From subsidy to investment: Society's and policymakers' perceptions of art and culture are renewing. This is also evidenced by a report by the European Parliament published in 2016, according to which culture and the cultural industries with their artistic content and products have a profound economic impact, create value, generate growth and jobs, strengthen national, regional and local identities and contribute to global political dialogue with their identification potential.
Whether from a perspective of the arts, cultural policy or economics: The impact of the arts and culture is expanding beyond their established cultural sphere.
It is noteable how artists' attitude is changing: They demand greater influence and involvement in policy decisions, and are increasingly active outside the traditional 'realm of the arts'. Existing conceptions of art are being replaced by a broader understanding of the artist’s role. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung observed in a report on this year's documenta exhibition, 'the social contract that divided art from life in exchange for autonomy appears to be unravelling.'
Artistic possibilities are also being expanded by digital technologies. New artistic worlds are being created, and links are being forged between artistic disciplines; digital technology already allows us to immerse ourselves in other worlds, to explore culture(s) more fully than ever.
These parallel developments, as varied as they are in political, economic and technological aspects, appear to have one thing in common: They are expanding artists’ roles and reach.
What effect does this have on cultural policy? On cultural funding? On art itself? In the face of these wide-ranging artistic, economic, technological and social developments, the Forum Europe Ruhr will be taking a critical look at the key questions facing arts and society today: How can culture live up to all these promises? To what extent do artists and cultural policymakers share the same views and expectations regarding the social role of art and culture, and to what extent do these expectations diverge?
This was the topic of the Forum Europe Ruhr 2017, to which we invited you to get a complete view on the arts, the economy, technology and policy: Culture 360°.