This Week: Is there a correlation between value and attention in the arts?… Data’s in: the plus/minuses of live-streaming… Some ideas from a researcher on measuring aesthetic experience… How might the arts weigh in on politics without being dismissed?
- Why Are We Measuring Cultural Value In Attention? The currency of value is attention. More attention equals higher value. In the internet age everything is now measured in attention. But attention has become a two-way equation. Jacob Weisberg: The old cliché about advertising was, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” The new cliché is, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.” In an attention economy, you pay for free content and services with your time. The compensation isn’t very good. And the audience has become a commodity whether it wants to be or not.
- Live-Streaming The Arts As A Strategy: Many arts organizations are streaming their performances, enough now that we now have data on the pluses and minuses. To cut to the chase: Does livestreaming build new audiences or cannibalize the ticket-buying audience?
- Measuring The Audience And Aesthetics, Some Ideas: There have been several stories recently about attempts to develop a measuring system for the arts. Here an audience researcher weighs in with some ideas: “For arts professionals, curators and artists, my research shows that evaluative measures (qualitative or quantitative) are most useful when selected and combined in ways that take into account how people encounter an exhibit in practice, and how they observe each other’s actions and share aesthetic experiences in the course of social interaction.”
- Of Arts And Politics: Should The Arts Weigh In? Wading into politics can be tricky for artists. Political art is sure to alienate those who have a different political opinion. But a new study suggests that reading literature and discussing it is a good way of bridging political divides, making it possible for people with differing political views to safely discuss issues without immediately retreating into their ideology. Theatres have a trickier path. How do you influence politics without being political? “I’m really interested in not dictating how someone should vote, but there is a way to voice and to extend what you see and how you experience something—you have a form of expression, and sometimes that form of expression is artistic, but what we all have is the power to vote and to have our voices heard. So taking advantage of that journey from heart to head to action.”