Cultural Innovation

The struggle between tradition and innovation, which is the principle of internal cultural development in historical societies, can be carried on only through the permanent victory of innovation. Yet cultural innovation is carried by nothing other than the total historical movement which, by becoming conscious of its totality, tends to supersede its own cultural presuppositions and moves toward the suppression of all separation.

Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. pp. 180.

Photo by Adam Rothstein

The consumption of culture requires constant and perceivable innovation. The victory of innovation over tradition does not necessarily require tradition no longer exist or tradition be suppressed under innovation. Innovation, the process of innovation that is, incorporates tradition into itself. If the consumption of culture requires innovation, innovation must negate the practice of tradition and require tradition to be a conceptual and marketable methodology under cultural mechanisms. If culture is the venue for a search for lost unity, tradition represents the most idealized understanding of unity culture could produce. However, we might understand that under capitalism tradition, and therefore any understanding of unity under traditional practices, can only be understood through the framework of innovation. Therefore the consumption of tradition through current cultural mechanisms can only foster an undermining of unity even through this consumption represents a constant search for the unity it undermines.

by Anonymous Occupier

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  1 comment for “Cultural Innovation

  1. Crash
    November 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    For the Situationists and Debord especially, overcoming “separation” did not mean unity. “Totality” did not mean conformity or lack of diversity. Totality is simply a viewpoint on the whole ball of wax which includes contradictions and process. “Separation” is their term for _alienation from the means of production_ of values; or being structurally prevented from actively participating in your own creative life, something experienced daily by wage slaves. Separation from the ability to construct meaning and to produce economic value. They wanted a society that allowed and encouraged free participation together in a more creative and experimental humanity.

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