Beyond the Barking of Wild Dogs: Community economies, calculability and the making of art

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookOther chapter contribution


This paper was originally presented to a gathering of academics, artists and entrepreneurs who gathered in late 2014 to consider the challenges thrown up by the re-structuring of the arts, culture and creative sector in Australia under the then Tony Abbot led Liberal government. I had been asked to reflect on the role of art making in civil society and to speak to how community economies might present “alternative modes of culture and knowledge production.” I thought to begin by getting a bit better connected to the cares and concerns of artists in my wider community. I turned to the first ‘art maker’ to hand: my seven-year-old daughter. What is art for? I asked, and she responded that art tells stories, it takes you on adventures, and it helps you learn stuff. Casting out to my wider community of art makers I asked, what do they think their art
is for? How do they see the relationship between art making and the work of civil society? These grown ups mostly agreed with the seven year old: art is about finding expression, about making magic, about taking journeys. It is "about making the space and time for us to reflect on the past and present, to celebrate, to challenge and to actively create the future... To feed each other, to listen, to watch, to wait… To think, to feel, to laugh and cry. To be alive together".
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-Structure
Subtitle of host publicationOn alternative modes of culture and knowledge production in times of shrinking public expenditure
EditorsJan Hendrik, Hugh Davies
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherUnlikely publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780987118981
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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