Advertisement

Starting a Creative City from Below: Artistic Communities in St. Petersburg as Actors of Urban Change

  • Aleksandra (Oleksandra) Nenko
Chapter
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 123)

Abstract

Following the ideas of such writers as Florida, Landry and others on the ‘creative city’ and the ‘creative class’, creativity is now widely acknowledged to be a trigger for innovations and urban development. However, these ideas put the main accent on macro-level analysis, i.e. the economic effects of creativity in cities. The micro-level of creativity—grass-roots interactions of real creative actors, which form the immediate context for ideas generation and active involvement in urban life—has not been given due consideration. The micro-level of creativity, emerging through the every day practices of ‘creative’ people becomes even more valuable in the urban contexts characteristic of the post-Soviet region, where there are minimal policies to support contemporary creativity. Limited governmental support for creative clusters, cultural industries and artistic initiatives draws attention to the various adaptation tactics used by urban creative actors. In this chapter I analyze three artistic communities based in St. Petersburg, Russia, working in the sphere of contemporary art. I show the ways in which artists deal with the challenges characteristic of the field of contemporary art in the city, in particular, the lack of contemporary art education, insufficient number of experts in the sphere of contemporary art, and the scarcity of infrastructure for contemporary artists. Artists are able to partly overcome these challenges by forming independent artistic communities and performing various practices of localization, representation, functional division and communication. In this way they contribute to bottom-up development of the contemporary art sphere in the city. Artistic communities eventually become one of the main social actor groups who form urban ‘cultural capital’—the grounding for contemporary creativity in St. Petersburg—which is not being developed through the city’s local government policies.

Keywords

Artistic community Grass-rooted sustainability Creative city 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The paper has benefited from the support of Russian Foundation for Humanities 15-03-00722 “Coevolution of knowledge and communication networks: structural dynamics of creative collectives in European cultural capitals”, 2015–ongoing.

The author expresses her gratitude to the members of the research team of the project: Nikita Basov, Anisya Khokhlova, Elena Tykanova, Alexander Pivovarov.

References

  1. Andreyeva, E. U. (2012). Ugol nesootvetstviya. Shkoly nonkonformizma. Moskva-Leningrad 1946–1991. Moscow: Iskusstvo XXI vek.Google Scholar
  2. Cohendet, P., Simon, L., Grandadam, D., & Capdevila, I. (2014). Epistemic communities, localisation, and the dynamics of knowledge creation. Journal of Economic Geography, 14, 929–954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Comunian, R. (2011). Rethinking the creative city. Urban Studies, 48(6), 1157–1179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crane, D. (1989). The transformation of the avant-garde: The New York art world, 1940–1985. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Currid, E. (2007). The Warhol economy. How fashion, art, and music drive New York city. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. De Certeau, M. (1984). The practice of everyday life. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  7. Duxbury, N., & Gillette, E. (2007). Culture as a key dimension of sustainability: Exploring concepts, themes, and models. Creative city network of Canada, centre of expertise on culture and communities: Working paper No. 1: 1–23.Google Scholar
  8. Farrell, M. P. (2001). Collaborative circles: Friendship dynamics and creative work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Federal Law. (2004). O sobraniyah, mitingah, demonstratsiyah, shestviyah i piketirovaniyah. Zakon Rossiyskoy Federatsii, N 54-ФЗ from 19 June 2004. http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_178904/. Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  10. Florida, R. (2002). The rise of the creative class. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  11. Florida, R. (2004). Cities and the creative class. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Girard, L. F. (2011). Creativity and the human sustainable city: Principles and approaches for nurturing city resilience. In L. F. Girard, T. Baycan & P. Nijkamp (Eds.), Sustainable city and creativity: Promoting Creative urban initiatives (pp. 55–96). Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Gerasimenko, P. (2008). Gde iskat sovremennoye iskusstvo v Sankt-Peterburge?. Art-Guide. http://os.colta.ru/art/projects/181/details/2919/. Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  14. Gordin, V., & Matetskaya, M. (2012). Creative tourism in Saint Petersburg: The state of the art. Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice, 4(2), 55–77.Google Scholar
  15. Gordin, V., Matetskaya, M., & Dedova, M. (2014). New life of New Holland in a classical city. In L. Marques & G. Richards (Eds.), Creative districts around the world. Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Bairro Alto, (pp. 93–97). Breda: Breda University of Applied Sciences, CELTH, Academy for Leisure, NHTV.Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, D. (2003). The right to the city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27(4), 939–941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kagan, S., & Hahn, J. (2011). Creative cities and (un)sustainability: from creative class to sustainable creative cities. Culture and Local Governance, 3(1–2), 11–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kirchberg, V. (2008). Angst and unsustainability in postmodern times. In V. Kirchberg & S. Kagan (Eds.), Sustainability: A new frontier for the arts and cultures (pp. 93–105). Frankfurt am Main: VAS.Google Scholar
  19. Kirchberg, V., & Kagan, S. (2013). The roles of artists in the emergence of creative sustainable cities: Theoretical clues and empirical illustrations. City, Culture, and Society, 4(3), 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Landry, C. (2000). The creative city: A toolkit for urban innovators. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  21. Landry, C., & Bianchini, F. (1995). The creative city. London: Demos.Google Scholar
  22. Lefebvre, H. (1991) (1974). The production of space. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Lloyd, R. (2010). Neo-Bohemia: Art and commerce in the postindustrial city. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Lusina, O. (2010). Art-rynok Peterburga. Ischem horoshiye ruki. Fontanka.ru. http://www.fontanka.ru/2010/08/31/055/. Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  25. Lyalyakin, K. A. (2012). Perspektivi vzaimodeystviya art-rinka s turisticheskoy infrastrukturoy Sank-Peterburga. Izvestiya Sankt-Peteburgskogo universiteta ekonomiki i finansov, 2, 81–83.Google Scholar
  26. Machulina, D. (2009). Gde uchitsya sovremennomu iskusstvu v Rossii? Art-guide. http://os.colta.ru/art/projects/181/details/9452/. Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  27. Markusen, A. (2006). Urban development and the politics of a creative class: Evidence from a study of artists. Environment and Planning A, 38(10), 1921–1940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Martí-Costa, M., & Miquel, M. P. I. (2012). The knowledge city against urban creativity? Artists’ workshops and urban regeneration in Barcelona. European Urban and Regional Studies, 19(1), 92–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Menger, P.-M. (2014). The economics of creativity. Art and achievement under uncertainty. London: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nenko, O. (2012). Aesthetic emotional experience: From eye irritation to knowledge. In N. Basov & O. Nenko (Eds.), Understanding knowledge creation: Intellectuals in academia, the public sphere and the arts (pp. 163–182). Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Press.Google Scholar
  31. Parker, J. N., & Hackett, E. J. (2012). Hot spots and hot moments in scientific collaborations and social movements. American Sociological Review, 77(1), 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Peck, J. (2005). Struggling with the creative class. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29(4), 740–770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pivovarov, A., & Khokhlova, A. (2014). Riski Tvorcheskoy Deyatelnosti Hudozhnikov. ‘Za’ i ‘Protiv’ Uchastiya v Art-Soobshestvah. Zhurnal Sociologii i Sotsialnoy Antropologii 17(1): 139–154.Google Scholar
  34. Pratt, A. (2008). Creative cities: The cultural industries and the creative class. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 90(2), 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sabbatini, M. (2011). The pathos of holy foolishness in the Leningrad underground. In P. H. Hunt & S. Kobets (Eds.), Holy foolishness in Russia: New perspectives (pp. 337–352). Bloomington: Slavica Publishers.Google Scholar
  36. Sasaki, M. (2010). Urban regeneration through cultural creativity and social inclusion: Rethinking creative city theory through a Japanese case study. Cities, 27(1), S3–S9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Savina, A. (n.d.). Kak dobitsya uspekah v rossiyskom iskusstve. Look At Me. http://www.lookatme.ru/mag/live/inspiration-lists/193425-5-ways-to-become-a-contemporary-artist. Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  38. Savitsky, S. (2002). Andegraund: istoriya i myfi leningradskoy neofitsialnoy literaturi. Moskva: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie.Google Scholar
  39. Steiner, A. (2012). Sankt-Peterburg. Art Chronicle. http://artchronika.ru/gorod/caнкт-пeтepбypг-2/. Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  40. Storper, M., & Venables, A. J. (2004). Buzz: Face-to-face contact and the urban economy. Journal of Economic Geography, 4(4), 351–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sutherland, I., & Acord, S. K. (2007). Thinking with art: From situated knowledge to experiential knowing. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 6(2), 125–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Voronkova, L., & Pachenkov, O. (Eds.). (2015). SAGA book. Transformatsiya obschestvennih prostranstv. Sankt-Peterburg: SAGA.Google Scholar
  43. Zarlenga, M. I., Uldemollins, J. R., & Morató, A. R. (2013). Cultural clusters and social interaction dynamics: The case of Barcelona. European Urban and Regional Studies. doi: 10.1177/0969776413514592.Google Scholar
  44. Zukin, S. (1989). Loft living. Cultural and capital in urban change. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Design and Urban StudiesITMO UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations