collective self-education in the arts and culture…

Production of Knowledge :: Jelena Knežević

Production of knowledge is a complex process of creating and organizing information in society. It is a time and money consuming process and because of that production of new knowledge is usually done by persons who work for government agencies, hospital universities, sildenafil large non-profit organizations, impotent or large corporations.

Dominant model of knowledge production consists of:

1. Educational system, research institutions and research facilities, supported by the Government and private grants (knowledge governance)

2. High-level research personnel that are to carry out social science and humanities research projects (human resources development)

3. Access to locally available social science and humanities knowledge (local knowledge)

4. Access to globally available social science and humanities knowledge (global knowledge)

5. Gatekeepers that are to evaluate research output, e.g. in the form of peer reviews (authorization)

6. Publishing research results in local print media (local documents)

7. Publishing research results in internationally recognized print media (global documents)

We can make distinction between two regimes that allocate resources for the creation of new knowledge: one is the system of granting intellectual property rights, as exemplified by modern patent and copyright systems; the other is the “open science” regime, as often found in the realm of “pure” scientific research (references and quotations). Today we also encounter this kind of system, to a certain extent, in the production of free and open source software.

The first system assigns clear property rights to newly created knowledge that allow the exclusion of others from using that knowledge, as well as the trading and licensing it. As it is well-known such a system provides powerful incentives for the creation of knowledge, at the cost of creating temporary monopolies that will tend to restrict output and raise price.

The second system relies to some extent on the fact that individuals often invent or create for non-pecuniary reasons like curiosity. Dissemination of research results and knowledge is achieved at a relatively low cost, because assigning the “moral rights” to the first publisher of an addition to the body of knowledge gives creators an incentive to disseminate it rapidly and broadly. Therefore, in this system the use of others’ output is encouraged and relatively cheap, with the cost being appropriate citation and possibly some reciprocity in sharing knowledge.

That is why the system of open science is often used as a regime of contemporary knowledge production in many critical and independent educational projects in culture and art.

According to: Bronwyn H. Hall, “Incentives For Knowledge Production with Many Producers”, ESRC Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, Working Paper no. 292

University of California at Berkeley and NBER, Department of Economics

Commodification of Knowledge :: Iva Nenić

Production and management of knowledge (the way information is created, find presented, infection archived, malady transmitted, shared, judged) is subjected to the material conditions of a given historical moment and specificity of cultural educational practices. The very object of knowledge is rapidly changing in postindustrial societies due to growing speed of technological development and the resulting ubiquitousness of information. The logic of capital has penetrated contemporary field of education, changing the concept of knowledge from “an organized body of information” to “informational commodity”. As Louis Althusser warned, “the ideological State apparatus which has been installed in the dominant position in mature capitalist social formations as a result of a violent political and ideological class struggle against the old dominant ideological State apparatus is the educational ideological apparatus”.[1] Late capitalism regulates the learning process in such a manner, whereas the “dominant ideology” is not mere implementation of a State hegemonic principle, but more profound change at the very core of educational systems. Knowledge is commercialized, the relevance and amount of information is rapidly growing, new technologies are conditio sine qua non of any learning process. Thus Jean François Lyotard states, that “[k]nowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be consumed in order to be valorized in a new production: in both cases, the goal is exchange”.[2] This also affects the role of learning: today, it is not to know for “one’s own purposes”, but to utilize the knowledge in the educational market, to make the most of one’s abilities and imagination. Knowledge as a commodity-for-sale is the hallmark of late capitalism’s hegemonic know-how approach, where quick grappling the information (having right speed and location) is more important then pursuing individual creativity outside conventional institutional framework. The value of immaterial labor, creativity and innovation, on the other hand, is recognized by the market resulting in emergent “parasitic exploitation of the immaterial domain by the material one”[3].

Commodification of knowledge, then, is a process of transformation taking place at the basis of educational system and also a present dominant condition of knowledge. The call for counteraction in the sense of various forms of critique and counterhegemony, aims towards both theory and practice. The question is how to think the value of knowledge today and how to develop open and self-reflective means of education differing from conventional teaching and learning. These strategies must take in account both global and local circumstances such as digital divide and societal inequalities, in order to trace particular needs and build context-specific tactics of combating the ruling logic of today’s cognitive capitalism.

[1] Louis Althusser (1971), “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”, in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, New York and London: Monthly Review Press, pp. 127-187, 152.

[2] Jean François Lyotard (1984), The Postmodern Condition: A report on knowledge, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p. 4.

[3] Matteo Pasquinelli, “Immaterial Civil War: Prototypes of Conflicts Within Cognitive Capitalism”, Barcelona, September 2006, p. 8

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