Cultural Ecosystem – promising approach for analyzing culture or ‘just another black box concept’?

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Robin Kuchar - Speaker

Since the beginning of the 2010s, the notion of cultural fields and sectors as ecologies and ecosystems has been increasingly gaining popularity – especially in regards to cultural policy, creative industries and musical practices. While the ecosystem has so far primarily been understood as an integrative perspective for identifying beneficial factors and to emphasize aspects of social and cultural value creation, at a conceptual level, it should also grasp the increasing complexity of empirical reality. Further, the ecosystem might be combined with various existing approaches in cultural and music research and used to describe sub-fields or even sub-ecologies of certain cultural sectors.
But, as literature reviews and meta-studies on the ecological perspective increasingly reveal, the ‘cultural ecosystem’ is anything but a clear and consistent approach (yet) – theoretically as well as empirically. So, in this paper, the notion of cultural ecosystem will be discussed by taking a closer look at its potentials, weaknesses and blind spots. Against the backdrop of growing complexity and multi-layered facets and spaces within the spheres of cultural production and distribution, the conceptual base of ‘cultural ecosystem’ will be traced and the question put, in which way this might be ‘just another black box project’.
Therefore, the paper addresses opportunities and possible ways of how cultural ecosystem might be a valuable approach to further conceptualize cultural activity and in which way the historical use of ecological language in social science and humanities might be helpful for this. Another aspect will be the question of combining ecosystem with existing approaches of cultural organization.


Todas as Artes | Todos os Nomes: III encontro internacional lusofóno


Porto, Portugal

Event: Conference