Cultural infrastructures change living conditions


It is important to begin this column by clarifying an obvious fact that has existed in the so-called global world since the mid-20th century, but very strongly from the late 1980s and early 1990s to the present day. I mean that our bodies are no longer receivers and transmitters of information, but computerized bodies, where technology is not an external device, but rather a structural part of it. While this does not start with “computing”, it is through it that it is “radicalized” technologically. Nature, as a concept under discussion, would in principle be generated from an abstraction to model, for example, a political position, which would become, for example, ecology. So, the relevance, in this example, is that the structural conditions of the change of reality with respect to ecological urgencies should always be updated between the levels of symbolic subjectivities of a possible aesthetics of politics in conjunction (integrated) with the intrinsic dependence of the technology that our bodies form in the world, that is, the computerization that is “unfolded” by them. To think of them separately would be an epochal error, and their extinction would occur, precisely – in an important part – because of this error of multidisciplinary separation that continues to perpetuate itself in educational systems, political classes, academic thought, etc.

However, computerization “visualized” by bodies should not be understood as a receptacle and transmitter of information, since we are dealing with complex systems in complex networks of dynamic and changing interaction. The obstacle to the latter would occur in the over-exploitation of a new technological proletarianism, i.e. a type of information management that would advocate and sustain the end of reason, where it would fork into an automated visualization of self-control of life, which would concentrate energies in the “rest” on life decisions consigned to algorithmic decisions (even when identity is defended as one’s own, while deciding as a techno-capitalist consumer). The use to achieve this kind of control is in the middle of second-order cybernetics. But, however – as I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph – the political choice of how we will conduct our “promenade” has many lines of flight within generalized computerization. One of these options is the strengthening of cultural and knowledge infrastructures. In Chile, unfortunately, “professional” politicians develop information separate from these infrastructural processes, adapting, according to their training, to a relevance in the matter secondarily from other types of economic growth and strengthening. , after which economic resources could be generated in these areas. The situation of 21st century development is clearly the opposite.

In principle, in Chile, if Boric’s electoral promises were fulfilled, in a few years science, technology, innovation would reach 1% of GDP, as well as art and culture (recall that the current GDP of the first “group” is about 0.2%, increased to 0.36% with the private contribution; in the second case it goes from 0.3% to about 0.4%). In the problematic linked to the theme of this section, the question would arise of how to deal with this increase? Well, we already know, the growing increase in the budget for events without structural consequences, such as festivals or populist techno-scientific events, which take place in congresses every year, influencing even laws without strong legal support, as is the case with the neurorights.

It is worth mentioning that, apparently, the calculations are being readjusted and the campaign proposal cannot be fulfilled.

The aforementioned legislative, judicial and executive institutionality, which is compared with other Latin American countries, would be an analogy with the infrastructural one. However, this type of institutional infrastructure is leading, according to the slowness of the changes linked to the “global”, a growing weakness, where, on the other hand, its strength is addressed mainly to those who have already created special interests and “endogamic” and not new devices at the height of urgencies of this era.

Examples of cultural infrastructure attempts (outside of annual state budgets) could be seen in the formation of the Knowledge Workers Congress in Chile which is being organized for 2023, as well as the reincorporation of the Valparaíso Art Biennial (after almost 30 years of absence) by 2024. On the legal level, it is important to highlight the important efforts of the Innovarte NGO Corporation, which seeks to lay foundations in support of rights related to access to knowledge and health among many other legislative infrastructure issues.

The first (and last) Art Triennial in Chile, while leaving an interesting documentation, did not set up a subsequent cultural infrastructure. The attempts of the first three examples that I report are projects that would try to affect and project themselves into the general cultural structure of the country, that would generate types of quantitative and qualitative investments for the perspective of “alteration” in the gradual restructuring of models that contribute to the critical reorganization of the information through new imaginaries in the productive apparatus, i.e. counter-articulations in the social and cultural incidence, where bodies have the possibility of rearranging their information processes in everyday life and towards the prospecting of new realities, to face the reorganization of digital hyper-reproducibility of the hyper-industries that shape the perceptions, desires and imaginaries of the inhabitants of the world.

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