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Peter Langmar: Cultural Sphere and Public Interest

Peter Langmar: Cultural Sphere and Public Interest

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Published by Peter Lanmar

Combining Free and Participatory Culture, Cultural Democracy and Critiques of Value Regimes to Rethink Policy, Artistic and Institutional Practices

ABSTRACT The thesis aims at a holistic and multidisciplinary redefinition of public interest in the cultural sphere, contextualised in the democratic and cosmopolitan era. The thesis reveals various problems and weaknesses of the cultural sphere by combining a wide variety of concepts and discourses such as critiques of: high and mass culture, aesthetics, monopolistic competition, hegemonic value and copyrights regimes. In other words the thesis merges the critiques of the oligopolistic actors, of the hegemonic copyright and value regimes of the cultural sphere. The argument is supported by case studies of two major French museums and of Joseph Beuys' practice. After review several critiques of the cultural sphere the research argues for tackling these issues in the spirit of cultural democracy, free culture and participatory culture. As our findings show these three notions can provide approaches to creating an 'ideal' cultural sphere. After redefining public interest, we will suggest how all stakeholders may reach these 'ideal' conditions. The suggestions are addressed to public bodies – including cultural and educational institutions, policy makers, public funding bodies – and cultural professionals. The thesis concludes, there is a clear need to open up a debate about cultural value in order to eliminate hegemonic value regimes. Recent copyright regimes, systems of public subsidy and cultural institutions do not serve the public interest. In order to possibly obtain a balanced, competitive and democratic cultural sphere, which promotes freedom of expression and cultural identity, active cultural participation is also indispensable. Finally the research explores the promise and possible ways of development of the online cultural sphere.

Combining Free and Participatory Culture, Cultural Democracy and Critiques of Value Regimes to Rethink Policy, Artistic and Institutional Practices

ABSTRACT The thesis aims at a holistic and multidisciplinary redefinition of public interest in the cultural sphere, contextualised in the democratic and cosmopolitan era. The thesis reveals various problems and weaknesses of the cultural sphere by combining a wide variety of concepts and discourses such as critiques of: high and mass culture, aesthetics, monopolistic competition, hegemonic value and copyrights regimes. In other words the thesis merges the critiques of the oligopolistic actors, of the hegemonic copyright and value regimes of the cultural sphere. The argument is supported by case studies of two major French museums and of Joseph Beuys' practice. After review several critiques of the cultural sphere the research argues for tackling these issues in the spirit of cultural democracy, free culture and participatory culture. As our findings show these three notions can provide approaches to creating an 'ideal' cultural sphere. After redefining public interest, we will suggest how all stakeholders may reach these 'ideal' conditions. The suggestions are addressed to public bodies – including cultural and educational institutions, policy makers, public funding bodies – and cultural professionals. The thesis concludes, there is a clear need to open up a debate about cultural value in order to eliminate hegemonic value regimes. Recent copyright regimes, systems of public subsidy and cultural institutions do not serve the public interest. In order to possibly obtain a balanced, competitive and democratic cultural sphere, which promotes freedom of expression and cultural identity, active cultural participation is also indispensable. Finally the research explores the promise and possible ways of development of the online cultural sphere.

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Published by: Peter Lanmar on May 31, 2011
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09/17/2013

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If none of the previously discussed patterns work for a project, then there is neither

market nor interest for it. As it is in the public interest to make the cultural sphere

diverse and perfectly competitive, it is important to lower entry barrier and allow new

projects to be designed and new approaches to be elaborated. If content or an approach

appears in a competitive market than it can be and will be evaluated accordingly.

Cooperation between the public, non-profit and for-profit sectors is in many cases

necessary, but a marketable product should not get public subsidy and publicly funded

projects should not be profit-oriented.

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