The conference Dancing with Myself – Musik, Geld und Gemeinschaft nach der Digitalisierung
(Music, Money and Community after Digitisation), due to take place in the HAU-theatre in Berlin one week before the CTM.09 Festival, will examine and discuss new and old myths that rank around transformation processes in the music economy in particular, and in mass culture in general. The main focus will be the extent to which progressive digitisation may have triggered a profound transition – from the mass markets of mainstream culture to a more differentiated niche market culture driven by particular interests – and the cultural and social repercussions that ensue. Does this new diversity imply a cultural boom or are we experiencing the loss of transgressive opportunities which mass culture, being accessible from all sides, seemed to offer? Are new, self-determined styles of working for creative people or, rather, the menace of widespread amateurism emerging on account of fiercer neoliberal competition? Are the new social networks of niche culture with their "authentic" offers and fan-friendly approach managing to develop social relevance or is it ultimately a case of every (wo)man for her/his self?
Given the similarity of these questions to the issues addressed by CTM.09, we asked Tobias Müller and Christoph Gurk, who organised the conference, to publicly evaluate their event at the start of our festival. The controversy and results of their conference will hence kick-off discussions that can be continued further throughout CTM.09.