Emotions As Reason, Rationale and Result of Urban Artist Areas

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: Booth 57
Oral Presentation
Volker KIRCHBERG , Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Lüneburg, Germany
For the last two decades urban arts and cultural districts, arts neighborhoods, and artist housing and studios have become the focus of social scientists studying the intersection of urban and arts sociology. I will analyze the emotional forms and functions of this type of urban cohabitation. Certain smaller areas have been, from the bottom up, transformed by artists NOT for external political or economic purposes BUT for self-utilitarian – and often emotional –   purposes internal to the participating artists and their community. The latter purposes are objectives directly and emotionally pursued by the participating artists. These artist areas are “reservates” that serve as catalyst for the internal socio-spatial emotional enjoyment of artists, performing and propagating a “liberty of delectableness” not offered outside these specific areas. As a theoretical starting point I interpret texts such as Zukin’s “Loft Living” (1982), Bourdieu’s “Rules of Art” (1992) and Ehrenreich’s “Dancing in the Streets” (2006), plus the literature on the notion of “cultural sustainability” that alludes to emotional values (e.g., Kirchberg & Kagan, Brocchi, Duxbury, Throsby). There is a variety of emotional benefits that can be paraphrased and typologized as “artistic community identity”, “alternative compatriotism”, “lifestyle experimentation” and “bohemian sociality” – to name just a few. Furthermore, these emotional benefits will be analyzed applying the extensive literature on the “affectual turn” (Clough 2007, Gregg & Seighworth 2010). Empirical illustrations will be provided by my own research in urban artist areas in Baltimore, Maryland, and Hamburg, Germany, plus further collated evidence from Phoenix, Arizona, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other cities.