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Music and Politics
Local conference

Faculty of Music Studies (Athens University)
Faculty of Communication and the Media Studies (Athens University)
Athens, November 26, 2007

 

Abstract

The paper focuses on some aspects of the complex relation between music as collective action and politics. It analyses certain functions of the major institutions for production, dissemination and reception of music in the context of the structuring and reproduction of cultural hegemony. It gives emphasis to issues concerning the management of innovation and cultural diversity, as well as to the global aspects of the cultural hegemony worldwide.

In this context, the paper introduces a brief review of the discussion on the political consequences of the strategy and the tactics implemented by the major recording industry in an environment where major changes in the mass media occur and new forms of social interaction appear. The paper suggests that the contemporary issues at stake concern the cultural policy both on a local and a global level.

 

The Music Industry in Greece: Aspects, Perspectives, and Challenges in the 21st Century
Local conference of the Research Network on the Music Industry

Department of Communication, Media, and Culture (Panteion University)
School of Journalism and Mass Media Studies (Aristotle University)
Athens, November 2, 2007

 

Abstract

For more than 30 years now the literature records the efforts of many researchers to operationalize the concepts of innovation and diversity in music. However, a general agreement has not been achieved yet. The development of the empirical research to test several views and hypotheses about the recording industry produced the pressure to define these concepts. Nowadays, this discussion continues in the light of new facts: convergence among different media and forms of communication, development and domination of the global multimedia conglomerates, reengineering of their different sectors (including their music sectors) and synergy among them, new cycles of concentration in the mass media, alternative forms of cultural production, unprecedented possibilities for its disintermediation, changes in the social roles of the musicians, while their relation with the recording industry is also under transformation, as well as their access to cultural resources and their audiences, development of the access to music, its uses and reception.

Under these circumstances, testing the hypotheses about cultural homogenization and conservatism, as well as about the contribution of the recording industry to the democratization of the artistic communication, the enrichment and development of the musical culture is of particular importance.

This paper discusses the complexity of the problem about diversity and innovation in the arts, focusing on the case of the recording industry. The objectives of the paper are to summarize the approaches so far and to enhance the discussion about the methods of research. On the other hand, its purpose is to contribute to the agenda setting of the research network for the music industry, focusing on the Greek case, which has not been studied thoroughly.

 

Christos Fragkonikolopoulos, Alexandros Baltzis

Local conference Culture of the Media / Culture in the Media
School of Journalism & Mass Media Studies of the Aristotle University
Thessaloniki, November 3-5, 2006

 

Abstract

In the last decades various social movements developed, the international movement against the neoliberal globalization being their spearhead. In the international and local literature very little can be found about the functions of the arts in the context of these movements. On the other hand, the dominant mass media treat the arts in the context either of the infotainment, or of the mainly escapist forms of entertainment. In this way they support and reproduce certain notions about the artistic communication and its functions, as well as about the social roles of the artists in modern developed societies. This feature is embedded in the latent cultural agenda of the dominant mass media. However, using photography, music, performing arts and several other forms of artistic expression, many artists involved in various social movements express and they state with their practice a different notion about the functions of the art, contrasting the ideas disseminated by the dominant media. The origins of this different notion can be traced back in the artistic avant-garde that emerged during the 19th century.

In this context, the paper explores the functions of the so called activist art, focusing on the ways in which it may express or even define the issues raised by the social movements. Based on several examples as well as on the literature, the paper discusses the functions of the activist art as an alternative form of mobilization of resources and as an emotional agent provocateur in the context of the social movements. The paper explores also the extent to which this type of art - as an alternative form of communication - might fill the needs that the "conventional" mass media fail to meet.

Finally, the paper introduces a typology of the activist art and a definition that makes a clear distinction among activist, political, and politically engaged art.

 

New Frontiers in Arts Sociology: Creativity, Support and Sustainability
International conference

European Sociological Association (ESA) - Research Network for the Sociology of the Arts (RN2)
Lüneburg and Hamburg, March 28 - April 1, 2007

 

Abstract

The focal points of this paper are the displacement of meaning and the functions in the realm of the artistic perception in a market-driven society, and the consequent production of new types of meaning.

The paper explores the hypothesis that there is a correlation between the kind of the visual representations used in the print commercial advertisements and the symbolic value of the advertised consumer goods. After a short review of previous research in the cases of other countries, the paper presents the results from an exploratory research of the printed ads in Greek magazines. The research is both qualitative and quantitative. According to the working hypothesis, the higher the symbolic value of the advertised consumer good, the more frequent is the use of visual representations that derive from an established, commonly known and highly appreciated visual artistic canon. For the purposes of this research, we collected a random sample of print advertisements published in Greek magazines during 2002-2007 and traced the use of visual artworks.

The data collected during this exploratory research indicate that there are significant differences between Greece and other countries in the frequency of appearance and the use of visual artworks in printed ads. The differences concern the symbolic value and the status of the visual arts, the ways in which the ads create communication codes and the types of goods for which image and identity is created through the use of visual artworks in the Greek case.

Exploring the social functions of the visual arts in printed ads, the paper indicates the need for further research in this field taking into account its importance for a better understanding of the everyday culture and of the specific functions of the visual arts in the Greek case. This type of research may contribute to comprehend: the ways in which the visual arts are utilized by the economy and the media; the stronger convergence between different forms of communication in late capitalism and its consequences for the production of meaning and values; the emergence of new patterns of cultural consumption characterized by ambivalence; the ways in which the visual arts function as a source of creativity for the entrepreneurs; the decline of a previous highly pronounced divergence that has been dominant and the transformation of the ways in which people perceive the artworks.

 

Elsa Deliyanni, Alexandros Baltzis, Tatiana Synodinou

International conference The Impact of Internet on the Mass Media in Europe
European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST - Action A20)
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Delphi, April 26-28, 2006

 

Abstract

Based on the case of music in the internet, this paper explores the framework and the parameters of the conflict arising between copyright (in the sense of the protection granted by law to the authors by allowing them to prohibit unauthorized use of their works) and the right of the citizens to be informed. It presents some paradoxes that often result during litigation the degree to which the established legal approach of the peer-to-peer music file exchange complies with recent developments.

The paper discusses also the challenges that the internet creates for the recording industry, the phases of the "war on copyright infringement" in which the industry is involved, as well as its strategy. A major asymmetry is actually established in this field: the very notion of intellectual property - being socially constructed (and therefore culturally determined) - is incompatible with new types of practice and new forms of culture that proliferate in the internet and the public "cybersphere". Furthermore, it is incompatible also with cultures ignoring the concepts of individual creativity and of the autonomous and accomplished individual artwork.

Finally, the paper discusses some issues which are really at stake and extend far beyond the industry concerns about lost profits.