The last forty years of cultural policy have been dominated by economic value, as the arbiter and final legitimation for cultural policy decision making. Even when other public values or goals are admitted, these are held to be best achieved through the allocative efficiencies of ‘the market’, and by inculcating ‘market rational’ behaviour.
In parallel we have seen a rapid decline in public funding for culture; the disruption of public media and information; the fragmentation of audiences into market niches and data sources; the erosion of wages and working conditions for cultural workers; a deepening lack of diversity within the sector, and the on-going exclusion of small scale cultural activities from inner cities.
There is crisis of the cultural sector - the ecosystem in which it operates and the values that sustain it as a public good. This is part of a wider crisis of our collective culture. This conference hopes to outline new approaches for the future as a matter of urgency. Rather than the stale ideas of creative industries and creative cities, we seek to engage with post-growth and sustainable economics; Indigenous and cultural rights; new approaches to ‘good living’ in the face of human and ecological distress; revisit making and manufacture in cities, as a question of sustainability and equity; and new forms of global cultural connectivity outside the imaginary of a mobile creative class.
The conference is in three parts over two days: Cultural Economy Futures; Shaping the City for Cultural Production; from Fringe to Famous.
DAY 1: June 25, 9am—5pm
DAY 2: June 26, 9am—5pm
LOCATION: Monash College. Level 7, 271 Collins St Melbourne.