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The Structures for Creative Styles. Analysing Semantic and Communication Networks within Artistic Communities of St. Petersburg

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The influence of social structures on creative style represents an attractive research subject. This is particularly the case when we focus attention not on individual creative styles, but on creative styles of artistic communities – groups of artists involved in intensive and expressive interaction with each other. Unique creative styles of different artistic communities develop in constant (re-)interpretation of the essence of art, discussions on the themes and formats for artworks, continuous interaction during collective creative process and representation of artworks in the city space. These processes are, no doubt, conditioned by knowledge and communication structures of artistic communities. We question to what extent and how creative styles depend on particular properties of such structures studying four diverse artistic communities located in St. Petersburg (Russia). Semantic networks of the communities are mapped using transcripts of dialogues between the artists and of semi-structured interviews with the artists, as well as their textual works (articles in papers and magazines, poetry, novels, etc.), and posts in social media. Communication networks are mapped through network surveys run in each of the communities. Then we calculate quantitative measures of semantic and communication networks, such as density, centralization, average tie strength, etc. and identify positions of particular nodes in the networks. Further, we analyze the relations between the two types of networks of each artistic community. Finally, throughout comparative qualitative analysis across artistic communities we attempt to trace the complex impact on different features of creative styles made by semantic and communication networks properties.