themes / Culture Inc.

Culture Inc. culture and economy

moderator: Vladimir Vasak
participants: Oliviero Toscani / Julia Rowntree / Gerald Matt  / Pier Luigi Sacco / Philippe Kern

From an economic standpoint, culture is really no different than industry: the rules of supply and demand apply as much to culture as they do to free market economies. We often apply business terms such as “commercial success” or “failure” to books, artworks, movies, and plays.

This approach at once favors and threatens cultural development. Culture stimulates the economy and is a source of profit, and as such deserves support from the business establishment and government structures. But herein lies the threat of the intellectual and artistic impoverishment of the entire notion of culture: economic indicators rarely correlate with and should not be the basis for assessing the intellectual or aesthetic value of cultural products.

How could culture benefit from the mechanisms of free-market economy without falling victim to its predatory nature? Are there any alternative economic models which would favor the development of culture?

We would like to discuss how culture stimulates the economy and what benefits and problems stem from the adoption of an economic discourse in describing cultural activities, as well as what alternatives to “Culture, Inc.” are currently being used in Europe.