The increasing commodification of culture under the aegis of the globalized late capitalism has indicated the unconditional surrender of culture to the face of global capital requirements, a widespread market logic of all aspects of life and all social relations. The cultural field, like any other field, we can not forget, is traversed by forces of domination and power operating in various social spaces, with great relief in their own state apparatus and public administration. If we understand that a public cultural facilities (theater, museum, etc.) is the historical embodiment of a certain kind of cultural institution (material and symbolic, spatial and semiotic) - as old as Greek theatron - we can say that all previously refer applies more accurately to the cultural sector. How Come? Why is important to recognize the undoubted importance of the cultural dimension (symbolic) in the processes of psychological and collective individuation, certainly with different nuances throughout history, but with a higher degree of complexity in current spoken knowledge societies and information.
It is known that the post-Fordist capitalism is of a general investment in the flexibility of processes, products, consumption patterns, markets and work organization. In this situation, the increasing commodification of culture under the aegis of the globalized late capitalism has indicated the unconditional surrender of culture to the face of global capital requirements, a widespread market logic of all aspects of life and all social relations. Under these conditions, the citizen is treated both as a consumer and as a product, as an entrepreneur who explores himself to produce added value for the capital. As Debord predicted, the spectacle is capital to such a degree of accumulation that it becomes an image, and the image is a mediator object of social relations, which means that the social relations mediated by culture (images, arts, knowledge, etc. ) are captured by the same logic of infinite commodification, which in its fundamental aspects means: privatization of public services, widespread insecurity, increased poverty and poverty.
On the horizon of the "Cognitive Capitalism," Franco Berardi Bifo puts forward the concept of Cognitarian subjecti- (Bifo, 2010) appropriating the general intellect notion described by Marx in the Grundrisse manuscript. Upgrading the initial design of Marx, Bifo focuses its analysis on the excesses of semiotic work around the language, knowledge and information, ie, in the production of what he calls e-merchandise or semiocapital: "The semiocapital appropriates the energies neuro-psychic and places them at your service, submitting them to the machinic speeds and compelling cognitive activity to follow the pace of productivity of such networks. "(idem, our translation).
The fact that we are now further away from civic participation and social-symbolic interaction says a lot about the failure of institutions and their contribution to social and urban vitality. As the fish in an aquarium depend on water quality in which they are immersed, we depend on the existing cultural atmosphere every time and that we know produce. The institutions should therefore ensure the good quality of cultural life, the quality of mental and spiritual life of citizens, that is, the defense of a cultural environment revitalizing, creative, critical and emancipatory. But that individual subjective processes (psychic individuation) and collective may occur in the context of cultural capitalism? Questioning otherwise, what is the role of cultural institutions in an environment globally dominated by the dictatorship of the markets?
In another dimension of culture - forms of religion - the financial ideology appropriated and instilled on the southern people (Catholics) the idea that the public debt amounts to a sin against God money, Walter Benjamin's analysis Capitalism as Religion around is enlightening, capitalism is probably the first example of a service that is not atoning (entsühnenden) but culpabilizador, evoking the ambiguity of the German word "Schuld" which means both debt and guilt. In this sense, that capitalism has historically unprecedented is that while religion is not the Christian idea of salvation, but rather the destruction of the human being.
Although cultural institutions provide the means (space, time, people, technologies, etc.) that enable social interaction and symbolic aesthetic experience, this function is not exempt from subjection to multiple powers and symbolic violence operating conditions and individual collective. It is therefore necessary to have an understanding of the cultural institution (material: physical space or intangible -comunicação-) as socio-technical device transducer, ie as ecosystem producer of meta-stable equilibria (or stable or unstable) and interface where they circulate encodings and decryption of the words of command and texts in the broad sense.
It is in interaction with this environment-cultural (such semiotic the aquarium) and secondary socialization space, which was partly modulate the ways of thinking and acting of individuals, individuality and self-identity (self). The depth of this transductive interaction, it is known today, is not only between individual and environment, but reaches the neuronal layer and changes in neuroplasticity induced by intense immersion in technological environments. Man is thus unique animal Bifo said Berardi, developing environments which in turn shape the human brain.
It is therefore legitimate to say that cultural institutions are co-responsible for the quality of the transactions, interactions and experiences, and therefore could not resign from their mobilizing role of critical agencies that allow individual and collective self-reflection, especially in times of crisis and disorientation as those which we live. Otherwise lose institutional value and not serve (or little use) the task of contributing to the development and improvement of human capabilities and flowering welfare, solidarity, freedom, justice, democracy, etc. If public cultural institutions, inherent in the common category, not (re) act to the coercive dynamic launched in society - dynamics that take cognitive, emotional, affective and symbolic boundaries, but also promote the depoliticization of large sections of the population - recreating new paradigms of interaction and cultural mediation, are hostages of domination and control systems (markets and governance).
The repositioning of cultural institutions should from the recognition of existing problems at every moment: beyond local issues, the question of economy / hypertrophy of attention, hipermediatização, depoliticization, psychological exhaustion, job insecurity, social distress, economic depression, climate change, endless war, etc, etc, etc. Only recognizing, acting and communicating from the creative questioning the real problems is that cultural institutions validate their relevance among emancipated public - that enhance the community coming.
The communication thus takes the precondition of participation and also the formation of public. The public is in this context, in the wake of the pragmatism of John Dewey, a political public in the strong and associative sense. Not a group or national community and given in advance, the public co-emerges through the interactions and transactions, and therefore not pre-exist the conditions and situations that cause this emergency. That is, the public are plural and dynamic, are not a crystallized identity, there are in power and can have real existence if all the conditions and contexts required for the interaction. On the other hand, the people who make up these groups - all of us in that while we are readers and producers of texts - require a framework of interaction and participation, as well as outline a horizon of expectations that demands attention and genuine commitment by the institutions cultural. The public are not neutral actors and unable, on the contrary, carry with them a whole wealth of knowledge and skills acquired throughout life that will allow them to investigate and assess the value of institutions. And the fact that we are now further away from civic participation and social-symbolic interaction says a lot about the failure of institutions and their contribution to social and urban vitality.
Article by Rui Matoso to esquerda.net.