In the Mood for Work.
Can Representation Alter the Valorization of Work?
Jaron Rowan and María Ruido
Defining a (kind of) Field of Production
At this point, it’s no longer necessary to insist that cultural production is one of those spaces most affected by the transformations of labor taking place on a global level, processes such as the growing flexibilization of work, the precarization of labor conditions, and the demands upon workers that they assume their own risks and costs. We see, in the same vein, that David Harvey’s system of flexible accumulation (Harvey 1990), widely debated in academic spheres (for example, Narotzky, 1997), has met with little resistance when introduced into the sphere of cultural production. We think that cultural production’s ‘bohemian tradition’ has been a feeble buffer against these labor transformations which have been taking place at a global scale since the late seventies, or that it could even have encouraged them. Some of the problems we would like to reflect upon in this brief essay have to do with how these transformations have affected cultural production by modifying its practice, its economic models and how it is understood.
Throughout this text, we will try to talk about why a good part of such production is not perceived (or is perceived distortedly) as work, and also how the erosion of the traditional boundaries defining work has had a negative effect on how value is attributed to cultural production.
* This text was published in YProductions (Eds.): PRODUCTA 50. Barcelona, Generalitat de Catalunya, 2007.