It’s been a great few days. The conference dinner (in the time-honoured way of conference dinners) got more of the chat flowing along with the sauvignon blanc and shiraz. It’s always good to make new connections … yes, social networking does happen outside FaceBook. I ended up having a couple of days getting to know a colleague who works down the corridor from me. We very rarely have time to chat in the way did these past few days; too busy … you know the drift. Upshot is we’re sketching out some tentative plans to engage in a research project next year.
The final Keynote of the conference was delivered by Sue Baker (VCA Melbourne). It was a firmly delivered look at the status of art schools as part of a new culture economy in the information age … in fact that was the title. Although her comment referenced visual art schools in particular, there was much that was appropriate across the disciplines, with their ‘porous edges’ especially in interdisciplinary centres such as the new model art schools emerging in universities.
I liked Sue’s idea of the entrepreneurial practitioner taking charge of her career as the equivalent of ‘start-up companies’ in the business world. In a paper that ranged widely around the arts economy, I found much to ponder in the notion of the emerging ‘experience economy’ tied as it is to what customers are now seeking. Beyond high quality product provision, it includes experience and action as part of the transaction; it’s found particularly in ‘image based’ product branding (there’s that word again!). Enter art as part of the provisioning process. Fascinating stuff this.
My one and only hands-on lab session was a most useful Creative Commons workshop. More useful material for those of us getting our material ‘out there’ and for encouraging our student ‘start-up companies’ to explore. And finally the round table which I live-blogged (in the last post below). Reading back over it, it seems a bit scattered at times, definitely a sense of flowing conversation rather than paraphrased, edited comment. Different, and a bit like dispatches from the field. For someone who has been engaged in writing my own discipline’s EBP for the RQF (acronyms, acronyms) it was good to hear colleagues thrashing out the challenges, and challenging the whole auditing process demanded by the (now former) federal government. Will this bureaucratic exercise change with a change of government, or is the juggernaut too big to stop. I suspect we will soldier on, having spent thousands of hours collectively in preparing this material, only to have it filed away somewhere in a Canberra vault. We’ll see.
And then it was all over for another year. New contacts, good ideas, stimulation, good food and company … what conferences are about.