The Role of Intermediaries of Artistic Work in the Rise of the “Entrepreneurial Regime” of Artistic Production. the Case of Popular Music in France

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:45
Location: Hörsaal 14 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Wenceslas LIZE, University de Poitiers - GRESCO, France
The diagnosis of a growth of market logic in the art worlds is not new but we observe a change of scale. Mounting economic interest affects both the organizational modes of artistic activities and the professional identity of artists and cultural intermediaries. This is what we would like to show from the analysis of the activity of intermediaries of artistic work in France and its influence on professional dispositions of artists. This activity is of particular interest since it is both the product and the vector of transformations of the artistic fields linked to the rise of neoliberal logics.

We will focus on the practices of intermediaries of artistic work in popular music: agents, managers and “tourneurs”. The analysis is based on a survey combining quantitative and qualitative methods: mainly an online questionnaire with 189 managers, agents and “tourneurs”, observations and twenty interviews with these intermediaries.

At the interface between artists and employers but also between art and commerce, they tend to act as market and management logics vectors. The survey shows how, taking aim the "career development" of artists, the work of these intermediaries promotes the development of a new regime of art, the "entrepreneurial regime"[1]. Contributing to the social production of artistic labor market, they also act in practice on the "professionalization" of artists by giving precedence to market rationality[2]and to the injunction to "self-enterprise". We thus conclude by questioning how these intermediaries prescribe a new posture of "artist entrepreneur".

[1] Borja S., Sofio S., « Production artistique et logiques économiques : quand l’art entre en régime entrepreneurial », Regards Sociologiques, n°37-38, p. 23-43.

[2] Lizé W., Naudier D. et Roueff O., Intermédiaires du travail artistique. À la frontière de l’art et du commerce, Paris, La Documentation Française, 2011.