OS POSITIVOS

contradições em bd pós-cultural

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$$$ vs cultura in Eric o Vermelho

BD pós-moderna: esta cai à arte ou pop-cult? Da nossa parte, se não for lida, não é bd. À bd-pela-arte resta-lhe ser comercial — pun intended —, repetir fórmulas e tentar as escalas em gráficos da empregabilidade ou morrer no pós-farsty que se escusa ao consumo (*) Palavra armadilhada.. Nenhuma nos motiva (re)leituras ou afazeres e notámos já antes o caricato dessas duas opções nos seus extremos. Segue-se a nossa tentativa de instrumentalização do meio para outros fins.

Uma longa tradição traição informa-nos na nossa desconfiança às altas instâncias do saber, uma tradição não tão antiga permite-nos a subversão apropriada — pun. As elites perderam palanque, as vanguardas cederam avanço, todos contribuem para o que se vive como cultura nas suas escolhas diárias de atribuição de sentidos e valores, resistência e submissão. Num mundo rendido ao comércio é-nos possível como nunca antes transformar as suas regurgitações em armas brancas a pintar de vermelho aquilo que eles querem a verde (*) ...e para funcionar convertam em dollars. e nós preto – para usar colorful language. Que papel então à bd pela cultura? Duas possibilidades:

Cultural populism and the intellectual assumption that the symbolic experiences and practices of ordinary people are more important analytically and politically than Culture with a capital C, fixated with consumption at the expense of production & without situating such questions within a context of material relations of power;

VS.

A return to the Arnoldian certainties, claiming the reinsertion of aesthetic and ethical judgment into the debate is a vital rejoinder to the uncritical drift of cultural populism and its failure to dispute laissez-faire conceptions of consumer sovereignty and quality;
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Continuamos de onde começámos: pós-modernismo e a sua preocupação com "the source of meaning and its relationship to power and authority. a) Who now determines significance?":

For pessimists and rationalists like Jameson the answer is multinational capital – records, clothes, films, TV shows, etc. – are simply the results of decisions about markets and marketing. For pessimists and irrationalists, like Baudrillard, the answer is nobody at all – the signs that surround us are arbitrary. For optimists like lain Chambers and Larry Grossberg the answer is consumers themselves, stylists and subculturalists, who take the goods on offer and make their own marks with them.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Nos P+ também temos as nossas respostas, e em coerência a essas continuarão a ser só nossas. Mas partilhamos ferramentas: encontrar-nos-ão a procurar significados de interpretação de textos conduzentes ou condicionados por relações a estruturas de poder e o que deles podemos fazer, e não será sem surpresas que nos descobrirão vezes e vezes a retornar aos pessimistas racionais para grupo de controlo, cruzados — erradamente encostados — à "romantic celebration of subversive consumption". Jameson dá-nos as bases:

The masses remain mute and passive, cultural dupes who respond to the leadership of the critic as the only one capable of understanding ideology and constituting the proper site of resistance.

  • Postmodern culture is marked by an ‘essential triviality’;
  • It is a culture that blocks ‘a socialist transformation of society’;
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

..mas temos-lhe alguma distância crítica quando diz que "postmodernism is a culture which offers no position of ‘critical distance’": (*) "The postmodern collapse of the distinction between high and popular has been gained at the cost of modernism’s ‘critical space’. The destruction of this critical space is not the result of an extinction of culture. On the contrary, it has been achieved by what he calls an ‘explosion’: a prodigious expansion of culture throughout the social realm, to the point at which everything in our social life from economic value and state power to practices and to the very structure of the psyche itself can be said to have become ‘cultural’ in some original and as yet unauthorised sense."

Hopeless they are and shall remain, presumably until someone else provides them with the necessary maps of intelligibility and critical models of resistance.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Onde divergimos: no "someone else". Hopeless sim, dupes shall remain igual, mas a imperatividade da liderança do crítico — por norma à posteriori, mais do que previdente, só evidente — não reconhece a espontaneidade de turbas quando pouco "mute and passive" (mas sempre hopeless dupes) capazes de decapitar alguma realeza enquanto a vanguarda ainda mapeia a inteligibilidade e modelos críticos de resistência necessária. O potencial da "explosão" permanece, dispensamos o incendiário nominal e cremos na combustão espontânea quando as condições são reunidas. Aqui mais próximos duns Laclau & Mouffe, porque-e-justamente, aquilo da b) comunicação e/às massas:

The new cultural forms linked to the expansion of the means of mass communication along with the undeniable effects of massification and uniformization [...] also contains powerful elements for the subversion of inequalities.

...cujo entusiasmo em digital não temos conseguido disfarçar. Convergimos igualmente na convergência aos media:

Media companies are learning how to accelerate the flow of media content across delivery channels to expand revenue opportunities, broaden markets, and reinforce viewer commitments. Consumers are learning how to use these different media technologies to bring the flow of media more fully under their control and to interact with other consumers.

  • Old and new media collide, grassroots and corporate media intersect, the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways;
  • Convergence is both a top–down corporate-driven process and a bottom–up consumer-driven process.
  • This is not simply a matter of new technologies but a process that requires the active participation of consumers.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Introduzido acima em todas as suas letras o último ingrediente a juntar à nossa receita, c) mercados & consumidores. Que, estranhamente, parecem recuar e desaparecer numa abordagem artsy-fartsy da cultura popular onde se omitem as relações históricas e políticas da produção / reprodução do consumo:

The study of popular culture within contemporary cultural studies is in the throes of a paradigm crisis: ‘an uncritical populist drift in the study of popular culture’, with an increasing fixation on strategies of interpretation at the expense of an adequate grasp of the historical and economic conditions of consumption. [...] In consequence, the broader economic dynamics of consumer culture [are] rarely investigated, simply bracketed off, thereby severely undermining the explanatory and, in effect, critical capacities of cultural studies.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

E com o enunciado completo, porque (nos) importa a tríade de interpretações de significados que populam pelos media e a sua triangulação económica?

The interplay between the symbolic and economic dimensions of public communications sets out to show how different ways of financing and organising cultural production have traceable consequences for the range of discourses and representations in the public domain and for audiences’ access to them.

For cultural studies to remain separate [from the economic aspects of media institutions and the broader economic dynamics of consumer culture] is to remain politically ineffective and to remain complicit with the prevailing exploitative and oppressive structures of powers.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Nada que incomode um programa de artes institucionalizadas, com o perigo de autoridades menores fazerem-se maiores: uma receita que agradará a pequenos e grandes, mas não é o nosso programa. As nossas cruzadas pelo DIY e punx nunca fizeram do consumo o fim do processo nem da estética retiramos importâncias. Como antes, os excertos anteriores servem de base para outras ideias. Como antes, têm as suas falhas e para as desenvolver temos que voltar atrás. Muito, muito atrás.

[pausa enquanto vão ler]

Damos por adquirido que seguiram a lição anterior e que a arte de gamar e recauchutar é ponto assente a todos nesta turma. Num único blurb:

Almost everything we buy helps reproduce the capitalist system economically. But everything we buy does not necessarily help secure us as ‘subjects’ of capitalist ideology. Although most of, if not all, my consumption is ‘capitalist’, this does not prevent me from being anti-capitalist.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Pensemos então o $$$, por muito que custe a quem acha que os bonecos se explicam apenas em embrulhos culturais abstractos apolíticos.

Debates about postmodernism and postmodernity have replaced the more familiar debates about ideology and hegemony [and] cultural studies responded in two ways:

  • 1) there have been those who have advocated a return to the certainties of Marxism;
  • 2) there have been those who have turned to consumption (understood too exclusively in terms of pleasure and meaning-making);
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Se os primeiros já sabemos insuficientes, os segundos levam suficiente menos do Stuart Hall:

A number of people working in cultural studies have at times turned away from ‘economic’ explanations and the resulted abandonment of deterministic economism has been a massive, gigantic, and eloquent disavowal. As if, since the economic in the broadest sense, definitely does not, as it was once supposed to do, ‘determine’ the real movement of history ‘in the last instance’, it does not exist at all!
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Senhores...? 'tão, vamos combinar?

The workings of the financial economy cannot account adequately for all cultural factors, but it still needs to be taken into account in any investigation. [...] The question is how to keep in analytical view the ‘conditions of existence’ of the texts and practices of everyday life [sem voltar à] analysis canvassed by political economy, in which it is assumed that ‘access’ is the same as appropriation and use, and that production tells us all we need to know about textuality and consumption [rejeitando-se] a return ‘to a crude and mechanical base–superstructure model, and also the dangers of pursuing a kind of cultural populism to a point at which anything which is consumed and is popular is also seen as oppositional’.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Base–superstructure model: level up!

Post-Marxist hegemony theory at its best insists that there is always a dialogue between the processes of production and the activities of consumption. The consumer always confronts a text or practice in its material existence as a result of determinate conditions of production. But in the same way, the text or practice is confronted by a consumer who in effect produces in use the range of possible meaning(s) – these cannot just be read off from the materiality of the text or practice, or the means or relations of its production.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

Concluindo (e senhores, tivemos que apropriar este texto like-a-mutha para o resumir tão bonitinho):

Capitalism is not a monolithic system, it is contradictory in that it both constrains and enables ‘agency’.

Sometimes consumption is passive and the culture industries seek to manipulate. Post-Marxist cultural studies insists that to decide these matters requires vigilance and attention to the details of production, textuality and consumption. [Mas] these are not matters that can be decided once and for all with an elitist glance and a condescending sneer. Nor can they be read off from the moment of production (*) "The problem with the mode of analysis advocated by political economy is that it only addresses the beginning of the process of making culture: the circulation that is crucial to its popularity occurs in the parallel economy – the cultural. The point is not simply to detail these conditions but also required an understanding of the many ways in which people select, appropriate and use these commodities, and make them into culture. In other words, what is needed is an understanding of the relationship between ‘structure’ and ‘agency’.". Popular culture is more than a degraded landscape of commercial and ideological manipulation, imposed from above in order to make profit and secure social control. These are only aspects of the contexts for ‘production in use’; and it is, ultimately, in ‘production in use’ that questions of meaning, pleasure, ideological effect, incorporation or resistance, can be (contingently) decided. Ultimately popular culture is what we make from the commodities and commodified practices made available by the culture industries.

The capitalist drive for profit produces the very conditions for the production of new forms of common culture. For whatever self-serving reasons commercial cultural forms have helped to produce an historical present in which there are many more materials available for necessary symbolic work than ever there were in the past. This entails ‘the possibility of cultural emancipation working through ordinary, hitherto uncongenial economic mechanisms’, a break with the hegemonic exclusions of ‘official culture’. Of course the market does not provide cultural empowerment in anything like a full sense. There are choices, but not choices over choices – the power to set the cultural agenda. The market, in part because of its contradictions is ‘supplying materials for its own critique’ and despite its intentions and distortions, facilitating the symbolic creativity of the realm of common culture.

This is a rebuke to both textualism, which makes judgements on the basis of formal qualities, and the political economy of culture approach, which makes judgements on the basis of the relations of production. The ‘symbolic work’ of consumption is never a simple repetition of the relations of production, nor is it a direct confirmation of the semiotic certainties of the lecture theatre. People bring living identities to commerce, they bring experiences, feelings, social position hence they make sense of cultural commodities. This is not to deny that a full analysis must take into account technological and economic determinations ['cuz without it cultural studies] is at best an uncritical echo of liberal claims about the ‘sovereignty of the consumer’, and at worse it is uncritically complicit with prevailing ‘free market’ ideology." [Within] two economies favour opposing sides of the struggle — the financial economy is more supportive of the forces of incorporation and homogenization; the cultural economy is more accommodating to the forces of resistance and difference — popular culture [is] a site of struggle: while accepting the power of the forces of dominance, it focuses upon the popular tactics by which these forces are coped with, are evaded or are resisted.
John Storey in "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" 1993

De estratégias a enfrentar, evadir e resistir essas forças, a brecha na muralha não invalida que essa seja um obstáculo ainda por derrubar. Felizmente "like capitalism, the culture industries, which supply the commodities from which people make culture, are themselves not monolithic and non-contradictory". OS POSITIVOS: o não-monolítico pelo contraditório a subverter indústrias culturais e comparadas, 'cuz that's just good business.

Unlike comix.

"& business is good"