In Adorno’s essay, I mean Adorno and Horkheimer’s essay on mass culture titled “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” they outline what they think the culture industry is doing to us and how basically it interacts with us. It is one of many essays published in Dialectic of Enlightenment originally published in 1944. I want to bring this essay into the continued discussion of art because it suggests a new type of art, the art of the mass industry. This art is a business, the business of entertainment. It is not ruled by manifestos or schools but rather by the wallet. This industry holds no morals and is not tied to any tradition, it will do what ever it needs to turn over that profit, and that includes convincing you that it is about traditions and manifestos, Dali that is to you.
Let me stop here for a second and admit that I 1) don’t fully understand the inter-workings of Adorno’s arguments and 2) hold reservations against brandishing everything that has come out of the cultural factories as some subservient art, a “light” art as Adorno would like us to call it.
I bring this up though because there is something interesting in the idea of control. Are we controlled by our own industry? There is truth to it in that the industry creates need through desire that it dictates, we can easily live without all the luxuries of technology but yet we don’t and worse off we now swear by them. But is it control? Am I writing here because I am being forced to or because I want to? But is that want imposed by the industry?
I’d love some thoughts on this. Huysmans