Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Culture as Production 2010

Culture is the natural habitat of human beings. Yet it is not natural in the sense that culture would exist outside human beings and without their active impact. Culture is always made, produced, constructed, constituted.

With this natural habitat I am referring both to high and low - to everyday habits and customs, values, practices, tools, creations; and to special artistic creations, values, practices, tools. Thus the course is not about culture in the sense of artistic production only, though this theme will be prominent in some lectures. But definitely it is about culture as something produced.

The course will consist of lectures, "walking through" some basic texts and thinkers on the theme: Marx, Frankfurt School and especially Benjamin, Baudrillard, Debord, De Certeau, Foucault, Marazzi, Hardt & Negri, Virno. What is required to pass the course is to be present and active for the lectures.

In addition you will form groups (preferably 4 - 6 members), and groups should choose a thinker or a theme and at least one original text that all members read and discuss. In the final session we'll hear the groups report to what they have discussed, and will have a general discussion.

Program as follows:

1.11. Introduction. Karl Marx: commodity, accumulation, capital.
4.11. Frankfurt School and Benjamin: cultural industry and masses.
8.11. Baudrillard: signs and simulation
11.11. Debord: the society of the spectacle
15.11. De Certeau: everyday practices
22.11. Jussi Vähämäki on Foucault: power and knowledge
25.11. Marazzi, Virno, Hardt & Negri: knowledge capitalism and new labor.
9.12. Final session: groups and their discussions.

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