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DAMNº Magazine

DAMNº #84

DAMNº #84

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In this issue we visit what is happening – how creatives are using the system for change, for inspiration, for debate. We look at the complex role played by money in internships, schools, exhibitions, museums, brands, and discourse – we home-in on critical design, activistic art, experimental economic models, and how creatives are embarking on doing more than just reflecting or communicating social ills. They are striving for tangible alternatives.

In Malcolm Harris’s new book ‘Palo Alto’, he applies Marxist thinking to his island-of-billionaires hometown. In it, capitalism is positioned as a totalising and relentless system that represses human agency and traps us all into the role of either a money-making machine or an oppressed victim. Harris poetically refers to the reluctant participants as “butterflies, pinned live and wriggling onto history’s collage.”

And it’s not just the toxic system that needs examining, but the funded cultural institutes that represent artists, designers and architects – the schools, platforms, and museums in which said-butterflies are bred and released. It was Italian intellectual Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) who coined the term cultural hegemony, believing that the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, used such cultural institutions to maintain power and propagate the status quo.

But as the swell of dissent expands around the world and enough butterflies flap their wings, there are more and more chances that together we can shatter “history’s display case."


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