AccessCulture: the remixable culture of prosumers and the cultural policy of the European Union

Bjarki Valtysson

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning


This work is divided into two parts. In the first part it takes a thorough look at how developments within digital communication and new media affect the field of cultural policy. And in the second part, it uses the theoretical framework developed in the first part to analyse the cultural policy of the European Union, and how its cultural policy responds to the changes that the digital paradigm has brought upon the field. The self-publishing features of various Web 2.0 platforms, along with the interactive and distributional potentials that the Internet offers, have given rise to what is referred to here as the remixable culture of prosumers. The cultural users that operate within such surroundings are not only consumers, but producers as well. The sheer volume of cultural material that is being created and uploaded on the various Web 2.0 platforms such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Flickr indicates changes in cultural production and consumption. The first part of this works looks at how these changes respond to the field of cultural policy, as well as suggesting a possible culturepolitical reaction in a model which I refer to as access culture. In terms of theoretical approach, the notion of digital cultural public spheres is of great importance as it is well equipped to demonstrate the various workings of the field of cultural policy, and how different actors in society adapt to digital culture. In order to develop digital cultural public spheres, I mainly use the various writings of Jürgen Habermas on the system, the lifeworld, and the inter-mediating public sphere, and in order to adapt his theory better to the network society, I make much use of Manuel Castells' theories on the global network of new media and the culture of realvirtuality. Finally, the third main theoretician which I make use of, is Lev Manovich, in particular his definition of new media and the culture of remixability. Therefore, just like the remixable culture of prosumers, the theoretical construction of this work is a remix. In order to exemplify my understanding of the remixable culture of prosumers, I analyse the well-known examples of YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Flickr, along with lesser known platforms such as the animated short film Elephants Dream, the BBC's Creative Archive, various Internet artworks and the Internet Archive. I furthermore introduce the copyright system Creative Commons in order to suggest legal, widely available tools that makers of cultural policy can incorporate into their policy-making. In the second part of the work, I analyse the cultural policy of the European Union, from its informal strivings in the 1970s and 1980s, to the updated versions of the Culture 2007 programme, the Media 2007 programme and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive from 2007. In order to exemplify the functions of digital cultural public spheres adequately, I therefore take a thorough look at EU's interventions within the cultural, media and communication sectors. Finally, I also analyse projects and programmes that the European Union has erected specifically as a reaction on the changed cultural behaviour of prosumers, concomitant to developments within digital communication and new media platforms. This approach has given me a better understanding of whether the European Union reacts towards the remixable culture of prosumers, or whether it still concentrates on the cultural landscape prior to the digital paradigm
Udgivelses stedRoskilde
ForlagRoskilde Universitet
Antal sider416
StatusUdgivet - 2008

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