SAPS-RA-RP2 - Science avec et pour la société – Recherches participatives 2

Music, ecological sustainability, local territories – ECOMUSIQ

Submission summary

The current ecological crisis calls for radical changes in all spheres of society. Arts and culture are particularly challenged, and especially the music sector, where the dominant logic of competition (between artists, between cultural venues, between local territories), the race for “more and more” (in terms of attractiveness, audiences, travel, etc.) and the over-consumption of resources (linked to travel, digital use, etc.) is contradictory to environmental issues. While the cultural sector contributes to the worsening of the ecological crisis, it can also be part of the solution, in particular through the arts’ ability to influence collective imaginations. This is why this project conceptually and operationally examines ways of amplifying the ecological sustainability (with radical change) of the arts and culture, and more specifically in the music sector.
The recent proliferation of initiatives, events, and reports on ecological issues in the music sector, and more broadly in the performing arts, demonstrates the current enthusiasm for the subject. However, the sector’s dominant logic, based on competition and autonomous channels, is still a major obstacle to implementing the ecological transition. The aim of this project is therefore twofold.
On the one hand, the aim is to highlight conceptual and operational guidelines for rethinking the dominant paradigm of competition in the music sector, and thus contribute to the growth of ecologically sustainable alternatives for the development of artists, cultural venues, and regions. The notion of “territorial footprint” will be used to understand the ways in which artists and cultural venues can develop from local resources without becoming locked into localism, contribute to local development (particularly in terms of social vitality), and engage in more environmentally sustainable practices by reducing their carbon footprint.
On the other hand, and interdependently, the aim is to develop new forms of cooperation between players of the music sector, to address the paradigm change (from competition to cooperation) and cross-disciplinary actions called for by the ecological sustainability. Field surveys with artists and collaborative seminars open to a wide range of players will be used to identify the levers to foster a systemic implementation of the ecological transition by players of the sector.
In the light of these objectives, the ecological sustainability is seen as a cross-cutting issue for the cultural sector, requiring attention to be paid not just to the carbon footprint, but to all the dimensions on which art influences our societies, and in particular the risk of social inequalities between the inhabitants of a region.
Based on a partnership between PLACES (research center of geography) and Trempo (non-profit cultural organization supporting emergent musical artists), this project should lead to the creation of a wider network of cooperation between players in the music sector (artists, venues, local authorities, etc.) committed to intensifying the sector’s ecological transition. The project’s ambition is to build, share, and disseminate – within this network and beyond – conceptual and operational keys to acting in response to environmental challenges in the arts and culture. This will involve scientific publications, the creation and dissemination of professional resources (practical guides, workshops), and the organization of a cultural and scientific mediation event (with a strong territorial footprint and low carbon footprint) designed for a wider public.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Trempo Trempo - Espace d'émergences musicales

Help of the ANR 99,687 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 18 Months

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