Friday, April 25, 2008

MULTIVERSITY, or the Art of Subversion.

In fact, if we concentrate on contemporary art, this undoubted importance can be seen on at least three levels.
The first is the central role which immaterial assets and knowledge, creativity and affections, relational and communicational talents assume for contemporary forms of production: artistic production cannot get away from this centrality.
The second is the relationship between cultural production and the metropolis where the interlacing between town-planning and architecture, fashion and design, art and literature, in that productive social space par excellence – the urban basins – becomes on the one side a crucial element in the process of subjectification through which are built the multiplicity of forms of life which inhabit it, to the other decisive factor for defining the strategic positioning of each metropolitan area in the economic competition between global cities.
The third is the relationship between the art market and the financial capital: at a global level, banks and multinationals are the among the main investors in a sector which today seems to be the only one to have not been even slightly touched by the crisis which has overrun the world system of money circulation.
What we are now seeing is a complex capturing system, which capital has brought into play in the multiple flow of informal cultural production, from the appropriation of the ability to cooperate of individual intelligences and individual ways of life, to ensure the valorisation of what has been defined as the "symbolic collective capital".
The complexity of these dynamics depends on a double mechanism of exploitation, where the first aspect is made up of the barriers of intellectual property and from each further moment of private appropriation of general social knowledge, while the second is the parasitic rapport which is established towards the creative production by those speculative interventions occurring in the body of the metropolis, there where state and private institutions, large events and art fairs, and cultural zones and meta-zones are established.
Here the main question is to understand widespread behaviours and the methods of intervention which could change a social composition, already central in the forms of contemporary production, in a political composition. Examined also will be the core issues of the role of university training on the one side, and the communication network on the other side, played within the most complex organisation of the work of the "culture factory".
An indispensable requisite for this discussion is the comparison around contemporary art understood as a "wider social institution": from the historical-artistic events which drove art in the post-war period from the transcendental space of medial specificity to the social space with its relationships of strength, to the relationships established between art, social movements and cultural activism outside of any avant-garde rhetoric, to the methods of capture by the institutional artistic system and by the financial ciruits of a vast heritage of critical thought and conflicting ways of life.
1. Art and activism
2. Art and the market: between creative freedom and financial capture
3. Art and metropolis
4. Art and multitude: for the enquiry into social composition, conflicts and organisation of live work in the "culture factory"
All this to get to the key point: how to transform this social composition into a political composition?
All this to get to the key point: how to transform this social composition into a political composition?

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