Kunnskapsverket er både deltaker og med-arrangør i European Colloquium on Culture, Creativity & Economy (ECC), et europeisk forskernettverk, som diskutere sammenhenger mellom kultur, kreativitet og økonomisk praksis. Vi inviterte tre av grunnleggerne - Taylor Brydges (Uppsala University)
, Brian J. Hracs (University of Southampton)
 og Dominic Power (Uppsala University) - til å vurdere og kommentere samlingene så langt.
The event is organized by the following researchers:
  • Taylor Brydges (Uppsala University)

  • Brian J. Hracs (University of Southampton)

  • Johan Jansson (Uppsala University)

  • Cecilia Pasquinelli (Gran Sasso Science Institute)
  • Dominic Power (Uppsala University)

  • Jenny Sjöholm (Linköping University)

The Academic Body

The institution organizing the Conference Series is The Centre for Research on Innovation and Industrial Dynamics (CIND) and the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University. Established in 1477, Uppsala is the oldest university in Scandinavia and one of the largest with more than 40,000 students and more than 2,000 graduate students. The conference is co-sponsored by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and Knowledge Works (The Norwegian National Centre for Cultural Industries).

Sustainability and inclusiveness through culture and creativity

In recent years, myriad links between culture, creativity and economic practice have become major topics of interdisciplinary debates. There is a growing consensus that the intersections between these spheres, and symbolic and culturally embedded values in particular, pervade the global economy. Culture is not confined to artistic practice or heritage, nor is creativity confined to networks of creative workers and entrepreneurs: culture and creativity are practiced by workers and individuals in a range of occupational, institutional and geographical settings. Indeed, far from being restricted to global cities and urban settings, a growing body of research highlights the presence and uniqueness of cultural and creative activities in suburban and rural settings and across the Global South. Moreover, digital technologies and processes of globalization continue to create, destroy and restructure the markets and conditions under which cultural production, intermediation and consumption are undertaken and experienced.

Gruppen på bytur: Foto: Brian J. Hracs.

These are in turn underpinned by a plurality of micro-spatialities and micro-processes through which the dynamics and spaces of culture and creativity emerge. Together, this underlines the importance of paying critical academic attention to the particularities of the different social, political, technological and cultural models that enable, hinder or displace the creative and cultural economy. For research and policy, there is a strong need to generate nuanced and tempered accounts which understand both the potentialities and limitations involved in the intersections of culture, creativity and economy. There is a need to pursue new research avenues that not only encompass but go beyond critical engagement with policies. For example, a “critical agenda on critical approaches” might unveil significant aporias and pitfalls in the ways we study the webs that tie culture, creativity and economy together. More than ever perhaps there is a need for critical and radical academic debate that addresses questions about the value and values inherent in culture and creativity; questions surrounding the ownership and marketization of culture and creativity; and the dynamics of cultural and creative spaces, production and work.

At the 5th European Colloquium on Culture, Creativity and Economy (CCE5), which was held in Seville from October 6-8, 2016, this was the topics. This debate was originally initiated during a workshop in Padua in 2011 and subsequently given an institutional character as a European Network of Excellence during European Colloquiums on Culture, Creativity and Economy in Uppsala in 2012 (CCE 1), Berlin in 2013 (CCE2), Amsterdam in 2014 (CCE3) and Florence in 2015 (CCE4).

Under de mauriske bueganger. Foto: Brian J. Hracs

The aim is to continue the debate while consolidating the emergent research network through follow-up events. Above all, however, the Colloquium aims to bring scholars together in an exciting, intense and dynamic meeting aimed at generating not only new networks but new knowledge, approaches and practices. The event will give participants the chance to share ideas, receive feedback on current research and to preview cutting edge research in the field. In other words, beyond simply constructing networks, the Colloquium will create a dynamic and sustainable discursive space.

This year, the following five topics were the subject of panel discussions:

Panel 1: A spatial perspective on valuation, value creation and appropriation

The geographies of valuation and value creation have gained increasing attention within research on the cultural and creative economy, with recognition of the importance of input from various actors such as producers, consumers and intermediaries to these ecologies. Special attention has been directed to the question of how space affects processes of valuation and value creation. For example, recent developments have highlighted the changing relationships between consumers and producers, as facilitated through notions of curation and intermediaries. Others emphasize how atmospheres of consumption relate to the idea of affects and emotions in considering the feel of places and how they encourage particular forms of consumption. There is a need to pick up on spaces beyond the urban and understand how borders between the urban, the rural and the virtual are changing. For example, what is the role of ‘third spaces’ in understanding how traditional and fixed categories are dissolving in a globalizing and digitizing world? Or, how are these new spaces facilitating new interactions and relationships between producers and consumers?

Panel 2: The individual and subjectivity in the creative economy

Creative workers make personal and professional choices and develop practices of value-creation in a social, economic and spatial context that is typically s characterised by fierce competition, insecurity and uncertainty. As a result, freelancing, entrepreneurship and precarity have become key elements of creative workers’ professional lives and career paths. Critical readings of creative labour and workers’ living and working conditions have been developed in various directions. However, there is a need to outline the research frontier of such debate to critically reflect on the limits of exiting theory. Special attention should be paid to insights into the forms of organization of creative labour as well as into the individual and subjective conditions enabling, reproducing or constraining creative labour. How can such theorizing impact the formation of ‘creative labour’ ontologies? By reflecting upon the classic categories of the geography of creativity including space, place, gender and ethnicity, we invite participants in this panel to attempt to frame the contemporary debate on the forms of creative labour organisation and the individual’s everyday life conditions, in order to outline potential routes for further research developments.

Panel 3: Sustainability and inclusiveness through culture and creativity?

This panel aims to contribute to efforts to disentangle the role that culture and the creative economy play in contemporary society. Although the pursuit of sustainability and social inclusiveness is linked to aims of economic development at different scales, uneven development is commonplace. How (much) do the cultural and creative industries studies intersect with the (uneven) economic development agenda? To what extent may culture and creative economies counteract uneven development trends? Or, in contrast, do cultural and creative industries reinforce unevenness and exclusion in cities and regions? Access to technology, infrastructures, networks, skills and creative labour markets may explain forms of organisation of cultural production, consumption and intermediation, with the roles of cultural and creative economies varying in different settings. A plurality of models and frameworks need to mirror the diversity of contexts where culture and creative economies take different shapes, including core and peripheral urban areas, urban and rural contexts, marginal economies and economic hotspots, cultural capitals and peripheral regions. Moreover, what tools and approaches to culture, creativity and the cultural economy are needed to study these spaces? What are we in need of better engagement with? As researchers, how can – or should - we provide policymakers with the updated ideas and toolkits to implement innovation and economic sustainability?

Panel 4: Platforms, policies and institutions: Empowering or hindering creative agency?

Processes and actors in the cultural and creative industries are highly affected by technological developments and the institutional and political contexts in which they are applied. This panel focuses on how such factors influence creative agency, positively or negatively. Firstly, it deals with the opportunities and challenges related to digital platforms and the idea of a ‘platform economy’ by looking at questions such as digital challenges to copyright and intellectual property, the sharing economy, the emergence of big data and its associated infrastructures, the implications of algorithmic systems used to predict consumers choice of cultural products, and the consequences of such an aggregated, networked world for the transmission and distribution of value. This panel will also discuss issues of broader institutional frameworks regulating the ‘evolution’ of cultural and creative economy within different regional, national, global contexts, concerning, for example, formal and informal knowledge in the cultural economy and the role of the educational systems. Questions for discussion can include, what extent (and how) can local governments intervene in the construction of a local cultural economy?

Panel 5: What’s the point? Summing up five years of CCE colloquiums

This year marks the fifth edition of the Colloquium on Culture, Creativity and Economy (CCE). The task given to this panel is to try to summarize these events based on the insights panel members have gained from being participants in the majority of these events. From the inaugural meeting in Uppsala to the current event in Seville a number of themes, texts, debates, networks, panels, dinners and drinks have been produced and consumed and this panel is asked to make sense out of this from the experiences they have had. Perhaps it is meaningful to discuss the rather broad but radical question of, what’s the point of having a Colloquium like this? Others might be interested in discussing the organization of the Colloquium as a pedagogical tool for encouraging interaction and knowledge sharing, or the role of such events in setting research agendas and formulating research question, or how the colloquium could be used in strengthening existing and stimulating new networks, or elaborate on the question: where do we go from here?