The second presentation on the SCOS conference (see last post) was together with Bibiana Pulido on work migration within the games industry. I’m already looking forward to SCOS 2016 in Uppsala on the theme Animal!

It is said that cultural industries require a qualified and mobile labour force. Careers in these industries are often characterised by “boundarylessness” (Arthur and Rousseau, 1996). These persons are described as having “boundaryless and protean careers” where they self-manage their own careers and move from one work place to another (Arthur and Rousseau, 1996; Briscoe and Hall, 2006). They do not have the perspective of doing a lifetime career in one work organization, but see the evolution of their career, through mobility between different firms, which enables them to work in different projects; the Silicon Valley model of personal mobility is said to be the essence in the “new economy” (Benner, 2002). Although clusters, like the Silicon Valley, have adopted this discourse it is equally important to highlight what these changing attitudes toward work have had on personal development, organising and life quality (Boltanski and Chiapello, 2007).

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This July I spent a few wonderful days at the SCOS conference in Nottingham, UK. This is one of the truly inspiring academic conferences with a welcoming athmosphere and great presentations. The theme for this year was HOME, and it was impressing to see what people had done with this. Me, I as part of two presetations. The first with Stphen Webley on home and war.

“This is my Home!”

WarDaddy (Brad Pitt) referring to ‘Fury’ his Sherman Firefly tank in the film of the same name. 2014.

War is hell, we tell ourselves yet war and ideology mobilises the concept of the home to motivate the human mind to accept the hell of warfare. Popular culture refers to this aspect of combat motivation in books, films and games, yet this ideological act of fantasy has very real connotations. During the 20th Century the ideologies of modern war negated the concept of home itself. The Fatherland of Nazi Germany dictated that every home becomes a pillbox and every cellar a fighting retreat. In Soviet Russia every city became a fortress under siege, furniture became firewood and objects of comfort took new forms, just as every pet became a potential meal. Every trench became a home that fostered its own new brand of communal existence and the politics of trench socialism. In modern war even technology itself became home – submariners and sailors, tankers and pilots all referred to their war machines in the context of home. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re hosting a track on The 23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, please submit and join us in Copenhagen!

Track 15: Changing practices of cultural industries: Business in Society by way of creative play

This Thursday I’m giving a speach at Projektforum on how culture production has been affected by our projectified society. Having studies diffreent cultural industries I will cover give my view on trying to squeeze culture production production into a box of structural models. Here’s what the web page says:

“Det projektbaserade samhället har brett ut sina vingar över alla dagens organisationer. Frågan om man jobbar inom projekt har idag istället omformulerats till – hur många projekt som pågår samtidigt. I antagandet om projektets effektivitet kommer kulturindustrierna in som intressanta och upplysande exempel på organisationer som jobbar efter andra värdegrunder, men många gånger tvingas in i det projektifierade samhällets diskurs. Från målbilder till kreativitet så finns det mycket att lära från kulturindustrier – något som ifrågasätter projekt och projektformens framtida utveckling.

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Revised Arts&Business Flyer

We are pleased to invite you to submit a chapter for our book on the arts and business! This will be published by Routledge in 2016.

The book aims at bringing the arts and business scholars together in a dialogue about a number of key topics that today form different understandings in the two disciplines. The arts and business are often positioned as opposites. Where the one is providing symbolic and aesthetic immersion, the other is creating markets and goods. Yet they frequently deal with the same issues, framing it differently and constructing various solutions. The idea is that two authors, one from arts studies and the other from business studies, present, discuss and reflect on how each of these topics has been treated in their respective disciplines. We perceive each chapter as a dialogue (or the result of a dialogue) between two authors on this one specific issue of current social life. In bringing your two views together the chapter has a possibility to develop these into a coherent understanding of society, or expose them to critical differences, in bridging knowledge between the arts and business. Read the rest of this entry »

Next week I will present at the Agera Digitalt conference in gothenburg. This is a conference about culture industries and their relations to digital media. I will talk about my studies on the video game industry and the business models that have evolved here. There are aspects of this that are unique to this industry, but there are also aspects of these business models that might be able to translate to other cultural industries.

The day after the art’s colloquium next week I’m off to London to present yet another paper. This time it’s on product and brand placement in movies. The venue is the 19th Academic Design Management Conference as the argument in this paper is that the exposure of products and brands in popular media shapes our understanding of a product, symbolical associations strengthen visual design.

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Next week I’m off to Birmingham and the 13th of the lovely International Colloquium on Arts, Heritage, Non-Profit and Social Marketing. This year I am presenting a study of the Swedish Heavy Metal group Mustasch and the production of performing music.

The aim of this article is to explore music performances as part of market making practices (e.g. Callon, 1998; Callon et al., 2007; Cochoy, 2008, 2010). These approaches applid in science studies has had a major impact on social sciences in redefining the meaning of social construction and practices. The impact on market studies has been to retrace the subject, from a study of abstract marketing principles, to market actions – toward what actors and what actions define a market. ANT’s concept of a network is that this is not something persistent that exist ‘out there’, but rather a conceptual metaphor for understanding actors and relationship between these (Latour, 2005). A network is thus always in the becoming, is always being constructed. This is an effect of that ANT “treats everything in the social and natural world as a continuously generated effect of the web of relations within which they are located.” (Law, 2009, 141). Read the rest of this entry »

At the SCOS conference next week I am presenting a study by Claudia Schnugg and myself. The paper is about musicians and how they play being musicians. The game of playing a part, just as they play music. The paper should be seen as a play with theses concepts, seeing what will come out of it.

“Your job is to live the fantasiser other only dream about. Don’t go in half-heart. Dream big. Live the life.” (Drummer A.C. in Rock Star, Warner Bros. 2001)

It has been argued that we humans are the homo ludens, that we a playing being that is both formed by these actions; just as we have formed society through playing. Huizinga (1950/1955) classical exploration of play and society present a trajectory where many (if not most) aspect of society are result of playful interactions at one point. Although play had an important role in forming society Huizinga argue that play now have been relegated to separated spheres, magical circles with no relation to ‘real life’. These thoughts were further developed by Callois (1958/2001) in categorizing play and game that further strengthened both the importance and marginalization of play in social life. Read the rest of this entry »

Next week I’m presenting a paper at EGOS on how art travel and are made into political objects.

Creating an artwork is the work of crafting a symbolic representation of society; and, according to Adorno (1991) true art challenges society through its symbolic representation. All arts, it can be argued, are communicating a symbolic meaning of whatever the artist decides. In this sense, aspects of society, and what it means to be human, are translated and inscribed into the object in question – painting, song, art installation, film, video game – leaving the subject itself to interpret these meanings from the art. Artists can thus be understood as symbolic creator (Hesmondhalgh, 2012), leaving imprints in objects – commenting on the state of our society. Read the rest of this entry »


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