In theory, we started the process of thinking specifically about putting together this volume on how technology interacts with the processes of creation, commerce, commentary about, and consumption of cultural goods, only after the papers in the Standing Workgroup sub-theme for the EGOS 2017 conference came together. In reality, however, the topics covered in this volume, and indeed in the ‘Call for Papers’ for that EGOS sub-theme, have been of relevance to scholars and citizens for some time now—how, if at all, does technology, associated with machines and insentience, affect the very things, viz. expression and symbolism, that make us human? While this question has been relevant for several decades now, as Sgourev shows in this volume in his historical study of painting, the scale and speed at which digital technologies change and evolve is such that the topic gains special significance today as the digital medium has permeated every stage of the value chain in the creative and cultural industries. This was shown in the various chapters, like from pitches for crowd funding, in the chapter by Pershina and Soppe, over professional struggles in Cultural Journalism, in the chapter by Plesner, to new ways of reaching audiences, as shown in the chapters by Romanelli on museums, on visual art by Hartmann, and on film distribution and film exhibition by Solidoro and Viscusi. Our attempt in this volume was to shed light on some crucial aspects of this relationship between technology, creativity, and markets for cultural goods by drawing on a multitude—organizational, institutional, sociological, and cultural—of perspectives.
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