Artistic activism and agonistic politics

Can artistic practices still play a critical role in a society where the difference between art
and advertizing have become blurred and where artists and cultural workers have become
a necessary part of capitalist production? Scrutinizing the “new spirit of capitalism” Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello have shown how the demands for autonomy of the new movements
of the 1960's had been harnessed in the development of the post-fordist networked economy
and transformed in new forms of control. The aesthetic strategies of the counter-culture:
the search for authenticity, the ideal of self-management, the anti-hierarchical exigency, are now used in order to promote the conditions required by the current mode of capitalist regulation, replacing the disciplinary framework characteristic of the fordist period. Nowadays artistic
and cultural production play a central role in the process of capital valorization and, through “neo-management”, artistic critique has become an important element of capitalist productivity.