Current issue: Vol 8(2)

“Studies in Visual Arts and Communication –
an international journal”

Volume 8 – Nr 2, 2021

Table of Contents

Dec 2021; 8(2)


1. Miki Braniște

The Offensive of the Creative City. The Case of Cluj-Napoca in Romania
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / Dec 2021 8(2)

ABSTRACT
This article aims to analyse the transformation of the cultural scene in Cluj-Napoca as influenced by structural changes in the field of arts and culture brought about by the global creativity paradigm. This transformation materializes in several tensions caused by the shift from a vision of art and culture—as having a symbolic or critical-social function—to one in which economic value prevails. The creativity paradigm, based on the contribution of cultural and creative industries to job creation and economic growth, has been adopted by European policies that directly influence local development in Cluj-Napoca. The city has applied for multiple European titles that would bring international fame and attractiveness (for example, European Capital of Culture). Although the city gained a certain degree of international recognition thanks to the local art scene—developed by grass-roots projects—cultural production was overtaken by the music and event industry mainly based on the distribution of cultural products. The focus on distribution (by local authorities and sponsors) creates an imbalance in local cultural production, but large-scale festival events are valued for their contribution to the city’s visibility and income. Their development marks the festivalization of the city, transforming the way these events are organised and communicated on an industrial scale, much like for-profit companies. This trend imposes new standards that far exceed the capabilities of the majority of local actors on the not-for-profit cultural scene. Mega-festivals are the new brand of “a festival city” in search of an educated, entrepreneurial, creative workforce. The creative city accelerates gentrification, stimulates entrepreneurial cultural practices, neutralises critical artistic discourse and commodifies the presence of culture. In addition to this, the city’s policies shifting towards increasing the quality of life of the creative class generates a series of inequalities related to the working class and disadvantaged groups.

Keywords: cultural policies, festivalization, gentrification, independent scene, creative industries, creative city, cultural entrepreneurship, commodification of culture, hybridization, precarity.

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2. Luca Bertoldi

The art of disobedience
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / Dec 2021 8(2)

ABSTRACT
The following text intends to reflect on the existence of a paradigm of conflict or disobedience in artistic research practices that confront formal or informal education. The aim is to trace one of the possible directions of what artistic research today can represent for the scientific and social world. The study does not intend to propose a specific didactic method or disciplinary paradigm but rather to open up different artistic methodological possibilities that favour the contradictory moment of solid emancipatory value. In this respect, today’s artistic practices engaged in dialogue with scientific research can be bearers of instances of doubt and the production of critical, collective and contextualised knowledge. I will approach historical experiences of the relationship between artistic research and education from an emancipatory and contingent point of view through the texts of their activators, namely Augusto Boal, Asger Jorn and Joseph Beuys. In the second part of the study, two recent curatorial research projects convey dissident knowledge, such as the Disobedience Archive by Marco Scotini and Radical Pedagogies by Beatriz Colomina. In both of these, the focus will be on how this knowledge is constructed and transmitted.

Keywords: power-knowledge, disobedience, critical knowledge, art-based research, radical pedagogies.

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3. Felicitas Casillo

Monumental metaphors of Art and Culture: The case of the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Center in Buenos Aires
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / Dec 2021 8(2)

ABSTRACT
Between 2006 and 2015, the Buenos Aires Post Office Palace was transformed into the President Dr. Néstor Carlos Kirchner Cultural Center. The designation of the Cultural Center, an institution dedicated to art and culture, with the name of the deceased former president generated great controversy in Argentina. The Government, the opposition and the media enunciated and recognized the Cultural Center as a metaphor of political power. The metaphorical uses of cultural heritage were sustained in the discourse of the main political and social actors. This case study describes one of the uses of cultural and art heritage in contemporary societies and the tense link between the media field and cultural management.

Keywords: cultural heritage, metaphors, cultural hermeneutics, cultural management, informative discourse.

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4. Paula Ramos Mollá

The Social Function and Value of Digital Images: Exploring Visual Meaning Today
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / Dec 2021 8(2)

ABSTRACT
In this paper I will propose four distinct social functions and values which constitute digital images today, understood as icons. Furthermore, I will consider the development of the digital image’s particular way of signifying, taking into account the historical transformations of both social history and media history. In the first place, I will address the relation between these technological developments with the historical transformation of our gaze, understood as a collective and embodied act of interpreting visual meaning. In this sense, the history of images becomes entangled with the history of our bodies in an individual and collective manner. In the second place, making use of Vilém Flusser’s previous distinction, I will classify digital images into two categories – reproductive and productive, according to their way of signifying. I will outline the features which characterize these two types of images and provide specific examples to support this classification. In this sense, both artistic and scientific digital images are taken into account to analyse how they produce and reproduce meaningful content. Finally, I will conclude by laying out four functions and values digital images display today as a consequence of our gaze’s transformation. I believe that to understand how images signify today means to understand the effects of these technological and social changes which lead to the development of the digital image’s new features

Keywords: social function and value of digital images, productive and reproductive images, Vilém Flusser, digital artworks, gaze, historical gaze.

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