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|Titolo:||Speaking of public space: cultures and countercultures in the confrontation about street art|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Autori interni:||VISCONTI, LUCA MASSIMILIANO|
ANDERSON, LAUREL A.
|Autori:||L. M. Visconti; L. Anderson; S. Borghini; J. F. Sherry Jr.|
|Titolo del libro:||Speaking of public space: cultures and countercultures in the confrontation about street art|
|Abstract:||Recently, discussion about public space has been revitalized by the attention that street art has acquired in the media, public policy, social discussion, marketing strategies, and the arts (Borghini et al. forthcoming). Our multi-sited ethnography (Marcus 1995), primarily conducted in the States and Italy but expanded much beyond by means of extensive netnographic analysis (Kozinets 2002), accounts for this increasing and pervasive impact of street art. Among others, we observe media interest for the dialectical confrontation between supporters and opponents of street art as well as a remarkable amount of companies (e.g., Adidas, Nike, Puma, Etro, Murakami, Nestle, Porsche, Zurich, Bic, Palais de Tokyo, etc.) deploying street art codes to market their products, lay out their stores, or create their ads. Also, we document a spirited confrontation about street art in public space animating experts in the arts, some celebrating it as a democratic, open-air museum, others rejecting the defacement of public walls. Even public governors have entered the arena, sometimes assigning spaces to artists for free expression or embellishments, other times embittering disciplinary measures, more rarely opening participated debates with the citizens about the maintenance of given artworks (e.g., Bristol, Bethlehem, etc.). Interestingly, we note that such debate about the meanings, consumption, and sharing of public space stimulated by street art takes place both within and beyond the marketplace as traditionally meant, that is, as the place of commodity exchanges (Belk 2010). Beyond the market, we focus on dynamics of sharing in and out public space, which overcome price-based exchanges to include sociality, public activism, and ethics. On this side, our research highlights the existence of rival ideologies of public space consumption sustained by street artists and city dwellers in particular. According to the level of individualistic versus collectivistic appraisal of public space showed by inhabitants and artists, we identify and illustrate four different ideologies of public space consumption: i) “privatization” of public space; ii) dwellers’ resistance to alienation; iii) artists’ claim for street democracy; and, iv) dialogical confrontation. Parallely, we also detect the relevance of street (art) ideologies within the market. The visibility progressively assumed by street art and its ideological power are able to infuse new meanings into brand narratives (Cayla and Arnould 2008). Especially when brand narratives are constructed around a complex and partially conflictual system of parts (“brand gestalt,” Diamond et al. 2009), companies may appreciate the potentialities hidden in the incorporation of the multifaceted street art’s values, communication codes, and/ or aesthetic style-marks. The complexity and variety of meanings accompanying street art makes it a multivalent storyteller, which marketers can learn to accommodate, respect or even endorse. Thus, our work reveals the connections between the social world and the market (Peñaloza and Venkatesh 2006). On the one hand, ongoing social debate—in our case about public space consumption via street art—may inspire marketing strategies by updating market conversations, refreshing companies’ communication style or rejuvenating products and stores (Borghini et al. forthcoming). On the other hand, the social debate can be also fuelled with the expansion of the market. Street art is a vivid example of market contestation—as such, a counterculture—since it openly attacks the overwhelming presence of commercial ads in the streets (what world famous street artist Banksy defines “brandalism,” 2006), the constant incitement to materialism, and the celebration of individualism against joint possessions (Belk 2010). Even more peculiarly, our work also unpacks the connections between privately owned and collective goods. The counterculture of sharing as framed in the context of public space consumption assumes its proper features only in sharp confrontation with the dominating culture of materialism rooted in private consumption. Similarly, the literature on consumer resistance (Murray and Ozanne 1991) and social movements (Kozinets and Handelman 2004) assume additional depth when we locate such anti-consumeristic countercultures of privately owned goods in close propinquity with the collectivistic appraisal of public goods, and public space here in detail. We argue that some of the argumentations developed around public space mirror, overthrow or endorse the traits sustaining individual materialism as well as consumer resistance. While interpreting our ethnographic data, as researchers we had to move back and forth the private and the public, as well as the market and the social. Critics of marketing and consumption in contemporary life are realizing that indictments of countercultural selling out and corporate co-optation of dissent are increasingly misplaced. There is a dawning recognition that “marketing has simply become so diffuse as to be a social activity,” and that both counterculture and corporation seek common goals: “wider appreciation of…good art…enough compensation for creators…and the elimination of tacky and dumb advertising…”(Moore 2007, p.86).|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||62 - Proceedings / Presentations|
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