Adapting, renewing, subverting : what place the performing arts in the creative industries?

Stock, Cheryl F. (2010) Adapting, renewing, subverting : what place the performing arts in the creative industries? Tirai Panggung : Performing Arts Journal, 10, pp. 20-45.


Creative Industries was adopted as a platform in the 90s by the Blair government in the UK to describe the convergence of the arts, media, communication and information technologies as a newly formed cluster, providing economic and cultural capital for the knowledge economy. The philosophy and rhetoric which has grown around this concept (Leadbeater 2000, Castells 2000, Florida 2000, Caves 2000, Hartley 2000) has been influential in re-contextualising culture and the arts in the 21st century. Where governments and educational institutions have embraced the context of the creative industries, it is having a profound effect on the way arts are being positioned, originally as ‘creative content’ for the new economy. Countries and regions which have actively targeted the Creative Industries as an important economic growth factor in a post-industrial environment are numerous, but it is interesting to note that North and South East Asia and Australia have been at the forefront of developing the Creative Industries in its various guises.

It could be argued that the initial phase of Creative Industries concentrated on media and communication technologies to provide commercial outcomes in small incubator business models; developing, for example, products for the games industry. Creative Industries is now entering a second phase of development; one in which the broader palette of the arts, though still not at the forefront of debate, is being re-examined. Both phases of Creative Industries have emphasised creativity and innovation as key drivers in the success and effectiveness of this sector, and although the arts by no means has a monopoly on these drivers, it is where they have an important part to play in the creative industries context. Arguably, the second wave of the creative industries acknowledges to a greater extent that commercialisation works in tandem with government and other support in a complex mixed economic model. In relation to the performing arts, the global market has seen an increase in large-scale cultural events such as festivals which are providing employment for the arts industry and multiplier effects in other parts of the economy. Differentiated product is important in this competitive arena and the use of mediated and digitised environments has been able to increase the amount of arts product available to an international market.

This changed environment requires the development of new skills for our artists and producers and has given rise to a reappraisal of approaches to arts training and research in the Higher Degree Education sector (Brown 2007, Cunningham 2006). This paper examines pedagogical changes which took place in the first Creative Industries Faculty in the world at Queensland University of Technology as well as the increased opportunities for leading research initiatives. It concludes with the example of an interdisciplinary artwork produced in a creative industries precinct, exemplifying the convergence of arts and communication technologies and that of artistic practice and research.

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ID Code: 41642
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: creative industries , performing arts practice and pedagogy, mediated /digital arts environments, innovation,, user-created content, communication technologies
ISSN: 0128-5998
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Cheryl Stock
Deposited On: 11 May 2011 21:47
Last Modified: 12 May 2011 09:17

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