This is an updated and reworked version of a series of essays begun in the mid-1980s. Info/Eco attempts to provoke consideration of the new ‘information economy’ within an integrated, whole-systems understanding of ‘ecological economics’ and the role of the arts therein.
“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts upon the unthinking.”
Art & Economics: Towards a Cultural Ecology
In this age, increasingly shaped by communications and technology, humanity is becoming acutely sensitive to its frail security. The rationalism of science continues to accelerate the conflict between global mind and local body. Energy and information are now our major exchangeable natural resources. They constitute the primary components of the value system in a newly emerging economic structure. Within the broad framework of information theory, the arts are recognized for their communicative efficiency and transcendence. The processes of creativity, though elusive, have lead mankind through historical mazes of uncertainty. In an information-based society, cultural development may assume an economic value comparable to that of military development in an industrialized society. Having learned to recognize the complex ecological interdependence of living systems and the environment, artists ought now to produce models of a sustaining cultural ecology.
State of the Arts
The arts, reflecting the state of the larger political, economic, and social environment, are in serious trouble. Too many artists are playing it safe, today. The role of the arts in this society, is now largely shaped by confused intellectualism; selfish, vested-interest capitalism; and absent-minded, fashionably crafted artificiality. There must be more. There is, of course. There are many artists and cultural institutions working with deep, sincere integrity and dedication. Their creative life, admittedly, is proceeding at odds with a more dominant social momentum. Their perseverance and efforts are to be encouraged.
- Richard Lowenberg, RADLab, US. radlab.com
Full text (PDF) p. 106-113