marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

marcus westbury header image 2

Griffith REVIEW essay: Fluid Cities Create

May 10th, 2008 by marcus

Griffith REVIEW cover

I was asked by the good folks at Griffith REVIEW to write a major essay for their current edition Cities On The Edge. It’s my first crack at the “writing a major essay” caper so i’d be very interested to get people’s thoughts. The essay Fluid Cities Create picks up on several of the themes in Not Quite Art and several of my own pet themes that i haven’t been given much of a chance to explore elsewhere.

In it:

What makes a city culturally dynamic? What makes a city the sort of place that people want to visit, move to and explore? What makes a city the sort of place that spits out or draws in artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers? What makes a city culturally desirable and talked about, or a hub of music, literature, media and the arts?

You can download the essay in full as PDF on the Griffith REVIEW web site or you can actually buy the current issue from good book stores everywhere if you aren’t a total tightarse.

I was invited to talk about about some of the themes raised in it on Radio National’s By Design this morning. You can read about the interview and download the audio from their web site.

Comments on the essay, the interview, the ideas or the issues most welcome.

Similar Posts:

Tags:   · · · · · 3 Comments

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter

Leave A Comment

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kath May 10, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I liked and agree with your paper Marcus. for me the culture is in the smaller spaces – I’ve seen quite a few whilst on different travels and they’re definitely the more interesting places for me. perhaps not the general public, but I think when there’s a few in the same region then it builds a cultural precinct & then the general public mix in too. maybe unused buildings should be given/allocated/subsidized to arts collective clubs like they have been for bowls clubs and community clubs and associations over the years. thanks for mentioning Brisbane too!

  • 2 Ben Griffin May 12, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I think it’s a great essay, and the RN interview was particularly effective too.

    The physical metaphor of fluidity gives it a clarity and motive force, and is perfect for your argument in favour of Spaces, literally and figuratively. I think the essay pushes the line you picked up in Not Quite Art, and expresses your exasperation that all our arts funding goes to compliance and administration of old work, instead of anything new.

    It makes for a great follow up to the TV show. Maybe an immediate link to the that would be good here? … ( )

    I remember the upset that the Artists made at 2020, and that phrase “where are the artists??” that came echoing out, and couldn’t help but wonder if you’d coined it.

    You see, I’m very interested in hearing how did the concrete policy suggestions that you make float at the 2020 summit? Or even at Newcastle local council? I can only find the ‘initial report’ online… which doesn’t say much to what you argue for here … anything to add? (or is this essay itself exactly the 2020 additions that i’m asking for?)

  • 3 matt May 14, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I agree it’s the niches, the thrill of creativity reacting against public interventions that need support. But how – given it’s so fluid – and how – given it’s so reactionary?

    Global cities increasingly aspire to cultural prestige for its intangible aura and because they believe it will drive economic growth.

    Cities invest in this stuff for a bunch of reasons – cultural capital, potential economic return, etc. The big things need that support and they’re easier to support – being institutional like the government – maybe what’s needed is a new kind of model. Maybe like one of these?