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Glocal Warning
 

Under the banner of Cultural Geographies, Globalisation and Nationalism this lecture critically examines the effects of the new neo-liberal world economic order. ...

Under the banner of Cultural Geographies, Globalisation and Nationalism this lecture critically examines the effects of the new neo-liberal world economic order.
Neoliberalism supports free markets, free trade, and decentralized decision-making. Broadly speaking, neoliberalism seeks to transfer control of the economy from state to the private sector. This is a particularly timely debate in light of the current global collapse of neoliberalism.
Globalisation:
The meaning is not always clear it has something to do with the idea that we all live in one world, in what ways exactly, and is the idea valid?
Accepted that globalisation exists, the world has become financially and materially interdependent.
Debates are more likely to be about the form of globalisation, how it came into being and where it will lead.
Two major issues of globalisation are communication as the driving force of social change, and increasing dependence on mobility.
I will also deal with a few of the difficulties which appear in the course of the globalisation process and look at the accompanying discussions surrounding increasingly global cultural spaces as they concern artistic practice and the cultural industries.
I will consider the idea that the art world knows no synthetic boundaries; that it realises an actually existing globalisation and that art is the vehicle for the creolisation, hybridity and mixing of cultures that challenge the conventional in aesthetics and the hegemonic in politics.
I also want to consider the relevance of nationalism as the sites of contemporary art diversify away from the traditional metropolitan centres such as London, Berlin, or New York.

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  • Under the banner of Cultural Geographies, Globalisation and Nationalism I am going to critically examine the effects of the new neo-liberal world economic order. Neoliberalism supports free markets, free trade, and decentralized decision-making. Broadly speaking, neoliberalism seeks to transfer control of the economy from state to the private sector. This is a particularly timely debate in light of the current global collapse of neoliberalism. Globalisation: The meaning is not always clear it has something to do with the idea that we all live in one world, in what ways exactly, and is the idea valid? Accepted that globalisation exists, the world has become financially and materially interdependent. Debates are more likely to be about the form of globalisation, how it came into being and where it will lead. Two major issues of globalisation are communication as the driving force of social change, and increasing dependence on mobility. I will also deal with a few of the difficulties which appear in the course of the globalisation process and look at the accompanying discussions surrounding increasingly global cultural spaces as they concern artistic practice and the cultural industries. I will consider the idea that the art world knows no synthetic boundaries; that it realises an actually existing globalisation and that art is the vehicle for the creolisation, hybridity and mixing of cultures that challenge the conventional in aesthetics and the hegemonic in politics. I also want to consider the relevance of nationalism as the sites of contemporary art diversify away from the traditional metropolitan centres such as London, Berlin, or New York.
  • So what is globalisation? I thought it would be a good idea to begin with this description of the process of globalisation by Anthony Giddens, one of the main proponents of globalisation debates who I will speak more about later, This quote is taken from his 1998 book The Third Way. The concept of globalisation is one of the most discussed subjects, not only in art but in political, economical and academic debates, and refers to the worldwide diffusion of practices, expansion of relations across continents, organisation of social life on a global scale, and grown of a shared global consciousness. Globalisation is not just expansion of capitalism and opening of financial markets round the world. The economical part of globalisation is surely important and perhaps the easiest to notice, but according to Giddens globalisation is concerned with the organization and transformation of time and space in our lives. (See Giddens, Anthony. The Third Way - The Renewal of Social Democracy. Cornwall: Polity Press, 1998) Globalisation is a key theory that has emerged since the collapse of the Eastern Block. Most recently, the world wide growth in 'Biennials' has provided the most obvious evidence of the radical changes which have been taking place in the global economies of contemporary art practice. In the past 15 years or so we have seen biennales springing up in for example Istanbul and Johannesburg. So the “international” is no longer what the traditional art centres can aspire to, but equally available to every culture in the world. Alongside this imposing phenomenon of globalisation we have also saw the rise of nationalisms and claims to specific cultural identity. Questions of identity and identification have frequently been raised since the fall of the Berlin Wall, in reaction to the collapse of the old hierarchies and the ideologies of the past.
  • Globalisation can be considered to be… - A contradictory and uneven process that pulls away from local communities and nation-states whilst at the same time pushing down on those same communities and nation-states Furthermore… - Local communities' beliefs and cultural values may become globalised and universalised and as a result individuals and groups may experience this universalisation as a 'dilution' and 'corruption' of their cultural beliefs which in turn can create resistance to this process. The rise of fundamentalism, nationalism and terrorism could be seen as a response to this.
  • In order to explore the impact of globalisation on art it might also be useful to understand the difference between ‘globalisation’ and ‘globalism’. Globalisation is mechanism that tries to chain and connect the planet together whereas globalism is an attempt to make sense of it or even counteract it. Globalism, at its core, seeks to describe and explain nothing more than a world which is characterized by networks of connections that span multi-continental distances. It attempts to understand all the inter-connections of the modern world — and to highlight patterns that underlie (and explain) them. In contrast, globalisation refers to the increase or decline in the degree of globalism. It focuses on the forces, the dynamism or speed of these changes. In short, consider globalism as the underlying basic network, it describes the reality of being interconnected, while globalisation refers to the dynamic shrinking of distance on a large scale and captures the speed at which these connections increase — or decrease.
  • Along side issues related to globalisation national identity can be seen to underpin the ideas and the work of many artists since the end of the 1980’s and more so has been a major influence on curators. Recently the 2006 British Art Show 6 curators also debated the impact of issues of NATIONALITY AND INTERNATIONALISM. “ E x hibitions delimited by nationality, continents and other geographical demarcations have been subject to vigorous critique over the last few years, for many of the right reasons. In a cosmopolitan art world, in which artists travel to make work and take part in exhibitions, the fact an artist is British, Brazilian or Chinese is of diminishing significance. To compare artists from the perspective of their geographical origins is often to emphasise the most superficial aspects of their practice. The approach is fraught with the perils of reductiveness and stereotyping. ” (FARQUHARSON, ALEX and Andreas Schlieker, British Art Show 6, 2005, P12)
  • It is generally regarded that globalization is a homogenizing, universalizing model which absorbs cultural differences and therefore ultimately rejects them. This raised the question of whether ‘locality’ retains any significance. Since the collapse of communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe, the dissolution of cold War-era boundaries there has also been an emergence of new technologies, technologies that which Giddens argues extends social interaction in time and space in such a way that ‘the other’ in face-to-face interaction is no longer immediately present. This has contributed to the creation of a generation of plugged-in artists who are unfettered by geography. As has the ease of travel due to open borders and for a period, low air fares, resulting in the art world itself being less bound to its traditional capitals. This is manifestly clear with dozens of international biennials which now the calendar. All this has raised questions about the ways in which contemporary artists deal with issues of mobility and attachment. What sort of place does art connote if it is constantly evoking the shuttling between places? So if we accept that the authority and permeability of borders and the transgression of national confines, of geographical limits and of specific cultural identities is an essential issue of contemporary life and art, then central to this is the question; what does it mean to be a nation in an era of globalisation when we might expect that the physical/geographical bases of marginality may have become increasingly fluid and uncertain. Its also worth considering then to what extent is the abolition of borders an illusion? Do hierarchies still remain? Undoubtledly international exchange has developed but does the art world still have clearly defined centres? In many ways we are wadding into familiar territory with discussions of biennales; these global mega-shows that attempt to gather all the world’s art together in one place at one time. One recurring issue with i nternational biennials is that they are seen as a levelling process brushing aside local vernaculars in favour of an international visual jargon, on the other hand are hailed for ensuring the necessary capillarity between the global and the local. They are also often criticised on curatorial grounds with accusations that they are too large to offer a coherent experience and that they pay lip-service to being site specific and inclusive while in reality showing broadly the same band of well-travelled artist. In addition to showing artists who have made the rounds of international exhibitions there are also claims of institutionalised multiculturalism due to the international mandate of such shows which in and of itself asks the question of whether at a certain point "globalism" becomes a marketing term, concerned more with access to consumers than to expanding any notion of contemporary culture beyond its familiar parameters?
  • Biennials play an increasingly important role in sanctioning reputations and propagating trends. Most of the artists present are represented by major, commercial galleries. Biennials don’t establish alternative poles in the art world; they extend the reach of old nerve centres of the West. In effect they fill a vacuum left by the museum, which has been slower than commercial galleries to respond to the rise of global market in art.
  • “ Globalisation has, as in many other areas of social relations and endeavour, both homogenised and fragmented engagements with and responses to the 'art world'. This has led to a kind of new, postmodern 'International Style' of works which, despite their differing quality, simply appear to be the same in any kind of location. In response to the blandness of such 'airport art', many Biennials have recently sought to encourage a direct 'engagement' with the 'cultural specifics' of their location. The result of this has been, perhaps predictably, a kind of 'parachute documentary art' produced by artist willing to make lightening fast responses to the possibility of a financially rewarding brief. However, in spite of this polarisation of the contemporary art world, into the glibly general and the impossibly specific, many artists have begun to produce works which are intentionally 'de-centred' - dispersed over time, space and location – simultaneously denying the possibility of their works post-biennial absorption into a globalised economy of commodified art objects and further de-stabilising the traditional relationship between artist and artwork.”
  • Several exhibitions have called for attention to the globalization of contemporary art and the emergence of a global art world which has inherent contradictions, being seen as homogenized and diversified, expanding and contracting. Globalization may also signal a general relativism, (relativism being in direct opposition to universalism), this is the position that claims that spectacular international biennials prefigure the end of the hegemony of the USA and Western Europe in contemporary arts. The globalisation debate is one particular debate which is favoured by those working in postmodern geographies, it’s a term that first used in the 60s but intensified in its use after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and it has more recently been popularised by the media In that sense it has suffered the same fate as the word modern or modernist, it meaning has gradually been eroded, it’s being used to describe a whole manner of events therefore weakening its scholarly use as it arose in the early 1990s For many people it seems synonymous with pop culture. But there is much more to this subject than the worldwide spread of Nike, McDonalds and MTV. The term globalization relates to the process in which technology, economics, business, communications and politics dissolve the barriers of time and space that once separated peoples.
  • And globalisation isn’t a new phenomenon: Two historical examples might be globalisations impact on the world’s religions for instance Christianity as a belief system which has been globalised since it was adopted by the Roman Empire which then disseminated it around Europe and then following the rise of European nationalism and colonisation it spread worldwide. A second example is Communism which became a global phenomenon in the 20 th century. These are just two instances but it illustrates the point that there are clearly a myriad of examples of globalisation that can be found in the past. Political Left: Sceptics, dispute globalisation claiming that the global economy is not very different from that which existed previously and that most countries only gain a small amount of their income from external trade since most economic exchange is between regions rather than being world-wide e.g. trading between countries in the European Union, or trading within other blocs such as those of the Asia Pacific or North Africa.
  • Political Right: Radicals argue that the consequences of globalisation can be felt everywhere and the global market is indifferent to national borders. They claim that nations have lost most of their sovereignty, politicians have lost most of their capabilities to influence events, and that the era of the nation state is over. The Left, claim that globalisation is a myth because this allows them to maintain that governments can still intervene in economic life. They claim that globalisation is an idea proliferated by free marketeers who want to dismantle the welfare system and reduce state expenditures. They point out that in the late 19 th c there was already an open global economy, with a great deal of trade. The academic term to cover these approaches to globalisation is ‘ postmodern geographies”, a term which theorises about space and environment, its a discipline that is primarily concerned with the way in which a shift toward a globalised perspective might shift how we interact with spaces and also to our political position in relation to these changes. Postmodern geographies is a conflation of different possibilities and is often used to discuss these kinds of positions since there’s a plurality of positions that might be taken, that is to say that there’s no idea of simple battle between left and right when discussing globalisation, that kind of polarity ended for postmodern geographers with the end of communism, so there’s no overall paradigm from a political point of view that we can map onto this particular way of looking at the world.
  • Globalisation isn’t developing in an even-handed way. To many living outside Europe and North America it is deemed as Westernisation or Americanisation since most of the visible cultural expressions of globalisation are American e.g. Coca-cola, McDonalds. It can be viewed as something that the developing countries play little or no part in. It can be considered as destroying local cultures, widening world inequalities.
  • Whilst globalisation is not new the specific study of the spatial, environmental and political effects of this process of globalisation is seen as relatively new focus for debate. This multi dimensional debate around space, time and power can be seen in a number of scholars but the most renowned is probably the aforementioned British sociologist Anthony Giddens He has been very influential, most notably upon Tony Blair and New Labour. His key ideas can be seen in the arguement that its no longer possible to talk about how the world is organised in a way it would have been possible in the 1980s since the collapse of the left and the right leaves us with a set of topics which interplay with one another. The sort of things that might be involved in a body of study by Giddens could be an analysis of economic, environmental, political, cultural, technological change, gender politics etc These kind of factors the way that changes in are seen to be interactive in that for instance changes in the economy can effect changes in how gender politics are structured for example the feminist movement has created an economy around women working to the extent that it didn’t exist before say in the 50s and as a result economic change has impacted on the whole structure of gender politics and vice versa Giddens identifies globalism with the most saliet features of modernity 1. Administrative power; 2. Military power; 3. Capitalism 4. Industrialism.
  • Giddens on Globalisation and Late-Modernity Giddens an optimist who considers globalisation to be an equalising process - 'reverse colonialism’. He maintains that globalisation is a set of processes that affects individuals in terms of identities, subjectivities and material conditions of life. He identifies that Modernisation spawned Globalisation, so there is no new era or epoch in human history as Postmodernists suggest that is to say, globalisation and postmodernity are a continuation of trends set in motion by the processes of modernity. So these factors are interrelated but at the same time have some kind of autonomy, that they are worth studying as separate entities but we have to see the way in which they interrelate without coming to the conclusion that a singe factor dominates over the others. So what Giddens is interested in is that we can’t separate these things and say that one thing has precedence over another so we need to take all these factors into consideration at the same time. So there’s an obvious shift here from the 80s when politics were created around a micro politics were individuals might have a particular position that they might want to argue for and privilege e.g. feminists and gender politics, Marxists and economics Postmodern geographers like Giddens do not believe in these kind of certainties, they don’t go for determinism, be it gender based, economic etc because all these factors are in dynamic tension with one another So the idea that we perceive the world in which order and disorder, conflict and peace exist simultaneously, so this idea has been described as something close to schizophrenia Giddens and postmodern geographers on the whole accept these hybrid states and seek to come to terms with the tensions that exist within a plural society The key thing that might emerge from this kind of study is space and environments that people might inhabit and how these all have political and cultural connotations and can be analysed New forms of space which might be a product of increased globalisation, for example the internet, which is obviously a virtual space so it doesn’t suit more conventional ideas of mapping. There have been several attempts to map the internet to show how complicated and diverse these connections might be. But we can’t think of the internet in the way we think of the world as a tangible, physical space that we physically occupy, I suppose this is a point that has been made repeatedly and it’s also something that artists have picked up on in their work.
  • In terms of the origins of globalisation and the impact on artists… There is a long history of artists ‘borrowing’, appropriating and stealing inspiration, source material and imagery from other cultures. This tended to be a one-way street (i.e. Europe ‘borrowed’ from ‘exotic’ cultures) rather than true cross-cultural fertilisation. These developments accelerated in the 19 th century with Industrialisation – expanded trade networks, faster transportation, the rise of printed mass media and art magazines, mechanical reproduction of images, the growth of museums and large-scale exhibitions and World Fairs and so on all worked to ‘shrink’ the world and spread ideas and images world-wide. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
  • The other upshot of this as a special phenomenon is that it’s clearly part of the creation of what’s been called global space, the idea that as communication and travel expand the world becomes smaller and more homogenised and similar. So this kind of space, time compression is mooted in a whole series of studies of globalisation, on one hand its seen as a product of economic changes that took place in the 70s when the crisis in western countries in the increase of oil prices led to a series of rationalisation which created a crisis in Fordist or Keynesian models of the economic system. The mass production that Ford used to create cars was seen by the early 70s as a product of the earlier part of the 20 th century, reliant on cheap labour and an infinite supply of raw materials such as oil, once these certainties eroded when labour and raw materials became more expensive there was a shift to more frugal forms of manufacture. The key system which developed was the ‘just in time’ delivery system which basically involves using manufacturing plants in the most efficient way, so materials are delivered just in time so they don’t hang around and need to be stored and raise storage costs and deliveries are made just in time reducing the need for storage at the point of sale. There has been generally an acceleration of the manufacturing and delivery system and this idea of acceleration has let to a speeding up of the labour process, an acceleration of the re-skilling of workers who’ve had to move from job to job.
  • Tracing the roots of cultural appropriation Picasso’s appropriation of the African mask is one example of hybrid forms of expression that beg, borrow and steal from elsewhere. In doing so they raise the question about the significance of power relations in doing so. Looking at the historical precedents for the relation of western art to the rest of the world.
  • In 1978 Edward Said’s published his book Orientalism. Here he identifies that Orientalism in one form or another dates from at least the eighteenth century, and then resurfaced prominently in early modern art with the efforts of Gauguin, Picasso, and Expressionists everywhere who endeavoured to enact forms of exoticism and primitivism as routes to a more authentic Western consciousness – a search that provided only further stereotypes of the white mind’s desire to escape itself in fantasies of the oriental, the native, and the n a tural.
  • Magicians of the Earth (Magiciens de la terre) was an exhibition at the Pompidiou Centre in Paris in 1989 curated by Jean-Hubert Martin and was intended to counteract ethnocentric practices within the contemporary art world and confront problems presented by several exhibitions that perpetuated a colonialist mentality, the most recent being the show having been, “P r imitivism” in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Many critics condemned the “P r imitivism ” show , as it fell into a similar Modernist trap of providing only a pure aesthetization of the work of native cultures. “P r imitivism ” stated that it was only interested in displaying tribal works that influenced Modern artists and studying how this phenomenon functioned within the Modernist discourse. Many of the tribal works were presented vis- a -vis Modernist works when little or no historical evidence of these works drawing inspiration from specific “P r imitive ” works or, in some cases, even a “P r imitive ” idiom.
  • In short, P r imitivism in 20th Century Art, coupled so-called tribal artifacts with modern works in order to show a correlation between the two. The status of tribal artifacts has been forced to shift and deviate from their original classification as remnants of an ancient past with anthropological definitions, to those with more modern, aesthetic definitions. This instigated a shift in considerations of the notion of fine arts as peculiarly Western activity and asserted that it is no longer the only acceptable standard. In today’s postmodern art world, artistic centers are not limited to certain Western capitals but are instead dispersed in a multiplicity of centers around the world.
  • The notion of u n iversality is a European invention. As asserted by Edward Said, Europe had only considered its own culture and its peculiar expressions as universal in contrast with the so-called indigenous cultures, considered as regional phenomena. Since the 19 th century, art and culture were comprehended through a euro-centric point of view, while the claim for universality made this eurocentricity unconscious for most people.
  • Bricked up the entrance to the Spanish pavilion and stipulated that only Spanish passport holders could enter, by the back door, and view the interior which was littered with the debris of the last Biennale. Puts forward a critical appraisal of the biennial.
  • Martin Kippenberger’s ‘Metronet’ , joke project, he suggested that these different stations are connected to each other to allow for a global movement of human traffic and ideas. All he produced was a series of subway entrances which lead nowhere and produced this map which constitutes the kind of space that we now occupy much of our time is spent in virtual spaces that can only exist in this abstract spaces like a map.
  • How seriously should we take Kippenberger’s parody of a globalised art world? Are we seeing the ‘McDonaldisation’ of contemporary art? Will the dominant paradigm become ‘ a nightmare of witless, homogenised McArt?’ What can artists do to avoid this?
  • Globalisation and new technologies such as the internet are challenging the geographical basis of global politics. Instantaneous communication is not just a way to convey news or information quicker it changes the very texture of our lives. The role of communication in the formation and development of society has been addressed by many social theorists such as Giddens and Agger.
  • The internet, according to Agger can of course bring people of different gender, age and culture together to communicate, however he makes it clear that it may not create the utopian idea of global understanding. He argues that the self becomes the ‘virtual self’ which is connected to the world and others through electronic means, which potentially entraps or liberates.
  • Thomas Hirshhorn’s World Airport The image of the airport, and transportation systems in general, conveys the expediency of the markets, placenessness, immigration and tourism. Citizenship of the artworld is measured by frequent-flier air miles, suggesting that the activities that constitute the art world are indivisible from the activities of globalisation.
  • Kader Attia (Dream Machine 2002-2003) dispenses drink, food and passports alike. Venice Biennale
  • This includes other virtual space that we inhabit in our every day lives, in the internet it could be My space, Bebo or Face book but also things like bank machines, email, interface in the work place.
  • Anyone who wants to analyse the rise of a new spacial formation over the last 15 years or so could extend their study to include Sims, Sim City and Second Life which are of particular interest to postmodern geographers but they also imply a kind of political geography. Games like these project the economy as a manageable system, increasing peoples health, wealth and happiness, this idea is macro economic and the kind of factors that need to be taken into consideration by the player involve making macro political decisions which is something that happens in the real world too but what the game implies is that somehow it has some tangible effects in that you can play the game well and achieve some targets and goals. Now according to postmodern geographers the economy just simply doesn’t function in this way due to unavoidable catastrophes and our lack of being able to truly understand the way in which the economy is going to fluctuate as our current financial situation can testify. In Sims the macro is taken and localised, domesticised, and people are individualised with their own tastes and foibles, so we are moving to a micro realm It has been rightly pointed out that this micro realm is Americanised so there might be a political geography being expressed here or an ideological system that is being promoted. So this is obviously of interest to anyone who is trying to study these new kinds of spaces
  • This is a good example of a Glocalism which is the projection of a regional or national identity as a universally valid form of identity. In most of the studies carried out the tendency to produce this kind of glocalism tend to come from an Anglophone position so they tend to project a vision of the world that is ultimately European Now this is important if we are going to consider virtual space as a whole, for instance the lingo-franca, or language of convenience is English on the internet which creates a culture which on the whole is Eurocentric
  • In Speed and Politics(1986), Paul Virilio further elaborates on the influence of acceleration, mobility, and technologies of motion on modern culture. Subtitled "Essay on Dromology," Virilio proposes what he calls a "dromomatics" which interrogates the role of speed in history and its important functions in urban and social life, warfare, the economy, transportation and communication, and other aspects of everyday life. Virilio maintains that space and time have disappeared as meaningful co-ordinates ‘ DROMOLOGY’ according to Virilo is a way expression the idea of not having a sense of place which is a common experience in contemporary world.
  • Speed and disposability are key factors in his theory of how we live now. Some of these values expressed in relation to speeding up in the economy can be seen as values in the art of the last 20 years. For instance the instant pleasure principle Not only in the rapid accumulation of commodities but in its offshoot in at of one-liner art or nostalgia culture This was clearly evident in much work in the 90s which created an instantaneous, spectacular form of pleasure, and here I am thinking of Maurizio Cattelan or certain young British artists.
  • Virilio also posits the term ‘disposability’ which can be seen in terms of how culture moves in a fashion sense, these fashions are now entirely de-centred and unpredictable and illogical Art is more susceptible to change and artists are more at the mercy of style gurus who are on the lookout for the next big thing There is less focus on theoretical paradigms and more emphasis on fashionability in some areas of the art world This is simultaneous with the rise of the curator which is synchronised with the instant pleasure principle and disposability Curators are necessary as a means for creating sustainability of markets for art; it’s also connected to speed since curators are highly mobile within the global urban system unlike those with regular jobs and families The majority of well known curators brokering certain cultural trends in the last 20 years are what postmodernist geographers would describe as metrosexuals (single, young urbanites) and they have a huge disposable income which allows them to travel globally and map out a field of cultural production which is very much connected to the need for galleries and biennials to network and interact with each other so its primarily led by speed and mobility This desire for speed or the role of speed within globalism creates the need for geographical mobility and decentralisation, it also requires culture to be omnipotent and available always in the sense that it might be available on the internet. The local and vernacular are a means by which a space might be subtly differentiated from other homogenised spaces in the global market place, different but not too challenging, a means to integrate with a global economy rather as a form of resistance against it. Vernacular globalisation is a desire to create differentiated spaces which aren’t wholly homogenous or dictated by the rise of multinational corporate identity. This is inresponse to the impact upon the status of the nation state because one of the developments of globalisation is said to be the erosion of the nation state which is considered to be dissolving in favour of a global culture. In one way this has evolved around the idea of nationalism, national boundaries are said to be eroding through the process of globalisation This can be seen very obviously in the consumer culture that has developed around the internet, the ability for consumers with access to the internet to be able to buy goods from a global market place and have them sent round the world, so this is happening at a personal level. This is used as one example of the erosion of a nation state as is ability of multi national companies to find cheap labour in global market places. Labour tendered globally, e.g. call centres in India. Modelled on an old idea of free trade There are also political incursions on the nation state, European Union, G8 etc are examples of economic and political erosion of nationhood Identity and space are being altered by this process of globalisation Nation states which are really an 18 th century European idea arose as part and parcel of colonialism, an ideological system which is a way of creating coercive power over territory, a means of wielding power over people who live in a place, demarcated by boundaries. At the same time as being ideological they have created a cultural impact or cues by which people structure their ethics or relations with other people. Provisions have also built up around the nation state are also eroding e.g. the welfare state On the other hand a lot of postmodern geographers maintain that the idea of the nation state has become more common since 1945, in fact there are now double the number of nation states in the world than there were then, they are still strongly defended by their members in terms of sport etc. They still have the ability to wage war, even Microsoft doesn’t have an army or the same kind of coercive power. So nation states still exist in this sense, they can wield power against those who transgress its limitations So the question by postmodern geographers is whether the existence of the nation state can be seen as a product of globalisation or its antithesis These arguments exist across a number of cultural forms. For example the debate emerging through selective forms of consumption in Naomi Klein’s book No Log. Klein resists globalisation and sees it in terms of the lack of ethics in the manufacturing industries for instance and the way you can deal with this is to be a consumer who only consumes what is ethically acceptable. In a sense this is a form of nationalism that’s based on an ethics and circulates around rights and morality. As an ideology its based on a set of presuppositions that are clearly western, it presupposes that you are a consumer and that you are in this position of power to consume and make these kinds of decisions Other forms of resistance to globalisation, G8 protests, anything to do with oil etc, and these are seen as targets of globalisation, finding something to blame for the way culture is developing Deluze or Giddens would say that we have a kind of rhizomatic system, we cant find a source or a centre that we can blame The rhizome is much like the world wide web, it’s a pathway that we follow that has no arrival or starting point, it can branch off in any direction, the culture and economy that we occupy now is based on a similar structure. Its been argued that there is no centre so there is no point in attacking the Twin Towers because although they symbolically represent capitalism they don’t physically manifest any of the sources of power or wealth which can be attacked, there is no Achilles heel so the means of resistance has to be viral, that is on the same terms as the culture itself. So whilst it has become commonplace to see globalisation as a homogenising, universalising model which absorbs cultural differences and therefore ultimately rejects them it can also be argued that much of that which is, for example considered local, with a reference to the traditional or having the nature of the localised culture, which is put forward against this tendency as worthy of preserving, is based on the same foundations for example on the myths of unmediated social relations and culture essentialism. Here too, although it is spatially or socially a different dimension, the concept of difference collapses within a totalising perspective that harbours the dangers of indiscriminately eliminating all that does not conform to this perspective.
  • Globalisation is operates in a complex and contradictory manner. It can pull power and influence away from local communities and nations into the global arena, especially economic. But it also creates new pressures for local autonomy. Sociologist Daniel Bell: the nation becomes too small to solve the big problems, but also too large to solve the small ones. Daniel Bell: He put forth the concept of a post-industrial society or information age in his book The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973). Later, he re-named this concept the information society, for which he is generally considered as the creator of the term (1979). By an information society, Bell means that we move from a producer of goods (manufacturing) to service economy and that theoretical knowledge, technology, and information become the major mode of commodity. Information, and those who know how to create, assemble, and disperse, are more valued than labor. Information is normally costly to produce, but cheap to reproduce. That is, the cost of producing the first copy of an information good (such as writing a book or recording a CD) is normally quite costly, but reproducing those goods is often negligible. http://www. nwlink . com/~Donclark/history_knowledge/bell .html

Glocal Warning Glocal Warning Presentation Transcript

  • GLOCAL WARNING The (Art) World is not Enough Cultural Geographies, Globalisation and Nationalism
  • The concept of globalisation is one of the most discussed subjects, not only in art but in political, economical and academic debates, and refers to the worldwide diffusion of practices, expansion of relations across continents, organisation of social life on a global scale, and grown of a shared global consciousness. Globalisation is not just expansion of capitalism and opening of financial markets round the world. The economical part of globalisation is surely important and perhaps the easiest to notice, but according to leading globalization theorist Anthony Giddens globalisation is most of all transformation of time and space in our lives. See Giddens, Anthony. The Third Way - The Renewal of Social Democracy. Cornwall: Polity Press, 1998
  • Globalisation - A contradictory and uneven process - Pulls away from local communities and nation-states - Pushes down on those same communities and nation-states - Local communities' beliefs and cultural values may be globalised and universalised - Individuals and groups may experience this universalisation as a 'dilution' and 'corruption' of their cultural beliefs - Resistance to this process, sometimes with violence, rise of fundamentalism, nationalism and terrorism could be seen as a response to this
  • ‘ Globalisation’ and ‘Globalism’ Globalisation is a mechanism that tries to chain and connect to planet together whereas globalism is an attempt to make sense of it or even counteract it.
  • “ Exhibitions delimited by nationality, continents and other geographical demarcations have been subject to vigorous critique over the last few years, for many of the right reasons. In a cosmopolitan art world, in which artists travel to make work and take part in exhibitions, the fact an artist is British, Brazilian or Chinese is of diminishing significance. To compare artists from the perspective of their geographical origins is often to emphasise the most superficial aspects of their practice. The approach is fraught with the perils of reductiveness and stereotyping.” (FARQUHARSON, ALEX and Andreas Schlieker, British Art Show 6, 2005, P12)
  • The Rise and Rise of the Biennale
  • The role of biennials in the globalisation of the art market “ Visitors go to Venice, Kassel or Sao Paulo expecting shows to advance a considered and progressive model of globalisation in the cultural sphere, only to find that biennials are manifestations of a different kind of globalisation, one that is driven not so much by ecumenical curatorial designs as by existing mechanisms of centralisation and dissemination.” Marcus Verhagen, Biennale Inc, Art Monthly, June 05
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  • “ Biennials produce press releases and catalogues that constantly recycle the same buzzwords, ‘exchange’, ‘dialogue’ and ‘hybridity’ among them. What they don’t say is that in the profusion of the biennial these terms become almost meaningless. In Venice, diversity comes across as dispersal, as flattening out.” Marcus Verhagen, Biennale Inc, Art Monthly, June 05
  • What is Globalisation? A process in which geographic distance becomes a factor of diminishing importance in the establishment and maintenance of cross border economic, political and socio-cultural relations. [Ruud Lubbers] A decoupling of space and time, emphasizing that with instantaneous communications, knowledge and culture can be shared around the world simultaneously. [Anthony Giddens]
  • What is Globalisation? Left critics of globalisation define the word quite differently, presenting it as worldwide drive toward a globalized economic system dominated by supranational corporate trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic processes or national governments.
  • Pro Globalisation Globalisation, Growth and Poverty: Building an Inclusive World Economy (WTO Report) has found that in developing countries that have integrated into the world economy globalisation has helped reduce poverty and improve living standards, whilst in those that have failed to do so, poverty has increased [www.econ.worldbank.org]
  • “ It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.” Kofi Annan    “ Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing…you are talking about the internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn’t affect two-thirds of the people of the world.”
  • Cooperation or Corporation
  • Anti Globalisation The gap between the poor and the rich of the world is increasing. Critics of globalisation say that rising inequality is the inevitable result of market forces. For instance, large corporations invest in poor countries only because they can make greater profits from low wage levels or because they can get access to their natural resources.
  • Giddens on Globalisation and Late-Modernity Giddens an optimist Globalisation an equalising process - 'reverse colonialism' Globalisation- a set of processes Affects individuals - identities, subjectivities and material conditions of life Modernisation spawned Globalisation So no new era or epoch in human history as Postmodernists suggest Globalisation and Postmodernity - a continuation of trends set in motion by the processes of modernity
  • The Origins of Globalisation and the impact on artists There is a long history of artists ‘borrowing’, appropriating and stealing inspiration, source material and imagery from other cultures. This tended to be a one-way street (i.e. Europe ‘borrowed’ from ‘exotic’ cultures) rather than true cross-cultural fertilisation. These developments accelerated in the 19 th century with Industrialisation – expanded trade networks, faster transportation, the rise of printed mass media and art magazines, mechanical reproduction of images, the growth of museums and large-scale exhibitions and World Fairs and so on all worked to ‘shrink’ the world and spread ideas and images world-wide.
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  • CURATING THE EXOTIC “ All this may make global culture more readily available to the embrace of multicultural aesthetics or a meticulous archival study. But the angle of visibility will not change. What was once exotic or archaic, tribal or folkloristic, inspired by strange gods, is now given a secular national presence and a international future. Sites of cultural difference too easily become part of the globalising West’s thirst for its own ethnicity; for citation and simulacral echoes from Elsewhere.” Bhabha, H. 1997. Minority Culture and Creative Anxiety. From British Council 2003 Reinventing Britain.
  • Picasso, Sitting Nude , 1908 Mask from Baule in Ivory Coast
  • Anonymous artist, South Africa + Picasso, Woman with Joined Hands
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  • Whistler, Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge (1872-77) and Hiroshige, Kyo Bridge c.1855
  • Santiago Sierra, ‘Wall enclosing a Space’, Spanish pavilion, Venice Biennial, 2003
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  • MetroNet, Geneva
  • How seriously should we take Kippenberger’s parody of a globalised art world? Are we seeing the ‘McDonaldisation’ of contemporary art? Will the dominant paradigm become ‘ a nightmare of witless, homogenised McArt?’ What can artists do to avoid this?
  • CONTEMPORARY GEOPOLITICS
  • “ The virtual self is connected to the world by information technologies that invade not only the home and the office but the psyche. This can either trap or liberate people…By virtual self, I am referring to the person connected to the world and to others through electronic means such as the internet, television and cell phones…[These] technologies get inside our heads, position our bodies and dictate our everyday lives.” Agger 2004
  • From the land of waving palms to the villages of Kosovo, the world is connected through newspapers and airports. Together, they form a veritable "state of the world equation" which is the best way to sum up World-Airport, an installation by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn. Exhibited at the 1999 Venice Biennale, World-Airport which will fill the entire gallery space, is a homemade, Fisher-Price like airport and lounge area, replete with a runway come parade of nation-states as airplanes emblazoned with logos in national colors sit prepared for take-off - The weather, the war-, business, pleasure- first class, third world - flight patterns and the flow of information have reduced the world to a ball of string with all its crisses, crosses and contradictions - a global Diaspora of businessmen, terrorists and tourists.
  • Kader Attia, Dream Machine, 2002-2003
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  • Art related to the communication system and power structures in society problematising both the system and its message. Artists using familiar codes from the media. Often subverting the original message or context
  • Glocal By definition, the term “glocal” refers to the individual, group, division, unit, organisation, and community which is willing and is able to “think globally and act locally.” Glocalisation Using electronic communications technologies, such as the Internet, to provide local services on a global or transregional basis.
  • Paul Virilio is a renowned urbanist, political theorist and critic of the art of technology. Born in Paris in 1932 In Speed and Politics(1986), Virilio further elaborates on the influence of acceleration, mobility, and technologies of motion on modern culture. Subtitled "Essay on Dromology," Virilio proposes what he calls a "dromomatics" which interrogates the role of speed in history and its important functions in urban and social life, warfare, the economy, transportation and communication, and other aspects of everyday life.
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  • Sociologist Daniel Bell: the nation becomes too small to solve the big problems, but also too large to solve the small ones.