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Where money and meanings meet

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Title: Where money and meanings meet


1
  • Where money and meanings meet
  • theorizing the emergence of new values
  • in media and education
  • John Hartley
  • ARC Federation Fellow, Queensland University of
    Technology, Australia
  • Content Creation Creativity, Competence,
    Critique
  • Second international DREAM conference
  • Danish Research Centre on Education and Advanced
    Media Materials
  • University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  • 17-20 September 2008

2
Historical convergence culture, media,
knowledge
  • Given technological and corporate change (e.g.
    internet, globalization), how to integrate
  • the humanities tradition of European culture
  • arts, civic humanism, public culture, with
  • the technological business tradition of US
    media
  • entertainment, market, private enterprise.
  • the claims of developing countries (BRIC(K))?
  • heritage, development, diversity
  • How and how far does individual creative talent
    integrate with the scale of global digital
    networks?
  • And what tools are available for these questions
    to be investigated in an integrated way?

3
  • Era 1 Premodern 2 Modern 3 Global
  • Value chain
  • of merchandise origination/ production
    commodity/distribution consumption/use
  • of meaning author/ producer text/performance r
    eader/audience
  • When, where, who (time, place, population)
  • When medieval modern global
  • Where church public sphere private life
  • Who (population) the faithful the public DIY
    citizen
  • Who (intermediary) priest publisher marketing
  • How (regime)
  • Theorist Bible Marx Foucault
  • Subjectivity soul individual(ism) experience
  • Power-base pain of death/hell war administratio
    n of life
  • Sovereignty monarch/divine nation-state self
  • Arms-bearer knight/crusader conscript/volunteer t
    errorist
  • Enemy peer/heretic country civilian
  • State Hobbesian Machiavellian Kantian
  • Why (knowledge)
  • Philosophy revelation scarcity plenty

From John Hartley (2008a), Television Truths
Forms of Knowledge in Popular Culture, Oxford
Blackwell, p. 28
4
Bus uncle, Marco Tempest, Hey clip, Geriatric 1927
5
Paris for President, Ariel Atom, MM Cru,
lonelygirl15
6
The Perfect Rock digital storytelling
7
What is cultural science?
The approach I want to describe is that of
cultural studies, which is English for
cultural science. You can go on doing, in
effect without challenge, virtually anything that
has ever been done, but if you propose anything
new you are lucky if your integrity escapes
whipping your intelligence and sensibility will
have been long given up as dead.
8
Raymond Williams (1974)
Out of this argument, about the relation between
practices, came the new concept of cultural
science and with it a significant part of modern
sociology Dilthey, Weber Now the spirit of
this whole inquiry to which literally thousands
of people have contributed is profoundly open,
alert, and general. It has had its bitter and
even its squalid controversies, and this is
understandable but in temper and approach it is
in a wholly different dimension from what seems
our own small world of small cultivators, heads
down to their own fields I recall the spirit
of cultural science because I am interested in
its heirs who will change its methods but will
still inherit its vigorous and general humanity.
9
Raymond Williams
The work will be done because I think there
are now enough of us who want to work in these
ways to survive the defenses of vested interests,
the general drizzle of discouragement, and even
the more deep-rooted inertia of contemporary
orthodox culture, to announce in effect an open
conspiracy that in new ways, by trial and error
but always openly and publicly, we shall do
this work because it needs to be done. Raymond
Williams (1974) Communications as cultural
science. Journal of Communication 24 (3), 26-38.
10
A provisional mission statement for
cultural-science.org
  • Creative productivity has always emerged from
    human interactions, but it is increasingly
    mediated by technologies that promote subjective
    mental representations as networks, in which
    space and time are compressed through the
    continual dissemination and retrieval of stored
    events.
  • The interaction of people within this social
    network economy creates a continual flux of
    ephemeral communities and novel entrepreneurial
    opportunities, with unforeseen consequences being
    the norm rather than the exception.
  • This process of creative destruction is best
    addressed by the humanities allying with the
    dynamic science of evolution the study of
    continual change through variation, interaction,
    selection and drift.
  • Cultural science therefore seeks an evolutionary
    understanding of a knowledge-based society past
    and present, in order to map the possibility
    space of future scenarios for creative
    productivity (both market-based and in community
    contexts) to which public policy and business
    strategies must adapt.

11
How might the two cultures join, to study
culture as a science?
Disciplines formerly located in the humanities
have drifted across into the sciences biology
(once natural history) geography economics
psychology cultural studies ? The sciences
are becoming more confident about explaining
culture neuroscience game theory complexity
theory evolutionary theory
12
Research on culture
  • requires the triangulation of three domains
  • Evolution. Creativity can be understood as
    reflexive adaptation to unpredictable change
    within complex systems
  • Complexity. Complexity studies explain how
    social network markets are a vital enabling
    technology for the distribution of choice
  • Creative innovation. Evolutionary theory focuses
    on the dynamics of change in the growth of
    knowledge

13
Cultural science identifies
  • patterns of action in complex social networks
  • their past evolution and possible future
    scenarios
  • including attention to unintended consequences
    of choices
  • Creativity can be rethought
  • as a property of agency in dynamic systems

14
Reflexive creativity (culture evolution)
  • enables human culture to adapt and change
  • and to adopt and retain innovation
  • Despite some mass extinctions (creative
    destruction) this has resulted in
  • exponential growth in knowledge
  • creation of new values
  • economic (money)
  • cultural (meaning)
  • Culture can no longer be seen as the preserve of
    artists.
  • It is made up of the activities and productivity
    of the millions who interact in social networks
  • dispersed across whole populations.

15
Social networks
  • with the growing ubiquity of digital media,
  • social networks are the dynamic source of
    productivity innovation than the industrial
    system.
  • The social network swarm outperforms the
    IP-protected lab, at twice the speed, without
    regard for disciplinary origin.
  • E.g.
  • Science astronomers and physicists use digital
    networks to increase the scale and speed of their
    calculations.
  • Fashion constant innovation is imperative and a
    complex social network market determines
    individual choices.

16
Creative destruction and renewal of knowledge
paradigms or Raymond Williams meets Joseph
Schumpeter
  • This requires culture, media, and the popular to
    be seen as a leading edge of innovation.
  • The empirical focus is on a shift from closed
    expert process (professional production in
    vertically integrated firms) to an open
    innovation system and complex adaptive networks
    (e.g. social network markets).
  • The fundamental problem to be addressed is
  • how knowledge evolves in a dynamic, complex open
    system
  • that unifies the economic and cultural spheres
  • and harnesses the energy of all the agents in
    the system,
  • both individuals (culture) and enterprises
    (economy).

17
Digital literacy and the evolution of knowledge
Four levels of language (Karl Popper)
  • 1. self-expression experience (subjective
    knowledge)
  • 2. communication
  • 3. description science (objective knowledge)
  • 4. argumentation

W.Horvath "Sir Charles Popper Plato's Fall and
the Falsification" 2000/01
18
What is cultural science?
An open conspiracy? A website!
http//cultural-science.org
thanks!
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