The Cultural Capital Project

Cultural Capital is a collaborative research project between myself, Brian Fauteux (Media & Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Ian Dahlman (Law, McGill University) that explores the historical antecedents, theoretical trajectories, legal ramifications and technical components involved in the creation of a non-profit patronage system and social network uniting musical artists and fans. The system will harvest user-generated data of listening and sharing habits, and then use an algorithm to allocate equitable compensation via distributed micropayment. Incorporating the multitude of individuals who propel the cultural industries with their creative labour, including fans, photographers, artists, labels and others, the Cultural Capital project aims to establish a ‘radical monetization’ of the music industry based on equity, connectivity and sharing. Integrating the ideas of Bourdieu, Attali, Lessig and more, this research will explore new avenues of development for the digital cultural industries and assess potential opportunities for innovative cultural labourers to facilitate this transformation. In March 2012, the project was awarded an Art+Exchange Planning Grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts. Read our inaugural publication about the project:

deWaard, Andrew, Brian Fauteux and Ian Dahlman. “The Cultural Capital Project: Radical Monetization of the Music Industry.” IASPM@Journal 3.1 (2013). [Full text pdf]

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