The Cultural Exception: Why?

  • Anthony J. Liehm


THE NEXT CENTURY will definitely be a century of the audio-visual, an alpha-numeric century. This will have an enormous impact on culture. In every household, of whatever might then be called the developed world, there will be a huge TV screen and a smaller one in each room. Add the internet and other advances technology will offer and you will easily agree that, whether we like it or not, the audio-visual media will play the role of the most important, dominant vectors of art and culture. Furthermore, the attitude towards these developments of still too many intellectuals and artists -- one of hostility and snubbing the audio-visual instead of trying to influence it and occupy an increasingly important position in its structures and programs -- seems a suicidal one. These are the reasons why the Europeans fight for a "cultural exception" to the GATT agreements on free trade concerning...