Cultural Commons

Cultural Commons

A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures

Edited by Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Massimo Marrelli and Walter Santagata

This compelling book offers a fresh and novel approach to study cultural and artistic expression from the perspective of ‘the commons’. It demonstrates how identifying cultures as shared resources is useful in eliciting the main factors and social dilemmas affecting the production and evolution of cultural expression.

Chapter 6: Structure and Evolution of two Cultural Commons: Italian Futurism and Milan Design

Paola Fiorentino and Martha Friel

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics

Extract

6. Structure and evolution of two cultural commons: Italian Futurism and Milanese design Paola Fiorentino and Martha Friel INTRODUCTION 1 This chapter considers the phenomenon that when observing the production, supply and demand of cultural products, we often find some peculiar “economic determinants” that refer not to traditional production inputs but rather to informal systems of relations. Although these determinants have so far been disregarded by the mainstream economic literature, they may provide a better understanding of the cultural production process, especially when we analyze informal cultural communities such as artistic movements or localized groups of creative workers and firms. In fact, with the transition from the manufacturing to the knowledge economy, these cultural communities are gaining increasing importance and are becoming a more and more interesting research topic. The aim of this chapter is to analyze two Italian cultural commons. The first is Italian Futurism, an artistic and social movement that flourished in Italy during the first decades of the twentieth century. The second refers to Milanese design, which, starting from the 1930s, gave rise to a dynamic and internationally renowned design pole. Artistic movements and communities expressing these cultural expressions can be examined under the cultural commons lens because of their commons-like features and the externalities members generate through their activity in cultural production and exchange. These communities, then, can represent two interesting case studies for empirically investigating how cultural commons work in an evolutionary and relational perspective. In particular, the main focus of the analysis is to...

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