DATA Browser

Economising Culture

Economising Culture: On ‘The (Digital) Culture Industry’; DATA browser #01; edited by Geoff Cox, Joasia Krysa & Anya Lewin; published by Autonomedia; All texts released under a Creative Commons License; ISBN 1-57027-168-2; pp. 256; BUY from Autonomedia or Amazon or DOWNLOAD FREE.

Date:
2004

Interested parties explain the culture industry in technological terms. It is alleged that because millions participate in it, certain reproduction processes are necessary that inevitably require identical needs in innumerable places to be satisfied with identical goods. The technical contrast between the few production centres and the large number of widely dispersed consumption points is said to demand organization and planning by management. Furthermore, it is claimed that standards were based in the first place on consumer’s needs, and for that reason were accepted with so little resistance. The result is the circle of manipulation and retroactive need in which the unity of the system grows ever stronger. No mention is made of the fact that the basis on which technology acquires power over society is the power of those whose economic hold over society is the greatest. A technological rationale is the rationale of domination itself.’ (Adorno & Horkheimer)

The interaction between culture and economy was famously explored by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer by the term ‘Kulturindustrie’ (The Culture Industry) to describe the production of mass culture and power relations between capitalist producers and mass consumers. Their account is a bleak one, but one that appears to hold continuing relevance, despite being written in 1944. Today, the pervasiveness of network technologies has contributed to the further erosion of the rigid boundaries between high art, mass culture and the economy, resulting in new kinds of cultural production charged with contradictions. On the one hand, the culture industry appears to allow for resistant strategies using digital technologies, but on the other it operates in the service of capital in ever more complex ways. This publication, the first in the series, uses the concept of the culture industry as a point of departure, and tests its currency under newconditions.

contents:

INTRODUCTION TOTHE (DIGITAL) CULTURE INDUSTRY’,Geoff Cox, Joasia Krysa & Anya Lewin

THE FLEXIBLE PERSONALITY: FOR A NEW CULTURAL CRITIQUE, Brian Holmes

HERITAGE, The Yes Men

THE MOOD OF NETWORKING CULTURE, Jeremy Valentine

AN ECONOMY OF LOVE, Marysia Lewandowska & Neil Cummings

GLOBALICA: COMMUNISM, CULTURE AND THE COMMODITY, Esther Leslie

RE-CODE.COM, Carbon Defense League & Conglomco Media Conglomeration

TRIP THE LOOP, MAKE YOUR SWITCH, CONSUME THE NET, Julian Priest & James Stevens

SOCIETY IN AD-HOC MODE: DECENTRALISED, SELF-ORGANISING, MOBILE, Armin Medosch

SIGHTINGS, Raqs Media Collective

FLEXIBLE COLONISATION, Marina Grzinic

LOWTECH MUSIC FOR HIGHTECH PEOPLE, Gameboyzz Orchestra

HOMEWORK: THE EXTENSION OF THE CULTURE INDUSTRY, Mirko Tobias Schäfer

THE PRESIDENT@WHITEHOUSE.GOV SHOOTER, Margarete Jahrmann

ON WARFARE AND REPRESENTATION, Jordan Crandall

THE SPECTACLE: GLOBAL AND PARTICULAR, Adam J. Chmielewski

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

The DATA browser series presents critical texts that explore issues at the intersection of culture and technology. This volume is produced in association with i-DAT.

http://www.data-browser.net/01/