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#FA2012: Session "The fabric of culture"

find below a complete summary of the session “The Fabric of culture” moderated by Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Director of France Culture, where they mentioned matters of openness (to the freedom of expression of the creators and to the diversity of publics), of awareness of the companies and the states.


Bain&Cie study - « 7 years of reflection - Imagination and passing on, creators of value(s)? »  by Patrick Béhar, Bain&Cie Partner. 

Music and video game, readers and other tablets, connected games …The last seven years have seen the development of multiple technologies, with each of them supposed to revolutionize the media and entertainment economy. Have these evolutions lived up to their promises? Have the cultural consumption models observed in 2012 really created value – usage value, economical value, or social and cultural value?

With a survey among 7000 people in 8 countries held in july 2012, Bain&Cie underlines the fact that innovations which seem muddled are echoing in fact underlying trends of habits of consumption of cultural goods and services.

If the "age of reason" of the cultural industries is not coming any time soon, the study tries a prospective exercise of modelling of value(s) by 2016, integrating the cycles of music, book audiovisual and video games. It underlines that diversity appears as the main driving force of creation of value, notably thanks to the emergence of a “middle-earth” favourable to a niche creation and production.

Download the study.


Summary of the session "The fabric of culture"

#FA2012: Session "La fabrique de la culture" par forumavignon

Opening in weightlessness. The meeting between the choreographer Kitsou Dubois and the President of Universcience and astronaut Claudie Haigneré embodies the work of the artist and the scientist in an intense physical training and weaves threads between two materials, not so far from each other, because their require demand, imagination and time. Links are numerous between the two imaginaries and feed each other.

With the presentation of the Bain study –Seven years: the age of reason ? Creating value(s) in the digital age by Patrick Béhar and Laurent Colombani, Partners at Bain and Cie, the first debate started around the theme ‘Is the diversity of publics a strategic goal?’

The emergence of an intermediary space between mass content and niche market content raised questions.

However the testimonies of the Moroccan film director Nabil Ayouch, and the Tunisian business women Sana Ghenima, CEO of Sanabil Med SA highlighted that the possibility of a relationship between a creator and a public first depended on the respect of the freedom of expression, and that it was not subjected to cultural and politic considerations.  When the artist’s right to exist depends on political and religious considerations, we must be careful and resist against vague notions such as the clean art which respects a sacred text.

Less tragic because far from the religious fanatisms which pretend claim saying what is ‘clean’ or not, the experience of the Chilean conductor and professor, Eduardo Browne, underlined the fact that culture could be stifled by the indifference and its armed joystick, the accelerated zapping. He calls for the amateur practice, useful lever to develop committed viewers and do give time to win over by the works.

As a counterpoint, the independent producer Patrick Zelnik, CEO of Naïve, brushed aside the public distinction between mass and niche market, advocating the diversity of public establishing itself. On the contrary, we must create the conditions  -through the regulation and the offer – to avoid any kind of hegemony. “Culture should not be an exception, a bad word to designate a true reality, it must be general”, as Patrick Zelnik concluded.

The performance by Tishani Doshi and Markus Schmidt illustrated the beauty of the risk of the creative cultural integration. They met in the dedicated high speed train of the Forum d’Avignon. They discussed their respective vocations – poetry and music. But it is only later, after he heard Tishani Doshi read her poems, that Markus Schmidt suggested collaboration. Music adds substance and texture to the poems.

For the second debate, ‘Culture, a risky bet?’, inspired by the Kurt Salmon study on the ‘Fabric of innovation’, several topics were discussed:

-          The risk that theft or pirating weakens the financing of the works of art, because the financiers cannot value their investment, and the creators cannot afford to get a salary : a risk underlined by Rick Cotton, Executive VP of NBCUniversal,

-          The risk to let the Anglo-Saxon creation too much space was evoked by Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, President, Operations, Southern Eastern Europe, Middle East Africa of Google, and he underlined the fact that culture is a major challenge for the countries’ competitiveness in globalization. We must defend the copyright without building barriers which do not exist on the internet.

-          The risk for someone to not become himself, highlighted by the choreographer Mourad Merzouki. Without the support of an institution or a patron which took the risk to recognize his work, to take him out of the street, he would not have become the artist he became. He advocates the necessity to weave threads between the disciplines, and the dialogues between the arts.

As witness, Jérôme Clément reminded us that the risk was inherent to culture, for the one who produces it and the one who receives it. And he offered 4 reflections: it is always difficult to know what culture can bring in, at the individual and collective level, but a policy of cultural offer requires a regulation and a public support, culture remains an asset more than a risk, a societal chance that an educative work can transform into something obvious, the creative movement does not depend on the digital and the real risk for cultural diversity is the lack of European commitment.