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Conference Art and Law

Goethe - Institut
I.R.E.N.E. - Institut de Recherches et d'Etudes Notariales Européen
Institut Français de Thessalonique
Thessaloniki (Greece), December 4, 2014

 

Abstract

The paper focuses on the major changes concerning the conditions in which contemporary artworks are created and the institutions through which they circulate in the global market. The key features of globalization as a complex process, like universal interdependence, the acceleration of interactions, the "deterritorialization" of contemporary art, and the integration between the local and the global, as well as the predominance of the financial capital in the broader system of production, have brought about structural changes in the global art market and in the art world in general.

Following the analysis by Diane Crane and others about the changes observed during the last decades, the paper outlines the emergence of a very small number of mega-collectors and a few centers for trading contemporary artworks that acquired a central role in the art world bringing about significant functional changes. This development has been the result of changes in cultural policy at the local level and in a market-oriented direction that led to the systematic undermining of traditional institutions for the legitimation, protection and dissemination of the arts, such as museums, critics and communities of artists. In these circumstances, the development of a peculiar form of "financialization" of the art world on a global level has been favored.

The artistic creation of the present is the cultural heritage of the future. Consequently, several issues need to be seen in a new perspective, considering that the circulation of contemporary art is confined within a very small circle of wealthy super-collectors, a few powerful art dealers and auction houses, and a small number of international art fairs. These issues are related with the freedom of access to the arts and its future, the support of cultural development and contemporary creation (particularly where neoliberal notions about culture and the arts are dominant), as well as the protection of the artists' rights. Moreover, since traditional distinctions between fine and popular arts have become ambiguous and sometimes obsolete, the different positions concerning the global arrangements and regulations of the trade of cultural goods, as well as the arguments upon which they are based, need also to be reconsidered.

 

Alexandros Baltzis

In the collective volume: Cultural Industries and Technoculture: Practices and Challenges (pp. 127-147)
Editors: A. Theodosiou, E. Papadaki
Athens: Nissos, 2019
ISBN: 978-960-589-092-6

 

Abstract

Three myths about the effects of technology on the field of culture are analyzed in this chapter, considering the system of the music industries as a typical case. The "technomythology" examined includes the hypotheses about the emancipation of the authors and the public, the democratization of the production and consumption of culture, and their disintermediation.

These hypotheses are discussed in the context of globalization and the policies to address the current crisis. They are also discussed in the context of the utopian views about the effects of technology. Highlighting the interactions among technology, economy and politics in the field of musical culture, the paper takes into account the terms and conditions for the production and circulation of cultural goods brought about by globalization and the dominant policies.

The hypotheses under discussion, were tested using a network analysis of the international trade of musical content and music hardware and an analysis of longitudinal data. The plethora of research on the effects of technology on the asymmetries, inequality, and contradictions within societies, was also taken into account.

Based on these data, the analysis suggests that the heteronomy of music as a social field rather than restricted, it tends to expand. This is a development with several important consequences on multiple levels and with negative effects, especially in less developed countries, like Greece.

 

Music Information and Society
International conference (invited speaker)

Institute for Research on Music & Acoustics
International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC)
Department of Communication, Media and Culture - Panteion University of Athens
Athens (Greece), June 22, 2012

 

Abstract

The paper explores the complexities of collecting statistical data on the music industries. It is based on the generally accepted assumption about the contribution of culture to the development - the so-called "cultural turn" realized on a global level during the last decades of the twentieth century. This turn has been expressed both in theory and practice through - on the one hand - the shift from the notion about the cultural to the concept about the creative industries, and on the other, through decisions made, policies developed and institutions created about the creative economy and the creative industries. However, analysis shows that the Greek case seems to contradict and lag behind these developments due to several reasons. Hence, there is a rather problematic situation concerning the collecting, processing and distributing data on the complex set of music-related activities, goods and services.

Two main interrelated issues - a political and a methodological one - are discussed on this basis:

  • On the one hand, data is needed for developing appropriate policies to support the growth of a music sector able to contribute to the development of the country. On the other hand, investment in infrastructure, technical support, and expertise development in this field, are impossible under the dominant political mindset for horizontal cuts regardless of consequences and future costs. The paper discusses this paradox.
  • Secondly, it analyses – on this background – the complex methodological issues raised by the current nomenclatures and classifications of products, services and economic activities from the perspective of the data needed on the music industries for research and policy making.

If there is something positive in the Greek case concerning the lag behind the developments, this may be the opportunity to elaborate and improve the methodology for collecting, processing and distributing data on the music industries (and other sectors of the cultural production as well). The paper concludes with a suggestion to resolve both issues mentioned above.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Giorgos Aggelopoulos

Conference Quality Assurance and Quality Management: Governance and Good Practices
Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP) Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Under the auspices of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (H.Q.A.A.)
Thessaloniki (Greece), September 20-21, 2012

Presentation video (from 4:40:53 - in Greek)

 

Abstract

Objective: The international university ranking lists as reported in the public discourse in Greece, fuel arguments for making important decisions about higher education. This paper detects the main principles of these lists and their methodological problems. It also analyzes their reconstruction by the mass media to highlight the ways that the issues on the universities reform are included in their agenda influencing the public debate, as well as the attitudes of various fragments of the academic community, and contributing to the reorganization of the higher education system.

Methods: The most publicized ranking systems and their basic methodological problems were analyzed, considering the relevant literature and research. The ways in which these rankings were presented in the public discourse during the last two years have been analyzed, focusing on the daily and weekly press. The quantitative and qualitative methods of content and critical discourse analysis were employed, and indicators for impartiality and integrity of presentation were measured. Indicators for infotainment – and more specifically the type and the tone of writing about the Greek universities and the global rankings – were also measured.

Results: The findings show that the discourse on the international rankings that appear regularly in the Greek press is biased and incomplete. Features of infotainment are also found in the reporting and news about global university rankings. The findings indicate clearly the political and ideological functions of this discourse as well as the necessity to distinguish between quality assurance and assessment of the education and research processes on the one hand and the hierarchical rankings on the other. They also show the severe negative consequences that the unreserved adoption of these rankings may have for both the strategic plans of the academic institutions and the policy on the higher education. The analysis of the findings shows also that the discourse on the global rankings in the Greek press cultivates systematically positive stereotypes about hierarchical classifications, commercial rankings and competition in the academic field while it produces and reproduces negative stereotypes about the Greek Universities, suggesting the idea that the academic field is not a field where questioning flourishes, knowledge and innovation are produced, but a field of fierce competition without rules that generates winners and losers. Finally, the paper discusses the contribution of the findings in the debate on the assessment and quality assurance in the academic institutions and the need to reflect on what “success” and “failure” might mean in the global commercial university rankings.

 

Alexandros Baltzis, Maria Manolika, Antonis Gardikiotis

World Media Economics & Management Conference 2012
International conference

School of Journalism & Mass Media Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Faculty of Law, Economic and Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Department of Marketing & Communication, Athens University of Economics and Business
Thessaloniki (Greece), May 23-27, 2012

 

Abstract

This paper presents the main points of an empirical research on the uses of music by the university student population in a Greek regional urban center (Alexandroupoli). This is a quantitative research on a representative sample of 400 students to trace the influence of several factors on the uses of this particular cultural good. The literature review shows that little research has been done to study the influence of personality traits and social values on cultural consumption. In this study, these variables were included along with gender and the field of studies.

Participants indicated their values on an abbreviated version of the Schwartz Value Survey and their personality traits on the Big Five Inventory scale. Statistical analysis of the data (principal component analysis and hierarchical regression) confirmed the following hypotheses:

  1. The operationalization of the consumption of music revealed more types of uses compared with those found in the literature.
  2. Social values influence the uses of music.
  3. Individual differences, traced by studying personality traits, contribute in predicting the various uses of this particular cultural good.
  4. The field of studies (natural or social sciences) influences the various uses of music.
  5. Gender is also one of the factors that contribute in predicting the various uses of music.

Finally, the paper presents the main conclusions of this research which highlight the multidimensional nature of cultural consumption and the need to develop similar research on different types of cultural goods.