The economics of creativity

From the left, Georgina Born, Howard Becker, Pierre-Michel Menger, Nicholas Cook (photo by Nicolas Donin)

From the left, Georgina Born, Howard Becker, Pierre-Michel Menger, Nicholas Cook (photo by Nicolas Donin)

“The economics of creativity” was the heading of a round table that took place last Saturday in Paris (Centre Pompidou) in the final section of the conference Tracking the Creative Process in Music with Pierre-Michel Menger (Collège de France, EHESS), author of The Economics of Creativity (Harvard University Press, 2014), Howard Becker, Georgina Born, and Nicholas Cook (chair).

In his book The Economics of Creativity: Art and Achievement under Uncertainty (2014), Pierre-Michel Menger offers an analysis of artistic creativity that seeks a middle path between two equally unsatisfactory propositions: on the one hand, the traditional aesthetic approach that sees artistic success as solely a function of inherent genius; and on the other, the more recent sociological approach that attributes it solely to politics, powerful patrons, or luck.

Menger discussed his work with Howard Becker, most famous for his book Art Worlds, and Georgina Born, the author among other books of Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde. What determines careers, in the absence of recognised, pre-determined, and sure/safe career paths? Who judges achievement? How much temporality means? How much geography, or the word-of-mouth? These were some of the questions discussed during this passionating round table.

Find the complete program of the conference Tracking the Creative Process in Music here (PROGRAM) in which I took part with a speech entitled “Collaboration in Computer Music. An analysis of the role played by Musical Assistants obtained through semi-structured interviews”.


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