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Pascal Gielen

This chapter outlines an artistic biotope on the basis of theoretical and empirical cultural-sociological research. The biotope is an ideal-typical abstraction of four domains, derived from in-depth interviews, panel discussions and surveys within creative professions from various disciplines (architecture, visual art, dance, theatre, film). In order to build a long-term artistic career, it turns out that one needs to achieve a balance between four domains within the biotope: the domestic domain, that of one’s peers, the market and the civil domain. This chapter traces how these domains were and are institutionally protected, mostly on a national level. During the twentieth century, this institutional security was transformed under the influence of artistic, economic and political globalization, which has put pressure on the balance within the artistic biotope. For Europe, this evolution was reinforced by a European Union policy that takes the global free market logic as its primary base to construct a unified ‘monotopic’ identity. Relying on still ongoing empirical research, hypotheses are formulated, as tentative conclusions, about new collective organizational forms _ the so-called institutions of the commons _ which in future may help to restore the balance within the biotope, and which could at the same time help the European Union to construct a more open and heterotopic identity.