Cultural Value Networks

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Fac Creative Arts, Humanities & Education

Abstract

The research aimed to produce the first iteration of a multi-criteria method for articulating cultural
value. This evaluative methodology should support cultural organisations by having appropriate
ways to understand the value they produce and its relationship to money.

The project evaluated the multiple economy approach to understanding cultural value and its relation
to the money economy developed by Sharpe and the International Futures Forum (2010). Based on
this approach and our evidence the five methodological foundations that emerge are:

'Value' is not a singular concept, and there is not only one scale against which everything can be
measured. Different agents within an ecosystem experience value differently, food for one might be
poison for another. Value is contingent and constantly recreated within interactions and relationships.
Our evidence reveals such a complex set of valuing practices in action.

The Value Constellation (Normann & Ramirez 1993, Ramirez 1999) is an organisational model for
talking about value creation achieved by co-production in a web of interactions. This highlights the
intentional role of the focal organisation (in this case PM Studio) in orchestrating diversity of value
creation. The value constellation model sits within a multi-level perspective in which eco-system
models can be used for the wider context.

Once we abandon the idea that there is just 'the' economy of money, we can apply economic thinking
to other patterns of valuing. Cultural organisations that are not (only) businesses are creating value in
economies other than money. By keeping "money at the margins" it is possible to expand the space
available for these other patterns to thrive, and also to create money downstream in the
'conventional' economy.

Measuring value can be considered a "pharmakon" (Stiegler) for creating value - a poison and a
remedy at the same time. The same applies to value circulation. We found that in PM Studio value
circulation takes place as part of sustaining a gift economy. This gift economy takes a triangular form,
which includes and produces a knowledge commons and generalised generosity. As such, it does
not blockade value creation, but stimulates and drives it further. It provides the base for a productive
"economy of contribution" (Stiegler).

We have developed a way to understand how this economy of contribution works as an effective
model of value articulation, creation and circulation.

Publications

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Description The research aimed to produce the first iteration of a multi-criteria method for articulating cultural value. This evaluative methodology should support cultural organisations by having appropriate ways to understand the value they produce and its relationship to money.

The project evaluated the multiple economy approach to understanding cultural value and its relation to the money economy developed by Sharpe and the International Futures Forum (2010). Based on this approach and our evidence the five methodological foundations that emerge are:

'Value' is not a singular concept, and there is not only one scale against which everything can be measured. Different agents within an ecosystem experience value differently, food for one might be poison for another. Value is contingent and constantly recreated within interactions and relationships. Our evidence reveals such a complex set of valuing practices in action.

The Value Constellation (Normann & Ramirez 1993, Ramirez 1999) is an organisational model for talking about value creation achieved by co-production in a web of interactions. This highlights the intentional role of the focal organisation (in this case PM Studio) in orchestrating diversity of value creation. The value constellation model sits within a multi-level perspective in which eco-system models can be used for the wider context.

Once we abandon the idea that there is just 'the' economy of money, we can apply economic thinking to other patterns of valuing. Cultural organisations that are not (only) businesses are creating value in economies other than money. By keeping "money at the margins" it is possible to expand the space available for these other patterns to thrive, and also to create money downstream in the 'conventional' economy.

Measuring value can be considered a "pharmakon" (Stiegler) for creating value - a poison and a remedy at the same time. The same applies to value circulation. We found that in PM Studio value circulation takes place as part of sustaining a gift economy. This gift economy takes a triangular form, which includes and produces a knowledge commons and generalised generosity. As such, it does not blockade value creation, but stimulates and drives it further. It provides the base for a productive "economy of contribution" (Stiegler).

We have developed a way to understand how this economy of contribution works as an effective model of value articulation, creation and circulation.
Exploitation Route The research provides a first iteration of a multi criteria evaluation method for cultural institutions. It was tested with Battersea Arts Centre, the National Theatre of Wales, the Bristol Old Vic and the Arnolfini Gallery Bristol.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description The approaches to cultural production in this report have underpinned Watershed's understanding of its role as a regional cultural institution and have in turn informed the ethos of the Pervasive Media Studio and UWE's Digital Cultures Research Centre. These approaches are designed to have the effect of constantly strengthening the local creative ecoystem; small creative players aggregated together in co-located spaces, times and social media constitute networks of creativity and innovation. These networks are driven by sharing ideas and resources, and by the new forms of interdisciplinarity brought into being by digital. The identification and articulation of these approaches in this project led directly to the principles that underpinned the REACT Creative Economy Hub (AH/J005185/1).REACT was conceptualised as a system for the circulation of knowledge and the co creation of value. We argued in this research work that 'value' is contextual, enacted by living beings in a pattern of relationships. Different agents within any ecoystem will experience value differently; your nutrition might be my poison. Different values are produced by agents who are frequently acting in multiple economies
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Cultural,Economic