News

  • 26.08.14 PALAIS DES BEAUX-ARTS PREMIERE: CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE (3D) Read more...
  • 25.08.14 European Citizens Summit 2014 Read more...
  • 21.08.14 Beyond the Obvious - Reservation Open Read more...
  • 22.07.14 Job Opportunity: European Capital of Culture '16 Donostia, Spain Read more...
  • 18.07.14 JOB OPPORTUNITY Read more...
  • 27.06.14 European Cultural Networks call for a strong political mandate for the next Commissioner for culture Read more...
  • 19.06.14 Conference on Creative Europe organised in Berlin on June 27th by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung foundation Read more...
  • 19.06.14 The European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) is looking for an Office Manager Read more...
  • 11.06.14 Follow up on the call for the inclusion of culture in the UN sustainable development goals Read more...
  • 23.05.14 CAE’s manifesto received support from Italian and French EP candidates Read more...
  • 22.05.14 Culture Council (20-21 May): recognition of cultural heritage as a key element for a sustainable Europe and confirmation of the cultural exception in the EU-USA negotiations Read more...
  • 07.05.14 EBLIDA runs the « e-read » campaign Read more...
  • 30.04.14 Two exciting internship opportunities at CAE Read more...
  • 30.04.14 Join the call for urgent recognition of culture’s role in development Read more...
  • 29.04.14 Call for students for a film summer course on scenarios making Read more...
  • 24.04.14 Intercult organises a citizens' dialogue in Stockholm Read more...
  • 16.04.14 The Role of Creation in Times of Turbulence Read more...
  • 15.04.14 European cultural networks launch campaign "Go vote! Bring a friend." Read more...
  • 25.03.14 The French version of CAE’s toolkit on European elections 2014 now available Read more...
  • 25.03.14 CAE proposal on measuring well-being Read more...
  • 28.02.14 Culture Action Europe's Newsletter February 2014 now online Read more...
  • 21.02.14 EU ombudsman event: Your wish list for Europe Read more...
  • 19.02.14 Job opportunity at BOZAR Read more...
  • 05.02.14 Call for members: The European Cultural Parliament Youth Network Read more...
  • 29.01.14 UN General Assembly adopts a new Resolution on Culture and Development Read more...
  • 24.01.14 CAE’s political manifesto for the European elections 2014 Read more...
  • 22.01.14 Publication of Dragan Klaic's "Festival in Focus" Read more...
  • 09.01.14 New EENC report: EU-South Korea cultural exchanges Read more...
  • 19.12.13 CAE publishes several reflection papers Read more...
  • 15.12.13 Our Executive Committee Read more...
  • 13.12.13 Handover of the European Year of Citizens 2013 Alliance policy document to the EC and the Council Read more...
  • 11.12.13 First calls for Creative Europe published Read more...
  • 05.12.13 Creative Europe now approved by the Council Read more...
  • 22.11.13 Videos and reports from the Swedish Arts Council's conference "Safe Havens for Artists at Risk – a Nordic Perspective" now online Read more...
  • 19.11.13 Voted today: future global EU budget, future cohesion policy and Creative Europe programme for 2014-2020! Read more...
  • 18.11.13 CAE to launch its work on welfare issues at debate in Brussels 2 Dec Read more...
  • 12.11.13 How’s Life? 2013. Measuring well-being Read more...
  • 08.11.13 IETM's Manifesto about exchange, discourse and solidarity Read more...
  • 05.11.13 Live European Theatre Broadcast European Theatre Convention experiments with a new form of digital collaboration Read more...
  • 31.10.13 IETM seeks Communication Officer Read more...
  • 31.10.13 OPEN CALL FOR INCLUSION OF EXPERTS AND ORGANISATIONS IN THE EENC DATABASE Read more...
  • 28.10.13 Call for Papers for the volume “A Life for Tomorrow – Social Transformations in South-East Europe” Read more...
  • 21.10.13 Online survey: Intra-EU cultural mobility and Issues of Social Security and Taxation Read more...
  • 17.10.13 Do not kill culture- Culture Action Europe's first flash mob, Rome, October 15, 2013 Read more...
  • 15.10.13 International Symposium on European Law and Cultural Policies Read more...
  • 14.10.13 The resale right petition: the protection of artists should be the same in different places of the art market Read more...
  • 02.10.13 Gruppo Adnkronos: one of the official media partners of Culture Action Europe's Annual Conference Read more...
  • 01.10.13 9th Congress "Virtual City and Territory" MEMORY CITY PEOPLE Read more...
  • 01.10.13 Tafter: one of the official media partners of Culture Action Europe's Annual Conference Read more...
  • 11.09.13 New job vacancy at BOZAR Read more...
  • 09.09.13 EENC: New Literature Review on the Social and Economic Value of Cultural Heritage Read more...
  • 05.09.13 IAMIC - INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRES Annual Meeting and Conference 2013 Read more...
  • 21.08.13 Registrations now open: CAE conference 4-5 October 2013, Rome Read more...
  • 09.07.13 Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014: EFA extends application deadline until 10 September 2013 Read more...
  • 02.07.13 Two calls for proposals for Europe- Asia cultural projects Read more...
  • 26.06.13 Open Call for educators and artists on video and citizen journalism Read more...
  • 25.06.13 The first European Citizens’ Summit: bringing Europe back to its people Read more...
  • 21.06.13 Act now for the inclusion of culture in the future Millenium Development Goals Read more...
  • 20.06.13 CAE reacts to the situation in Turkey Read more...
  • 20.06.13 CAE re-opens membership category for individuals! Read more...
  • 18.06.13 Save the date: Culture Action Europe Public Conference and AGM, October 2013, Rome, Italy Read more...
  • 10.06.13 Teatro Valle Occupato: Call for solidarity and support Read more...
  • 07.06.13 EC representation in the UK: Call for proposals for cultural events Read more...
  • 03.06.13 Urgent: Make your voice heard to improve conditions for artists’ mobility now! Read more...
  • 03.06.13 New study on the valuation of works of art for lending and borrowing purposes Read more...
  • 03.06.13 we are more campaign #13 Read more...
  • 28.05.13 Call for ideas: contribute to the European Culture Forum 2013 Read more...
  • 23.05.13 MEPs vote to protect the cultural exception in the EU-USA free trade agreement Read more...
  • 23.05.13 Join Culture Action Europe in the first European Citizens’ Summit ever organised by a cross-sectoral coalition of NGO actors Read more...
  • 16.05.13 The Chair of the EP CULT committee answers to our call in defense of the ‘Creative Europe’ budget Read more...
  • 02.05.13 President of the 'S&D' group in the EP Hannes Swoboda answers to the cultural and creative sectors' concerns about the future budget of Creative Europe Read more...
  • 23.04.13 CAE member VVC celebrates 40 years of cultural centres in Flanders! Read more...
  • 11.04.13 NEMO publishes letter of concern regarding PSI directive on re-use of public sector information Read more...
  • 08.04.13 Letter to President Barroso signed by more than 250 cultural organisations and artists Read more...
  • 05.04.13 URGENT - Funding for Creative Europe needs your action Read more...
  • 19.03.13 CAE reacts to the EC communication on Rethinking Education jointly with the Access to Culture Platform and EUCIS-LLL Read more...
  • 12.03.13 Internships at Platform for Intercultural Europe Read more...
  • 08.03.13 we are more campaign newsletter #12 Read more...
  • 01.03.13 COMIX4 Project Read more...
  • 12.02.13 Culture Action Europe reacts to Council agreement on future EU budget Read more...
  • 05.02.13 Second Letter to EU Heads of State or government Read more...
  • 25.01.13 The Creative Clash Final Conference will take place on 19 March 2013 at the Goethe Institut in Brussels Read more...
  • 20.12.12 we are more campaign #11 Read more...
  • 30.11.12 CAE joined forces with the CSCG in a letter to EU leaders Read more...
  • 21.11.12 Letter to EU Heads of State and Governments on the occasion of the extraordinary EU summit 22-23 November 2012 Read more...
  • 08.11.12 Culture Action Europe values Ms Silvia Costa’s report on Creative Europe and calls on the EU institutions to support the proposed budget increase and to reach a first-reading agreement Read more...
  • 12.10.12 we are more campagin newsletter #10 Read more...
  • 10.10.12 Launch of BOZAR and CAE collaboration Read more...
  • 03.10.12 Culture Action Europe’s Conference and General Assembly ‘Act for culture, act for Europe’ – Brussels 9-11 November 2012 Read more...
  • 03.10.12 New EC communication on "Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU" Read more...
  • 04.09.12 CAE is looking for a new intern Read more...
  • 30.07.12 EFA and its partners of the Access to Culture Platform’s Working Group on Audience Participation call for contributions Read more...
  • 24.07.12 Tandem – Moldova-European Union-Ukraine video now available online! Read more...
  • 23.07.12 we are more campaign newsletter #9 Read more...
  • 18.06.12 Sostenuto – Culture as a factor of economic and social innovation: final press conference Read more...
  • 24.05.12 VIVA IL LIVE! 4.0 and 2nd ARCI ReAL meeting Read more...
  • 22.05.12 European Year of Citizens 2013 Alliance - Manifesto published Read more...
  • 22.05.12 Culture Action Europe values the position adopted by the EU Council of Culture Ministers on the Creative Europe programme Read more...
  • 21.05.12 Festival «art links/l’art crée du lien», on thursday 24th and Friday 25 th in Brussels Read more...
  • 10.05.12 Civil society voices reached the EU Council of Culture Ministers Read more...
  • 30.04.12 'we are more' campaign newsletter #8 Read more...
  • 11.04.12 Banlieues d'Europe organizes a debate on the we are more campaign Read more...
  • 03.04.12 Conference on the role of culture in the inclusion of Roma minorities Read more...
  • 22.03.12 Sign petition to save the only public institution for contemporary dance in Slovenia! Read more...
  • 01.03.12 Warm welcome to our new Secretary General Luca Bergamo! Read more...
  • 22.02.12 'we are more' newsletter #7 Read more...
  • 19.12.11 'we are more' newsletter #6 Read more...
  • 03.10.11 'we are more' newsletter #5 Read more...
  • 16.08.11 Job position at EBLIDA Read more...
  • 07.07.11 'we are more' campagin newsletter #4 2011 special edition on budget is now online Read more...
  • 14.06.11 Artists and social inclusion: A Greens/EFA conference Read more...
  • 26.05.11 'we are more' newsletter #3 Read more...
  • 31.03.11 Summary of the position paper on the Culture Programme Read more...
  • 22.03.11 Remix the docks! Read more...
  • 10.02.11 'we are more' newsletter #2 Read more...
  • 16.12.10 Call for organisations to participate in Cultural Cooperation with Moldova and Ukraine Read more...
  • 09.12.10 'we are more' campaign: demands on the Culture Programme Read more...
  • 09.12.10 'we are more' newsletter #1 Read more...
  • 18.10.10 Culture's contribution to social inclusion Read more...
  • 12.10.10 'we are more' campaign launched! Read more...
  • 22.09.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #4 2010 Read more...
  • 22.09.10 Reflections on the challenges facing society today and how culture may offer answers to them Read more...
  • 06.09.10 LabforCulture reports live from the 'Culture and Policies of Change' conference in Brussels Read more...
  • 04.08.10 Members General Assembly and Culture Action Europe Conference 7-9 October 2010 in Brussels Read more...
  • 14.07.10 OMC working group reports have been published Read more...
  • 17.06.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #3 2010 Read more...
  • 06.05.10 The Platform for Intercultural Europe is recruting Read more...
  • 14.04.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #2 2010 Read more...
  • 12.04.10 The EU 2020 strategy: analysis and perspectives Read more...
  • 31.03.10 Culture Action Europe is looking for a translation intern Read more...
  • 29.03.10 Members’ meetings and policy consultation Read more...
  • 17.03.10 Already 6 new members in 2010! Read more...
  • 10.02.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #1 2010 Read more...
  • 10.02.10 Renewed EU commitmment to combating poverty and social exclusion – what perspectives for the Year? Read more...
  • 08.02.10 EP Hearing – Androulla Vassiliou Commisioner-Desginate for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Read more...
  • 14.01.10 Our contribution to the EC consultation on the future EU 2020 strategy Read more...
  • 11.01.10 Our contribution to the EC consultation on financial regulation Read more...
  • 07.12.09 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #8 Read more...
  • 18.08.09 Post elections analysis – to know more about the composition of the new European Parliament and of the new Culture Committee Read more...
Le mépris - Contempt - By Bernard Stiegler Print
The European Union and its Commission once again faced the affront of a wholehearted rejection in the recent elections. This time more disastrous than ever, as if the “construction of Europe” that it claims to embody, can only lead to the destruction of democratic life, and produce bitterness and distrust among Europeans concerning what they recognise not as Europe but, on the contrary, as the organisation of its disrepute, both at home and abroad.

Following the collapse of Fordian consumerism witnessed during the crisis of 2008, it is clear that we are, more than ever, in urgent need of European cooperation, in particular with America and Asia, to invent a new industrial model capable of overcoming the genuinely catastrophic situation into which the whole of humanity has been plunged by what can only be referred to as a reign of systemic stupidity. This new industrial model must give rise to a new lifestyle, a new culture.

The systemic stupidity that this new culture must now combat was born of and dominated by the hegemony of marketing of which the so-called cultural industries were the secular arm: obeying only the imperatives of consumerism, they slowly but surely destroyed culture – and in doing so they systemised the reign of stupidity by clouding minds and discrediting the institutions responsible for their growth. In this context, what we have called the “democratisation of culture” since the time of Malraux has been overturned and broken down into cultural consumerism.

If the consumerist model was founded on the functional opposition of producers and consumers, the model is dead and cultural consumerism with it. With the fall of Fordism and the major metal industries which adopted it and dominated the 20th century, the cultural industries which gave culture the role of organising consumption – destroying the public and transforming it into audiences – have also fallen. It is sad that Michel Piccoli, whose despised character so very clearly embodies this question in Le Mépris, was so little aware of it – he, Juliette Greco and others who have fully – not to say artfully – taken advantage of this system.

For the past four years, Ars Industrialis has asserted that this model, which has given rise to so much contempt, is no longer tenable and that a different organisation of the industrial economy is possible: what we call the economy of contribution, based on the characteristics of digital technology networks where the functional pairing of production and consumption is no longer pertinent. The contributor, who is neither a consumer nor a producer, implements cognitive and cultural technologies, which together form technologies of the mind.

Clearly, there is a new social environment, which is increasingly pervaded by these technologies, and currently gives rise to the appearance and proliferation of ultra-consumerist models, addictive and highly mimetic.  Marketing organises these models in a highly systematic manner, and the unprecedented potential of which it uses to control individual behaviour and manipulate groups. In other words, digital networks together with the cultural technologies and social practices that develop within them provide radically alternative possibilities:

* One possibility facilitates the development of economic and industrial relations based on personal and collective investment, shared intelligence and the creation of new spaces and critical times supported by an industrial policy of technologies of the mind which should first and foremost be a cultural policy, bringing together artists, writers, thinkers and scientists.

* The other possibility aims to nip in the bud the unprecedented potential for a new age of a life of the mind offered by cultural technologies, and to increase the power of behavioural control, of the instrumentalisation of artists, writers, thinkers and scientists and of the ultra-consumerism of culture, exacerbating systemic stupidity in the process – despite the economic catastrophe that this inflicted on the world in 2008.

It is clear that the European Union has not opted for the first possibility, even if there is nothing to prove that it has adopted the second: the Union is a complex organism which is often affected by conflicts. However, it is certain that its lack of clarity in this field as in so many others has contributed to its electoral failure. For in Europe and throughout the world, everyone now knows, either intuitively or after due consideration, that unless we witness a burst of collective intelligence, the future of the entire world is compromised, at least in the short term.  Everyone expects Europe to finally play the role that its economic and cultural power demands.  

The question of the alternative provided by digitisation has never been asked by what is referred to as the industry of knowledge, the society of wisdom, the battle of intelligence and creative economy: so much discourse which seems more interested in invoking the reality of “cognitive” or “cultural capitalism”, but which, at present is producing the exact opposite of knowledge, wisdom and creation, rather than putting an end to the reign of stupidity, this discourse is very often a direct contribution.

And not once has the question of this alternative been considered in the context of the European year of creativity and innovation 2009 as designated by the President of the European Commission. What does “creativity” mean here? There can be no doubt that, used in conjunction with the word “innovation”, it refers to the concepts of creative economy and creative class put forward by John Hawkins and Richard Florida in 2001 and 2002 respectively. The theories of Florida and Hawkins emerge against a backdrop of a managerial theory of creativity which itself is a version of the theory of innovation. Its particularity lies in its suggestion that the source of innovation is the creativity of individuals.

The entire theory of innovation was established in a consumerist framework. Nevertheless, while it was giving rise to the concept of the creative economy, new practices were developing which no longer corresponded to this consumerist model founded on the increased social connectivity of the individual, but which corresponded to a model based on contribution which highlights the individual in a collaborative model, an intrinsically social model – with what have become such well-known examples as Wikipedia, the open source world and the model of creative commons constituting the real subject of what we will call not the creative economy but the contributory society.

The total lack of vision and understanding of these objectives is one of the many factors of the failure of the European Union. It will only really exist, meaning it will only succeed in uniting its constituent countries and populations, when it proves that it has a vision of the future. This “year of creativity and innovation” should have been devoted to orienting the ongoing digitisation process, which affects every aspect of psychological and social life, towards a new industrial policy placing culture and the mind at the heart of its concerns, such as the contributory economy, against consumerism and more importantly against cultural consumerism with a view to inventing a new industrial age founded on the economy of a value more precious than any other: intelligence in the 18th century sense of the word whereby it forms the cornerstone of sociability in every form, both sensorial and intellectual.

But none of this has come to pass. And that is why the European cultural landscape will be no more mobilised than the peoples of the Union themselves in the democratic undertaking offered them. And yet, it is never too late. That is why we call on artists, writers, thinkers and scientists from throughout Europe to take action by meeting in Brussels before the end of the year to demand that culture be placed at the heart of the European Union’s project for the future and in the service of a renaissance of industrial society – of which the Europe of the Enlightenment was the historic cradle.


Bernard Stiegler