Here is the abstract:
Cultural Data: Contested Object and Space for Policy Design and Civic Engagement
“Cultural Data” is a concept that brings together two very abstract and traditionally distinct notions. Their convergence, facilitated by the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in both private and public arts management and cultural administration institutions, gives rise to a new and particular object of study. Furthermore, Cultural Data today constitutes a contested space in which civil society and State aspirations collide, as both sides struggle to either control or expand particular ideas on cultural citizenship, cultural space and the purpose of cultural policy.
Access and use of ICTs by cultural networks, associations and other civil society collectives, coupled with particular aspirations advanced by the so-called Web 2.0 culture in general are turning Cultural Data into a new site for activism and civic engagement. This paper argues that the critical study of the concept of Cultural Data should bring together ideas from the fields of information, systems and cultural theory. The conclusion outlines potential directions for the critical study of Cultural Data, the dangers in its naturalization, and the role anthropology could have in furthering our understanding of the dynamics at play when informational objects converge with cultural and symbolic categories.