Land of Light: Assembling the Ecology of Culture in Odsherred 2000-2018

Thomas Burø

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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Abstract

Land of Light maps the ecology of culture in Odsherred 2000-2018 and analyses how complex interorganisational relationships that condition the organisation and production of arts and cultural offerings are assembled. Odsherred is a rural region in the north-western part of Zealand, Denmark. The region has a diverse ecology of culture encompassing performing arts, film, music, visual arts, crafts, literature, fine dining, and a tradition of collaboration between publicly funded, market based, and grassroots arts and cultural organisations. Methodologically, Land of Light uses semi-structured interviews with various people working in arts and cultural organisations as well as participant observation of cultural productions and events, and it combines these with document and artefact analysis to map the ecology of culture. The thesis reviews the concept of ecology of culture and finds a degree of ambiguity with regard to the status of ‘ecology’ as the theoretical field does not agree on whether ‘ecology’ is a descriptive term or a metaphor borrowed respectively from biology, human or general ecology. This means that it is unclear which aspects of ecological theory can be applied to the study of ecology of culture. The thesis hence develops its theoretical framework by conceptualising ‘ecology of culture’ as a concrete assemblage of heterogeneous matter, assembled by a multiplicity of concrete agents and according to a specific logic of assemblage. The ontological concept of ‘assemblage’ is a key feature of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and it is used in the thesis to establish a framework for a reflexive philosophical inquiry into the concrete assemblage of culture. Based on empirical data, the thesis conceptualises and maps four distinct modalities of interorganisational connectivity. In order to explore the ecological effect of assemblage, two empirical phenomena are analysed in detail: first, the emergence of the youth culture organisation Ung i Odsherred over the years 2011-2014 and the collective enunciation of ‘youth participation in culture’ as a problem; second, the assemblage of a set of heterogeneous signifying practices that produce ‘the Local’ as a semiotic attribute that is used to add value and meaning to products, places, events, and organisations. The thesis contributes to the study of the ecology of arts and cultural organisations and to organisation theory that is concerned with the nature of embeddedness of individual arts and cultural organisations in an ecology of arts and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages340
ISBN (Print)9788793956520
ISBN (Electronic)9788793956537
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesPh.d. Serie
Number21.2020
ISSN0906-6934

Cite this

Burø, T. (2020). Land of Light: Assembling the Ecology of Culture in Odsherred 2000-2018. Copenhagen Business School [Phd]. Ph.d. Serie, No. 21.2020