Lighthouse Lecture Series: Contingent work and flexible labour markets in the arts

10 July 2018

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Centenary Auditorium, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain

Artistic labour markets have evolved to approximate the spot-market model of textbook economics; employment relationships on a long-term basis have largely vanished, and short-term hirings and self-employment strongly dominate. In that respect, arts have often been mentioned as forerunners in experiencing the trend toward increasingly flexible high-skilled labour markets where workers may be hired for short periods, without any costly dismissal procedures.

In this lecture Professor Pierre-Michel Menger will discuss labour flexibility in the arts, with particular reference to long-term trends in labour markets in the performing arts. He will consider the nature of contract work in this field and the role of unemployment insurance and its mechanics. Professor Menger will conclude with some speculation about future trends. His lecture will be of interest to arts workers, policy makers, academics and anyone interested in the evolution of creative workers’ work conditions and career prospects in the contemporary economy.

Professor Pierre-Michel Menger is a distinguished French sociologist who specialises in the theory of labour with particular reference to creativity and the work of artists. He has had a long academic career in France. He began teaching at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in 1987 and from 1993 to 2005 he headed the Centre for Sociology of Work and Arts (EHESS / CNRS). He is currently Director of Studies and Member of the Centre for Sociological and Political Studies Raymond Aron (EHESS). Since June 2013, he has been a Professor at the Collège de France where he holds the Chaire de Sociologie du travail créateur. Pierre-Michel Menger is the author of many papers and several books, the most recent of which is The Economics of Creativity (Harvard University Press, 2014).

This Lighthouse Lecture is being held with the support of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance

When: 10 July 2018, 5pm – 7pm
Where: Centenary Auditorium, Art Gallery of NSW
RSVP: Please register before the 5 July to secure your place.


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Event contact

Kevin Newport

(02) 9850 4833