The ERICarts Institute produces research studies which combine both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
The main methods of qualitative research employed in the work of the ERICarts Institute are case studies and interviews. The goal is to juxtapose macro level policy analysis with micro level realities of the protagonists being studied: artists, media professionals, educators, policy makers, arts managers and with other researchers. This enables the projects to generate new data rather than working with secondary information and statistics as a general rule. The results are used to evaluate, for example, the effectiveness of policies and programmes as well as to breath life into and test the concepts designed by the research teams. A dialogue is therefore created between concepts, data and information.
The production and design of effective interview questions or choice of case studies are developed according to specific sets of pre-defined indicators and criteria. Successful case studies and interviews depend on a well designed and clear concept outlining the research and policy purposes for which the data and information is to gathered as well as an understanding of the crucial issues under study.
The ERICarts Institute and its researchers work to ensure that voices which are not regularily heard have an opportunity to participate in transnational debates. These voices can be found throughout ERICarts projects on issues such as:
Intellectual property rights and artistic practices in the new media arts
"The current legislative environment bestows all rights to the person who provides the money for our brave new works; the investor determines the allocation formula, provides the funding and if the result is particularly successful, he/she might offer a second helping of funding.....Emphasis needs to be placed on developing support structures for innovative creative work that utlisises advanced technologies as the main vehicle for artistic practice". [Monika Fleischmann, media artist]
New economic models and legislative measures to support contemporary composers
"What cost a life’s sacrifice to an innovative musician, one or two generations ago, is now daily paying billions of dollars to some rock star or recording company or instrument manufacturer! [....] Royalties generated via a "domaine publique payante" should be used to give commissions, grants, prizes etc. to living composers on the grounds that classical music, which is "the contemporary music of the past" ought to be used to support the contemporary music of the present. [....] At the moment, organisers of concerts and music theatres have to pay royalties for the living composers, but not for the long deceased – a further discouragement of new music in times of ailing budgets. [....] Something like a "Pioneers’ Right" should be introduced: a royalty to be collected on any commercial musical product or activity, including the new "languages" and forms of exploitation to be developed in the future. This collective right would presuppose the distribution of royalties via a general fund to support contemporary music in all its forms, rather than to a single composer or their descendants. [Claudio Ambrosini, Italian composer]
Access of female artists to public funding
"It was necessary to break the male cartel that distributed grants to one another. But this change would not have been possible without international change. Everywhere else video arts etc. were developing much faster, so that at some point it was our turn to legitimise changes that were taking place." [Extract from an interview conducted by Riikka Pelo with a female Finnish media artist]