The Marke of Values Text Exchange

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Louise C. Johnson, Cultural Capitals Revaluing The Arts, Remaking Urban Spaces

Deakin University, Australia
Series : Re-materialising Cultural Geography

This is a book about the power of the arts to enhance city images, urban economies and communities. Anchored in academic discussion of the Cultural Industries – what they are, how they have emerged, why they matter and how they should be theorized – the book offers a series of case studies drawn from five countries: Australia, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the US to examine how the arts contribute to sustainable urban regeneration.

Contents: Creating value, valuing creativity; Conceptualising the cultural industries/cultural capitals; The emergence of cultural capitals; Glasgow: cultural tourism and design; Bilbao: the Guggenheim and the post-modern city of spectacle; Singapore: post-colonial city of cultural heritage and performance; Geelong as a cultural capital? Down under echoes; Cultural capitals: re-valuing the arts, re-making sustainable city spaces; References; Index.

About the Author: Dr Johnson is Associate Professor in the School of History, Heritage and Society, Deakin University, Australia

Reviews: 'This text with extensive references throughout has proved a thought-provoking and challenging read.'
Building Engineer

'While the mantra of cultural capitals has dominated recent debates about urban vitality, this is the first warts-and-all analysis of the experience of first and second order cultural capitals through longitudinal comparative studies. This is a timely and inspiring contribution to the debate about the potential of the arts to enhance urban images, economies and communities.' Jennifer Craik, University of Canberra, Australia

'… the overall quality of the book is high. Especially the case studies on Glasgow, Bilbao, Singapore and Geelong provide a lot of inspiration for researchers and practitioners who are interested in creative cities. As such, Johnson's book is a valuable contribution to the growing literature in this field and certainly deserves a wide read.'
European Spatial Research and Policy

Maria Lind, Olav Velthuis (Eds.) (2012) Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets.A Report on Current Conditions and Future Scenarios

Berlin: Sternberg Press.
(Contributions by Stefano Baia Curioni, Karen van den Berg/Ursula Pasero, Isabelle Graw, Goldin+Senneby, Noah Horowitz, Suhail Malik/Andrea Phillips, Alain Quemin, Olav Velthuis.) -

Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets: A Report on Current Conditions and Future Scenarios maps and analyzes the complex and contested entanglements of contemporary art and its commercial markets. Contemporary art as an asset category and celebrity accessory, the rise of the art fair, and the increased competition of auction houses are among the phenomena which are discussed by academics, theoreticians, and artists. While some of the contributions show how the market’s globalization and commercialization both reflect and propel the way art is produced, presented, and perceived, others downplay the impact of these developments and argue that the market’s structure has essentially remained the same. All the essays trigger the question, what will art look like in 2022, and how will artists operate? - (Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets is published as part of the curated project Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies, taking place at Tensta konsthall, the Center for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University, and the auction house Bukowskis—all located in Stockholm—at the beginning of 2012.)

Caaicm spread 2.jpg

Karen van den Berg, Ursula Pasero (Eds.) (2013) Art Production beyond the Art Market?.

<Berlin: Sternberg Press.

(Texts by Karen van den Berg, Pascal Gielen, Ursula Pasero, John Roberts, Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, Kerstin Stakemeier, Hergen Wöbken and Friederike Landau, Ulf Wuggenig and Steffen Rudolph, Merav Yerushalmy; interviews with Hans Haacke, Pablo Helguera, Caroline Jones, Oliver Ressler, Christoph Schäfer, Gregory Sholette, Apolonija Šušteršič) - Much evidence suggests that a fundamental reordering of artistic production and a transformation of the art field are about to take place. Heated debates have been sparked over new forms of work, public subsidies, and the expanding impact of the creative industries. Independent education programs, self-organized urban planning, artistic practices in the outer field of scientific research, and similar initiatives have unfolded over the last few years. This publication addresses this wide field, focusing on theoretical reflections and exemplary insights into alternative artistic working models. The anthology assembles expert studies and artists’ interviews, in order to reflect on new forms of practices that have been established beyond the exhibition-gallery nexus and hegemonic market activity. These strategies in particular are investigated concerning their selfimages, organizational structures, networks, and economies—and the potential for usurpation.

Dark Markets - Interview Franco Berardi Bifo

David Graeber, 'It's Value that Brings Universes into Being' (2013)

Introduction to the paper: Any theoretical term is an implicit statement about human nature. Anthropologists tend to be uncomfortable with this fact but it is nonetheless true. Even if one were to make a statement as apparently innocuous as “ritual can take many forms in many places,” one is still asserting that “ritual” is a meaningful cross-cultural category, implying—as pretty much any anthropological discussion of ritual invariably does imply—that we can assume all human beings have engaged in some kind of ritual activity at some point or another, that ritual is an inherent aspect of human sociality, even if there’s no scholarly consensus whatsoever as to what, precisely, a ritual is or what it says about us that we are all in some sense ritual producing beings. And the same is true of any other theoretical term: kinship, authority, labor, symbol, the body, performance, or anything else.

The anthropological study of value might be considered something of an extreme case in this regard because while there is a fairly widespread feeling among anthropologists that there is something out there that can be called “value” (or maybe “values,” or more likely both), and that all human beings do, in some sense, organize their lives, feelings, and desires around the pursuit or furtherance of them, it often seems as if the term could mean most anything. This collection bears excellent testimony to the dilemma. We have assembled here discussions of the value of everything from corporate brand names, a sense of community, imported necklaces, religious devotion, financial instruments, to the ability to speak a language, play tricks on invisible spirits, or perform a concerto on the violin. It’s genuinely hard to say what all these have in common, other than that some people wish they had them more than they already do. Not surprising, perhaps, the organizers of the conference from which these papers emerged came out of the experience uncertain whether a single, unified anthropological theory of value is even desirable.

Comment: Find the full article here
Looking for info, wisdom, polemics and other stuff concerning value? Look no further. Here's a collection of various texts (written, visual, etc.)

Massimo De Angelis, The Beginning of History (2006)

From the publisher: Francis Fukuyama may declare the "end of history", and neoliberal capital embraces this belief. However, the diverse struggles for commons and dignity around the planet reveal a different reality: that of the beginning of history. The clash between these two perspectives is the subject matter of this book.

This book analyzes the frontline of this struggle. On one side, a social force called capital pursues endless growth and monetary value. On the other side, other social forces strive to rearrange the web of life on their own terms. This book engages with alternative modes of co-production recently posed by the alter-globalisation movement, and it examines what these movements are up against.

This passionate account explores groundbreaking new critical political economic theory and its role in bringing about radical social change. This book is a must for all political activists and students of political theory.

Comment: See the second chapter in particular, 'Value Struggles'.

Return to Main Page or Market of Values

This is from a review of George Henderson's Value in Marx by Jason Read published in Antipode. You can find the full text here but thought I'd include this bid as a stand first because talks about the current value of value.

The turn to value is a turn to not just a specific problem of either the base or superstructure, but a turn to capitalism considered as a totality. Value is thus, in some fundamental sense, Marx’s attempt to articulate the connections and limitations of capitalism as a system, presenting the manner in which different actions by individuals and enterprises necessarily followed certain structures or laws, even if these laws took place “behind their backs”. The return to value, a return that has only intensified after the crash of 2008, is then a return to what for many years Marxist theorists tried to avoid— the totality. This is definitely the case of the development of “value critique” (Wert Kritique) in Germany, which stresses the necessity of overcoming the value form as a transformation of capitalism. The turn to value is simultaneously a turn to totality and to transformation, to capitalism understood as a system and the conditions of its overcoming. The concept of value unifies without equating the relations defining the present and their revolutionary transformation. This is even the case for those, like Antonio Negri, who argue that contemporary capitalism with its emphasis on immaterial forms of production has completely surpassed the measurability of value. The capitalist overcoming of the value form, the turn to rent and other forms of financialization, is boththe central claim against capital and the condition of its overcoming. Understood thus, the turn to value has largely been a turn to not only an attempt to grasp capitalism as a total system, but this view of the totality is the necessary condition for transforming and overcoming capital.