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    Fringe to Famous Book Launch

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    Per Capita invites you to join Peter Garrett AM as he launches 

    Fringe to Famous: Cultural Production in Australia After the Creative Industries

    By Tony Moore, Mark Gibson, Chris McAuliffe and Maura Edmond

    A widespread consensus is emerging around the need to move beyond the ‘neoliberal’ themes of efficiency and productivity to public policy based around ideas of value and ethics. How might thinking about art and culture contribute to this shift?

    This event from the Centre of the Public Square, with special guest Peter Garrett, of Midnight Oil and former Federal Minister for the Arts, addresses this question opening out into a conversation with the authors and a panel with cultural practitioners who were interviewed for Fringe to Famous. They engage with the book’s key argument that alternative creative scenes – from 1980s post-punk to 2010s digital DIY, inner city fringe comedy to Indigenous screen storytelling – have enjoyed potent crossover with mainstream institutions, invigorating popular culture and opening a new direction for policy.

    Free event, registration required.


    Fringe to Famous examines relations between alternative and mainstream cultures in Australia to suggest a way forward for cultural policy thinking ‘after the creative industries’. Drawing on examples from music, streetwear, comedy, Indigenous screen and digital games, the book resists a tendency to represent the fringe and mainstream as abstract opposites. While recognising the fringe as an important site for renewal around ideas of cultural value, it foregrounds ways in which hybridisation between the fringe and mainstream has delivered both cultural and economic benefits.

    The book features a large cast of Australian artists including musicians from Midnight Oil and the Hoodoo Gurus to Courtney Barnett; television comedy from Fast Forward to Aunty Donna and Black Comedy; designer Reg Mombassa from Mambo; Indigenous filmmakers such as Warwick Thornton and Rachel Perkins; and the independent games festival Freeplay.

    Fringe to Famous sees thriving countercultures as crucially important in preserving spaces for experimentation and risk taking, while also celebrating the institutions that have enabled exchange between the margins and the mainstream – from festivals and public broadcasters to online platforms. The approach offers an alternative both to the economism of creative industries arguments and to a left critique that sees mainstream institutions only in negative terms.

    In the wake of Federal Government’s Revive cultural policy, the authors bring together practical and policy perspectives on artistic innovation, policy activism, institutional enablers, public service media, business development and audience participation. At the heart of the book is an idea of ‘generative hybridity’ between fringe and mainstream that allows us to imagine new possibilities for arts and culture in the 2020s and beyond.

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