cultural capital


More and more the mnemonic function of the museum is given over to the electronic archive, which might be accessed anywhere, while the visual experience is given over not only to the exhibition-form but to the museum-building as spectacle – that is, as an image to be circulated in the media in the service of brand equity and cultural capital. This image may be the primary form of public art today.

– Hal Foster. Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes). New York: Verso, 2002: p. 82.

To be able to play the games of culture with … playful seriousness … a seriousness without the ‘spirit of seriousness’, one has to belong to the ranks of those who have been able, not necessarily to make their whole existence a sort of children’s game, as artists do, but at least to maintain for a long time, sometimes a whole lifetime, a child’s relation to the world…. An aesthetic disposition, a generalized capacity to neutralize ordinary urgencies and to bracket off practical ends, a durable inclination and attitude for practice without a practical function, can only be constituted within an experience of the world freed from urgency and through the practice of activities which are an end in themselves, such as scholastic exercises or the contemplation of works of art. In other words, it presupposes the distance from the world … which is the basis of the bourgeois experience of the world.

– Pierre Bourdieu. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste [1979]. Richard Nice, trans. Harvard University Press, 1984: 54.