Taidekehän tarina Kankaanpään kulttuurinen ja fyysinen muutos taidekaupungiksi diskurssien valossa

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The object of the research is a small Finnish town of Kankaanpää, its cultural and physical transformation from a 1950's rural village into a modern art town. The foundation for this transformation was laid by a group of artists called Kankaanpää Colony and the Kankaanpää School of Arts established in 1965. The interaction between town planning and art from 1995 to 2006 has resulted in the Kankaanpää Circle of Art, a collection of over a hundred public works of art in the urban space. The core of the case study research is comprised of the culture-oriented development project Eyes on Kankaanpää of Kankaanpää town centre realised between 1995 and 1999 to battle against regional decline. The picture on the object of the research is complemented as the text progresses and is interlaced with background, theory and literature. The objective of the research is to find out what have been the processes and discourses through which the cultural and physical transformation of Kankaanpää from a rural village into an art town has been possible. The research can be categorised as qualitative owing to diversity in both methodology and data. The theoretical frame of reference is provided by urban planning, cultural and image theories. Primary data consists of interest group surveys, interviews of key persons and an abundant collection of mediatexts. Among others things, surveys of the public have been used as background material. In addition, abundant administrative material and the researcher's own knowledge and experiences have been available. The researcher's own role could not be excluded from the data which has caused ethical deliberation. The broad empirical data has been categorised into themes using discourse analysis. Discourse is interpreted broadly to cover speech, texts, imagery as well as works and acts of art. Through understanding explanation the research identifies an interpretation model for Kankaanpää's development from a rural village into an art town. The research analyses phenomena in society development, cultural politics, urban renewal and environmental art so that the development of Kankaanpää can be set to a larger frame of reference. The Narrative of the Circle of Art participates in the contemporary discussion of the image and regional development effects of culture and the physical environment. Culture's direct and indirect impacts on the economy have been discussed for a few decades but immaterial phenomena having indirect effects also on the economy, such as the birth processes of identity and image, have so far received relatively little study. Their empirical verification is the focus of the research. The embeddedness of cultural change then reveals itself as a central factor. Three turning points can be identified in Kankaanpää's development into an art town: the birth of art life and establishment of the School of Arts in the 1950's and 60's, the stabilisation of the School of Arts as a middle-level municipal school at the end of the 1980's, and the emergence of the Circle of Art starting from the mid 1990's bringing art greater visibility. EU funding opened up the possibilities for many projects combining town planning and art life. The interactive nature of these projects and the visibility in the media that the projects have received have greatly amplified the town's cultural change. According to the research urban planning and the practises applied in its different paradigm stages have an important role in the formation of a town's identity and image. The foundation for Kankaanpää's distinct urban structure has been laid by rational planning. The communicative approach to planning combined with strategic and cultural objectives have characterised the urban planning and town centre development processes in recent years. The end result of planning and design, the public urban space, will remain as a permanent part of people's lives. The process affects also the actors. Urban art influences in people's experience environment, speech, and visual imagery. The efforts to improve a town's image appear important in a competitive economy and a society of images. Image and identity are in interaction. The impact of media and outside attention on people's opinions and therefore image (reputation) is crucial. If art life is embedded as part of Kankaanpää's identity, there are grounds for the formation of a genuine image. The data shows that despite many differences there is transition happening to this direction. In the research discourse has been interpreted broadly to include speech, texts and imagery as well as works and acts of art. The discourses promoting art image include regional development, Eiffel and community discourses whereas moderating discourses can be characterised as basic services first, conflict and emotional depression. The data shows that the discourse aiming for change usually originates from actors - often reinforced with authoritative speech. This is further followed and amplified by media discource. Gradually there emerges spontaneous, self-guiding discource and action which is interpreted as the gradual embeddedness of art life. Finally, all discourses amplify each other. Discourse cumulates. The key finding of the research is the Circles of Discourse which comprises of several mutually amplifying circles. The model it provides can be used to illustrate how material and immaterial factors affect discourse and the formation of image. Material results such as physical urban environment and urban art as well as established institutions, associations, etc. represent structural embeddedness. Relational embeddedness (Kainulainen 2005) appears as spontaneous discource the formation of cultural identity. The immaterial factors category is reinforced by communicative action when a joint process has increased the level of involvement. All these factors have interacted with each other and contributed to the formation of the identity and image of an art town. The Circles of Discourse points out the possibility of a positive feedback loop but the model works equally well the other way round. Based on literature and results it can be concluded that the Kankaanpää Circle of Art holds in any case significant potential for image building. The town's image resources are both material and symbolic (Äikäs 2001). There exist elements for original narrative (Jensen 1999). Chain thought is fulfilled when art and high quality urban environment are easily accessible year round. Art life has in addition a great relative significance within the town (Kainulainen 2005). The formation of cultural capital is a fact and Kankaanpää can be justifiably called an art town.
diskurssi (puhunta), diskurssianalyysi, identiteetti, imago, juurtuminen, kaupunkitaide, yhdyskuntasuunnittelu, kulttuuripääoma, taidekaupunki, tapaustutkimus, tarina, ympäristötaide
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