five focus areas. Indicators were chosen for the different areas, but when measured the focus area Culture was glowing empty. There were no available statistics.

Cultural organizations feel obliged to commission economic impact studies since this is what everyone else does and is expected by the funder. But no-one, including the public funder, trust the figures. Well-performed studies get mixed with less relevant ones and the figures can’t be trusted. It becomes a charade, or as Hasan Bakhshi, Director at Creative Industries in Nesta’s Policy and Research Unit, calls it in his speech in Sidney on March 20: A Prisoners’ Dilemma. In worst case these impact studies are used as evidence for decision-makers in lack of something else.

At School of Business, Economics and Law University of Gothenburg last Friday (Arpil 20) measuring the value of culture was on the agenda. Invited experts in the field presented aspects and research challenges in the seminar The Value of Culture.

Professors Bruno S FreyTrine BilleDavid Throsby and PhD student John Armbrecht all pointed at the need of finding relevant indicators for cultural value. Economic value has one singel unit to measure from (money), while cultural value is multi-faceted and has no single unit of account, as David Throsby put it. This calls for other methods of valuation (as something different than value) and as he concluded; a more holistic approach of valuation is necessary.

Trine Bille was looking at cultural policy and the tendency in the Nordic Countries to look more at the growth perspective rather than the welfare one. But, she concluded, the welfare perspective is often under-estimated and the growth perspective highly exaggerated in cultural policy. The biggest value of the Cultural and Creative Industries is the created value in other areas outside its own field.

Perhaps the most remembered quotes were ”Simplicity has some virtue” (David Throsby) and ”Just look at raw figures. If you don’t see any effects in the raw facts don’t run after it. You will find statistics if you do, but not relevant one” (Bruno S Frey).

Download Hasan Bakhshi’s speech at Culture Count: Measuring Cultural Value Forum in Sydney on March 20 here: Bakshi_ValueCulture.pdf. Read more posts on statistics and measurement here

22 april, 2012

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Statistics on culture

The artist Staffan Hjalmarsson called it ”Five Squares of Sorrow”. He was referring to a report, the index- and indicatorstudy, in a blogpost during the large conference arranged by Region Västra Götaland last year. The study was showing how the Region had fulfilled its indicators within the different focus areas. All focus areas had information and follow-up except one: Culture. This was glowing empty like five squares of emptiness and sorrow. Here there were no ways of measuring, no indicators that could be followed up. No statistics.

The question of how to measure and follow up culture is a difficult one. What is to be measured and how? What should be measured by indicators, what should not? What are the evaluation criteria?

In Sweden two different authorities has been formed for analyzing, evaluating and measure statistical datas of culture: Myndigheten för Kulturanalys (Authority for Cultural Analysis, my translation) and Tillväxtanalys (Growth Analysis). While the former are working for the Ministry of Culture and follow effects and evaluate cultural activities initiated by them, the latter is working for Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication. Tillväxtanalys is the authority following for example business support activities –  cultural entrepreneurs and businesses also fall under its responsibility.

On EU-level ESSnet-Culture was formed in september 2009 with the task to during a two-year period improve methodology and production of data on cultural sectors and also improve comparability within EU-countries. They have now published a final report from its four different task force areas: 1) update the cultural framework, 2) define cultural economic indicators and cultural employment, 3) on cultural finances and 4) cultural practices and the social participation in the culture.

Region Västra Götaland held last week a first small seminar to discuss statistics and evaluation methods of cultural entrepreneurs. The seminar was initiated by the regional think tank Kombinator. A seminar on the work of ESSnet with invited guests is also planned by the regional office later on this spring.

Read ESSnet report here.

30 januari, 2012

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Supporting growth in arts economy

Tom Fleming and Andrew Erskine at Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy has written three papers in a report for Arts Council in UK on what an approach could be for the council in supporting the growth in the arts economy.

The three papers are: The arts economy: Balancing sustainability, innovation and growth, Place, infrastructure and digital: an agenda combined and Towards an arts and creative economy development programme.

Download the report here: creative_economy_final210711.

Nätverkstan met with Tom Fleming in London, read more here.

30 juli, 2011

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Measuring culture

How to measure culture without loosing its intrinsic value is of constant debate. And in cultural life the feeling is always to be loosing in relation to economic measurements. It is difficult to encircle and find relevant methods that value all those other things than hard facts, such as intrinsic and societal values. It seems almost hopeless to find when it is of value to count numbers and figures and when this counting becomes obsolete. Or ”pseudoquantities” as professor Sven-Erik Liedman would call it.

The UK Departement of Culture, Media and Sports just published a report on this with recomendations for a bit of different approach. Might be interesting for anyone arguing within this mess of measurements.

Report: measuring-the-value-culture-report.pdf.

3 februari, 2011

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Spivak and Clandestino Festival

img_0290She absorbs the room by her mere presence. As she walk up the stage to sit down on her chair, an excited murmur goes through the room. It’s evident that many have read and highly respect the work of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, one of the most prominent thinkers within the research field of postcolonial theory. It’s merely impossible to refer to her talk with John Hutnyk, Professor in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University. She combines stories from her past and present with well-thought theories and a deep knowledge and concern for society and societal processes.

Göteborg is at the moment full of researchers, thinkers, professors and artists from all the world. Everyday an interesting talk is going on, the coming weekend will be full of music events with musicians travelling to Göteborg to perform. The event is part of the Clandestino Festival. The talks part of the cooperation Clandestino Talks:: Border Reverb, the last being a cooperation between Clandestino Festival in Göteborg, Goldsmiths University in London and Interarts in Berlin.

The festival is run by Bwana Club, a group of cultural producers, djs, and authors who through different forms like seminars, exhibitions, and actions aim to work across borders and with specific aim of democracy in the globalized world.

Below a talk by Spivak at University of California, Santa Barbara found on youtube.

10 juni, 2010

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Non-material values in public spaces?

”Responsibility for non-materialist values in the public spaces: Why, Where and by Whom?” was the title of an interesting discussion on religiousity, spirituality, public spaces and religion hosted by the Museum of World Cultures in Göteborg today.

The problem statement as a starting point for reflection was this: ”Modernist theories of development predicted that secularization would eventually lead to the disappearance of religion. Today we are rather witnessing the opposite.” The seminar started with a filmed dance performance, ”Defensa – Tesoro II”, choreographed by Eva Ingemarsson, where the dancers reflected on dialogue and spirituality (look on the clip below). Later during the seminar this was also showed in live performance. Another way of adressing these intriguing and global questions, where other senses are used rather than the rational thinking.

The combination was interesting. As always more questions than answers were raised, which was also the point. One question resting is: How is our public space used for non-material values? Art and culture deal with symbolic value and often request (or just take) a space in the public arena for Artistic expression. Although authorities have a tendency towards more and more regulations of public spaces which makes access difficult.

The Artist Mark Brest van Kempen, in San Francisco, has done a beautiful piece at the University in Berkeley called ”Free Speach Monument” (1991) which puts the light on spaces for free dialogue and thinking. A reaction towards the regulations of public spaces is, for example, the movement Reclaim the Streets. The thought of public open spaces as the arena where people can debate, discuss, reflect and as the base from which democracy is built, need perhaps new oxygen?

Download the programme here: programme-and-background-material.

16 november, 2009

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Democracy + Aid?

The relationship between aid policies and democracy is being debated at the moment among activists, donors, scholars and policy-makers. Africa is especially put forward in the discussion. Is it the political landscape in Africa that is the main reason for poor development or is it perhaps external donors that help sustain a status quo of political conditions?

At the website of the network OpenDemocracy, you can find articles on this burning topic, among them Democracy and aid: the missing link, written by Anna Lekvall, Senior Programme Officer at International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

18 maj, 2009

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Eurozine 2009, 8-11 may 2009. Vilnius, Lithuania

During 4 days one of Europe’s most vibrant and intellectual vital networks met. Eurozine is a network of European cultural journals, linking up 70 partner journals and just as many associated magazines and institutions from nearly all European countries. Eurozine is also a netmagazine which publishes outstanding articles from its partner journals with additional translations into one of the major European languages. The theme this year was European histories. As described in the conference- reader:

Under the heading ”European Histories”, this year’s Eurozine conference will explore the role of history and memory in forming new identities in a Europe in change.

Throughout Europe, history is ceasing to be something for historians alone. Instead, it is becoming both a public issue and an instrument of politics. In the West, this progression can be traced from the wilful amnesia of the postwar years, through the mission of the ’68 generation to make the previous generation accountable for its crimes, to the obsession with history of the last two decades. In the East, the imposed history of the liberation has given way to the liberation of history. Nevertheless, highly different ”commemorative cultures”have formed and the comfortable historical consensus long obtained within and among western European countries has been undermined by the eastern enlargement.

Europeans are still far from an all-embracing ”grand narrative”, assuming this is worth striving for at all. But much would undoubtedly be gained by discussing the existing plurality of narratives in a shared space transcending national boundaries. The Vilnius meeting will provide the opportunity for such a debate.

Twenty years after 1989, the conference will also take stock of the dramatic developments since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile, most former communist states in central and eastern Europe are members of the EU; others are waiting in line. But the transition from closed to open societies is far from over. Fierce debates on lustration and information surfacing from previously closed archives show that, today, 1989 represents not only an historic moment of liberation but also a political and social dilemma.

The discussions and panels this year where of highest intellectual level possible. The subjects where well chosen and sometimes very provocative and mind-bending. The speakers includes Timothy Snyder, Arne Ruth, Leonidas Donskis, Thorsten Schilling, Martin Simecka, Mircea Vasilescu, Irena Veisaite, Zinovy Zinik and Marci Shore. The Eurozine network is one of very few situations where east and west meet on equal level. We are trying to learn how a common Europe is possible and how we can create a real dialogue where we can speak on equal terms. We may not agree on the agenda, the topics or the war on Iraq- but without Eurozine this discussion never would have taken place. Best regards and very large Thank you to Kulturos Barai, Vilnius Capital of Culture 2009 and foremost the crew at the Eurozine office.

A very interesting article by Timothy Snyder:

Written by Olav Unsgaard, Manager at Nätverkstan.


14 maj, 2009

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Long Live Localism!

The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) is a trade organization dedicated to supporting, nurturing and promoting independent retail bookselling in California. With over 500 members, including nearly 300 booksellers, the NCIBA has been an experienced provider of services for over two decades.

Hut Landon, Executive Director, walks us through the domains of – among others – George Lucas (passing by the Yoda-fountain) to their office in San Francisco. The association is led by a 15-person Bord of Directors, and their main task is to increase the sales for independent bookshops in northern California.

The competition from Internet selling has led to the fact that independent bookshops must be much more proactive in their way of marketing themselves. Localism has become a watchword; people must become aware of the importance of supporting their community stores, if they want a  lively and prosperous neighbourhood. To explain this to the customers, Landon and his staff has made the poster ”Eight great reasons to shop at locally-owned businesses” (, which is now available to all NCIBA-members.

Apart from this, the association also arranges the NCIBA Trade how, produces the Holiday Showcase (yearly catalogue which features new titles), sets together workshops with topics of concern to the members and prints a weekly regional bestseller list.

Landon makes it clear that NCIBA does not regard the big chains, like Borders and Barnes & Noble, as competition. Independent booksellers have something that the big stores may lack: great book-knowledge, devotion and close relations with their customers. Amazon though, constitutes a big threat. The future will tell if David will stand a chance against Goliath, in Californa as well as in Sweden.

Books Inc. in Van Ness St. Sheryl Cotleur, Buying Director, BookPassage Hut Landon, Executive Director, NCIBA Street of San Francisco City Lights Golden Gate Bridge Lilla Gilbrech Weinberger, Readers' Books, Sonoma Wall Painting in Castro Another one + flying books From Natverkstan - Marie & Karin

Written by Karin Lundgren and Marie Johansson, Managers at Natverkstan.

11 maj, 2009

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Unemployment rates for Artists in US

National Endowment for the Arts in the US recently published a research done on unemplyoment rates for Astists since the financial crisis. The findings are not surprising, but still sad news in a field where income levels are known to be lower than the rest of the working force.

The study put forward several findings:

• Artists are unemployed at twice the rate of professional workers, a category where Artists are put since their high levels of education.

• Unemployment rates for Artists have risen more rapidly than for US workers as a whole.

• Artist unemployment rates would be even higher if not for the large number of Artists leaving the workforce. Some decline may be Artists’ difficulties of finding job prospects.

• Unemployment rose for most types of Artist occupations. High unemployment rates are found in performing Art (8.4%), fine Arts, art directors, and animators (7.1%), writers and authors (6.6%) and photographers (6.0%).

• The job market for Artists is foreseen as unlikely to improve until long after US economy starts to recover.

At the same time as these discouraging news are put forward, another report by National Governors Association recognized that the Arts directly benefit states and communities. This is done through job creation, tax revenues, attracting investments, invigorating local economies, and enhancing quality of life. Figures are put forward by Americans for the Arts, that there are 100.000 nonprofit Arts organizations that support 5.7 million jobs and return 30 billion dollars in governement revenue every year.

Read more of the study here.

5 maj, 2009

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The Creative Industries: Ten years after

On March 20-21, a seminar on creative industries will take place in Jonsered, close to Göteborg. The seminar is arranged by the Foundation for the Culture of the Future (Stiftelsen framtidens kultur) and will discuss culture economy, the every day life of cultural work and the economical aspects, experienced based knowledge of cultural actors and more. The seminar is based on a study produced by Nätverkstan in 2002 called ”Den ofrivillige företagaren” (”The involuntary entrepreneur”). Many things have of course happened since it was written and a new edition will be released soon.

The concept of Creative Industries is fairly new in Sweden and it could be a good idea to look deeper into experiences from other countries. Nätverkstan has followed the development in Great Britain since 1999 where it definitely has been a bigger subject. In 1998, the recently created UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport placed the newly named ”Creative Industries” – media, design and arts based enterprises – at the heart of the nations economic future. The antecedents of the creative industries, the so-called ”Cultural Industries” of the 1970s and 80s were carefully steered from view, as the use of the term creative industries signalled a desire to harness cultural production to the new economic agenda.

In February last year Nätverkstan attended a seminar at the Open University in Milton Keynes called: The Creative Industries: Ten years after. The organisers, Mark Banks, Department of Sociology/CRESC, The Open University, and Justin O’Connor, Cultural and Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds asked themselves:  What has happened in the decade since 1998?

In the invitation Mark Banks reflects:

”On the one hand the creative industries can be seen to have gone from strength to strength. The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport has re-launched its creative industry strategy with renewed vigour. The creative Economy Programme sets out an ambitious strategy, which once again places the creative industries at the heart of the UK’s economic future. The UK model has then been internationally exported, across Europe, and into territories as diverse as Australia, China and South Korea, shaping and being shaped by pre-existing policy frameworks, contributing to the rapid globalization of creative industry debate. Yet there are some hard questions to be asked and key issues to be addressed – this symposium attempts to address these issues and in doing so take forward an agenda for critical debate on the creative industries.”

Many interesting key speakers were invited: Justin O’Connor, David Hesmondhalgh, Andy Pratt, Kate Oakley, Chris Bilton, Mark Banks and Jason Toynbee. They addressed themes such as: The historical formation and context of creative industries; Creative industry policy and the legacy of New labour; Creative industries and local and regional development; Creative industries in comparative international contexts; The changing politics of creativity and creative industry work; And The future policy agenda for creative industries.

Several of the perspectives highlighted were indeed more critical and interesting than many of other seminars we have attended. Mark Banks talked about the shift from cultural to creative industries policy represents a de-politicization of cultural work in so far as ”cultural” concerns (i.e. those regarding meaning of work or its artistic, social or political value) have been sequestered in favour of approaches that focus on enhancing only ”creative” commodity production and economic value. Kate Oakley talked, among many other things, about an over focus on novelty as the primary determinant of cultural worth. Andy Pratt described how the cultural industries have been ”made up”. In particular – in the UK context – he examine the pre-mapping document (1998) period; the mapping document; and the ”framework” phase. He set out to show that categories are embedded in concepts, therefore the taxonomies that are used to measure the cultural industries, constitute them.

There is a web cast replay of the Creative Industries Symposium here. The programme of the event is found here. The programme (in Swedish) of the event in Jonsered on March 20–21: program-jonsered.pdf. The report ”Den ofrivillige företagaren” (in Swedish): ofrivilligforetagare.pdf.

Written by Karin Dalborg, Manager of Kulturverkstan, a Project Managament Training Programme within Culture, run by Nätverkstan.

19 mars, 2009

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Research year in Norway 2009

Climate, health and innovation are leading words for research in Norway 2009. The Research Council of Norway says to the Norwegian daily Dagbladet that more money should be spent on research due to the financial crises. We need an answer to the question: What are we going to live of in the future? Traditional areas of research, or where Norway has been in forefront, is in maritime areas like ocean, lakes, fishing, shipping. And within oil- and gastechnology.

The Norwegian State and business world has together set up the aim of letting 3% of GDP go to research, although so far this has not been reach. Around 1,6% were, according to Dagbladet, spent on research last year. The governement has promised more money this year and a raise of research funds with 1,6 billion Norwegian kroner is expected this spring.

6 januari, 2009

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Research of new music expressions

New Opera Co just had the opening of ”Vi i villa”, a newopera where the group use the classical form of an opera and turn it into a modern drama. Is it possible to use an everyday, very basic and realistic, dialogue in an opera? How do you create a libretto, together in the ensemble, how do you act and how do you produce? The questions was a 4-viv-foto-erika-von-weissenberg.jpgdrive for New Opera Co to explore and start, as they describe it, a phase of research and collective process in terms of ideas, performance, text and music. The result is a beautiful and creative performance that shows a new form of expression and gives an idea of what a modern opera could be. The stage is simple, a rehearsing room with just black chairs and four glasses. Scenery is projected on the wall and the dialogue, sung by the actors and actresses, is about ordinary things in the relationship between two people.

The performance was built in quite an interesting process, where the group combined working together with the whole ensemble, included actors, director, technicians, musicians, dancers, with times of concentration where the composer have built the text and the music on his own. In between, the parts that was ready, was performed and showed in front of an audience. This gave the composer an idea of how the text needed to be built and the song had to be sung to work. It’s quite a similar process, and way of thinking, as the one described at Pixar Animation Studios, where the storyboard continuously was showed to an audience and reactions taken into account in the building of a film (look here to read about our visit to Pixar Animation Studios).

”Vi i villa” is performed at the performance stage Atalante in Göteborg. Also look at trailers at

27 september, 2008

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Composers in Lyon, France

If you walk into the backyard of Rue de Garet in Lyon, you find Grame, a center for production, creation and in-residence grame.JPGprogrammes for composers and musicians. Grame is part of a larger structure for contemporary musicians and composers in France, Les Centres de Création Musicale. By putting together composers and musicians with new technology, the capabilities of Internet, and with artists from all sorts of artistic professions, new music is created. The composer, they argue, is no longer a solitaire, alone with an empty sheet of paper. New opportunities has opened, which have widened their role. The centers work with several activities in combination; the process of creating music, research, residence programmes, training, production and realising projects like festivals and concerts, international exchanges, and cooperation with a wide variety of artistic groups.

Lyon is also hosting the next conference of the European network Encatc, on ”Intercultural Dialogue and Project Managament: New training programmes in a context of major challenges” on 16–18 of October. On the last Board meeting, placed at Grame in Lyon, the final planning was made.lyon.JPGboardmeeting.jpg

24 juli, 2008

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Thought on the road

On the freeway to Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, the radio declares that two million people identify themselves as artists in the USA. 3,71% of the total working force in San Francisco are artists according to 2005 Census Data. They earn in average less than others with the equivalent years of education. The study made by The National Endowment for the Arts had also found that the medium salary for artists is 35.000 dollars a year. An article on the topic can be found in the June 13 issue of New York Times.

”Cooperation with other fields, for example the business field, has to be seen by artists as an interesting field in itself to explore. If they do, it’s not a problem with artistic integrity. If you only see it as money and economy, you will have problems. No one will just give you money. artist-on-the-road.jpgThis is how you should work with entrepreneurship. As new interesting artistic processes, which are interesting to explore.” Thoughts on the road on artistic integrity and entrepreneurship, told by the Artist Jörgen Svensson.

At Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, they have an artist-in-residence program in a unique setting. Surrounded by beautiful areas, hills to trek in and close to the ocean side, the former military buildings are now studios for artists. Several international artists have had residencies here over the years, being able to focus on their work and meet other artists from all over the world. The idea is to offer artists the opportunity to research and networking that build the understanding for the role of art in society.


15 juni, 2008

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

On this blog we would like to explore entrepreneurship from a cultural and social point of view. Or rather put forward entrepreneurial initiatives within these two fields.




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