New Aesthetics and New Technologies: Global Challenges to the Future of Cultural Organizations and Management



The study of culture is polarized between structuralist and pragmatist theories (Alexander and co. (eds.), 2006: 29). Moreover, in this era of technology, that conveys the concept of the economy of knowledge (Beckert, 2010: 92-93) the challenge regarding the relationship between global and local traditions is re-emphasized. As Lipset and Rokkan (Smith, 1995: 129) observed, the divisions rural / urban represented the first lines of conflict in terms of economic interests in the industrial capitalism, since religion and in a certain degree ethnicity shaped non-economic divisions. Gellner (1999: 13-16), as representative of critical rationalism and social anthropology, talks about two types of society. On the one hand we have the traditional society, stratified, rural par excellence with no linguistic or cultural homogeneity. In contrast, there is the modern society, cultivated, sophisticated, where culture becomes part of the identity of the citizen. Yet, new aesthetics challenges these social and geographical divisions with a new eruption of the digital realm that changes the rules of the game. The article brings forth a proposal for bridging the existing gap. Likewise design, management of culture has also the potential to become the conveyance of meaning in the context of everyday urban life. Performance as design could be a strategic model for management of culture in our time.

Keywords: global vs. local traditions, rural vs. urban societies, new aesthetics vs. new technologies, management of culture, performance as design