Culture is future » Innovation and digital

11.22.2012

When the auditorium becomes mobile

Festivals are packed, exhibitions are as frequented as ever, and the public’s appetite for all these forms of creation is undeniable. Indeed, in these times of crisis in which our fundamental models are challenged, art serves as a relief and poses the questions that we must ask ourselves, now more than ever.

 

Although this need is indisputable, funds are scarce and the cultural sphere cannot ignore the current economic climate. So how are the State, private donors, and local territories to judge what causes to back? What projects should they have to support? How can they be sure that every euro they invest has an impact and benefits all members of the public?

Maybe there is a specific axis which, today, in these special and difficult circumstances, ought to guide any decision: innovation for the benefit of audiences. The current crisis is not an exception to the rule; it is a source of reinvention, of creative destruction. Everywhere, imaginations are being stirred and new solutions are being invented. The flow of information, at an unprecedented rate and scale, takes care of the rest: innovations are shared, evaluated, adapted, and adopted in real time.

The cultural sector is not and does not have to be cast aside. In terms of programming and education, the constant search for new ideas and new models must be proactively supported.

When substantial investments are no longer a possibility, audacity and innovation can bring new answers at a lower cost.

Projects like the Centre Pompidou Mobile or the MUMO are multiplying and offering new experiences of diffusion and education. Inflatable cinemas, concerts in nontraditional venues, and live broadcasts of opera in movie theaters all bring culture as close as possible to new audiences.

By exploring new channels, these experiences also inspire new funding methods.

The fields for exploration are numerous, diverse, and constantly evolving. Let us dive right into them.

Let us encourage the opening up of disciplines to awaken the interest of audiences who never go to cultural institutions. To take just the performing arts, why not have more short plays, unexpected juxtapositions and fertile intrusions of current production into the classical art world?

Let us imagine a new form of teaching in order to instill in children, from a young age, the desire to practice and to experiment. In the collective imagination of my generation, learning to play the recorder remains the image of the often limited arts education offerings at school.

This approach echoes that of conservatories, where the strict educational methods can discourage quality amateur practice. Should enthusiasm and the desire to share not lie at the heart of every creative practice? Is there not an intermediary solution, anchored in the reality of modern creation, of its instruments and techniques? Would a truly multidisciplinary education at school not better prepare our children for their future lives? Does the well-being of a child not involve discovering and developing his talents?

Whatever the approach and whatever the project, it is essential to keep in mind the desired impacts and the objective measure of the outcome obtained. Indeed, it is by showing the economic, educational, and social impact that we will be able to defend the utility of these initiatives, on the scale of a city, a region, or a country. 

It is in this spirit, and with a triple social, cultural, and educational ambition, that we are developing the MUZE project, in cooperation with the architectural firm Beckman N’thépé.

MUZE, the first-ever mobile theatre, has the double objective of making artistic creation accessible to the largest possible audience and widely diffusing it across regions. Thanks to the creation of a dedicated ensemble of musicians, singers, and dancers, we wish to offer an enriching, pedagogical experience for all audiences and to propose innovative and challenging programming.

We hope that MUZE, by organizing workshops and pedagogical concerts, can invent new formats, new forms of mediation, awakening, and openness to diverse forms of knowledge and artistic expression.

MUZE, which contributes to the recreation of cultural economic models, aims to combine funding from the State, regions, private companies or foundations, and citizens.

More than just a cultural venue, MUZE is a living space, a place for encounters and debates where populations and generations intersect.

 

 

The Forum d’Avignon thanks Jérôme Cohen, Co-founder of MUZE for his contribution.