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The University of Southampton
Southampton Ethics Centre

What is to be done with the arts? New perspectives on the problem of value in arts and culture Event

11 July 2019
John Hansard Gallery

Event details

A public talk hosted by John Hansard Gallery and Transforming Creativity Research Group. All welcome.


Professor Julian Meyrick (Flinders University, Australia) will be introducing Laboratory Adelaide, a research project based in South Australia looking at the problem of evaluating cultural organisations and events. Since 2013, the project has investigated principles-based approaches to value reporting that emphasises integrated narrative, multiple time horizons, informing context, direct experience, and meaningful language use, as against “the metric tide” of abstract, quantitative data gathering. 

He will discuss the work undertaken by Laboratory Adelaide with its main industry partners – the State Library of South Australia, the State Theatre Company of South Australia, and the Adelaide Festival – and the reception of their book What Matters? Talking Value in Australian Culture, published in 2018. The talk will focus on one thorny issue for the problem of value in culture – how to assess those traditional activities perceived to be both non-commercial and socially exclusive.

Without either defending or attacking “the arts”, Julian will explore why they present in the policy domain in the way that they do, and what can be done to challenge this framing in a robust way. As the cultural sector expands into new technological and social pathways, what is its relationship to the core activities that once defined it?  What is to be done with the arts?

Speaker information

Professor Julian Meyrick,Flinders University, Australia,Professor of Creative Arts

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