Lecture: Alberto López Cuenca (Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico)
Since the Industrial Revolution, artistic labour has held an ambiguous position within the logic of the capitalist market. While it has been materially inscribed in the general working conditions set forth by capitalism, it has not always conformed to those conditions. While it has been part of the logic of the market of symbolic goods, it has not been totally regulated by that logic.
In this ambiguity lies the capacity of artistic labour to activate social processes that foster precisely that which is threatened by the logic of the market: social wealth. In opposition to the privatisation of labour and material resources that capitalism demands, social wealth—from ideas to land and software—is shared and held in common. In the conditions set by the financial global economy, it is relevant to ponder whether artistic labour can still work for the enrichment of this collective wealth.