A Flourishing Music Scene or an Institutional State of Emergency?

Creativity as a Marginal Phenomenon of Small-Town Urbanity, Exemplified by the Jazz Scene in Bern

Daniel Schläppi
Much critical debate in cultural studies is directed towards knowing if or how urban spaces and creative cells influence each other. Relevant publications stylize the city as the “space” of artistic creation par excellence. This is surely not fundamentally wrong. However, there are also many art forms of great worth produced in the inspiration of isolation. In order to reach a more differentiated view of the presumed interdependency between the city and art, it is worth asking oneself what urban, social, economic and political factors influence the evolution of the art business and the behaviour of those involved (and naturally vice versa). This is investigated in the present article by means of the example of the jazz sociotope of the small-scale city of Bern. The result of this analysis is the discovery of a postmodern, somewhat proletarian subculture with strong creative potential that struggles to assert itself in the face of more potent agents on the market.

by moxi