Today, Theatre Network Australia’s Nicole Beyer hosted an event that got us thinking about what the new creative industries framework means for Victoria and for the arts more broadly. The Creative Industries Engagement Forum was a timely follow-up to the release of the Victorian Government Creative Industries Strategy, Creative State. I gave a four-minute provocation on technology and the public space. Here’s my Storify of the day.

And here are the questions I posed in considering what the new framework might mean:

  • What’s at stake in the distinction between “arts” or “arts and culture” and “cultural industries”?
  • Do we risk losing art’s adventurous, experimental, disruptive core?
  • Is there a new pressure to make artists and the arts demonstrate or justify their productivity?
  • With industrial innovation framed around agility and disruption, what are the key disruptors of the creative industries? Why does government (and the impact of policy and funding changes) remain they key disruptor?
  • What new opportunities to generate and attract funding and financial support does ‘creative industries’ promise?
  • What artforms readily lend themselves to a creative industries approach? What artforms do not? What’s at stake here?
  • Will this change the way that we understand what art is? Has it already changed how government understands what art is?
  • How do we distinguish industriousness from industrial process? From seeing the arts as the repeatable experiences and reproducible products that characterise the industrial?
  • What is the difference between industrious and profitable? As we see it? As government sees it?
  • How can the arts champion and propel itself as an industry? Who are its fellow industrial champions? What decisions are currently being made on our behalf, and by whom? What are the forums at which we should have a voice?
  • Can artists become active agents in gentrification, sharing in rather than being alienated from the profits that their work and their culture generates for industries that currently are wholly unrelated?
  • How might the shift towards creative industries devalue the role of the independent artist in favour of the arts organisation?

Still so much to think through together…

IMAGE: Jacina Leong and Laura Landmann’s presentation at xCommunicate Sydney 2015.