“Imagine if it were possible to digitize potatoes, clothes, or cars, share them on the net, rematerialize them quietly in our homes and multiply them? What would happen to value chains, distribution circuits, labour relations: wouldn’t everything have to be rethought? Would it be possible to keep the business models the same?”
The suggestion was made by Pedro Wallenstein in an interview in 2017, in a period of heated debate about digital rights charging. The topic is current, but its origin is ancient – that constant tension between capital and labour, exploiter and exploited, which has also had its presence in the cultural industry. Pedro contextualizes: “For over two hundred years, the building was built on the transaction of a material object (the book, the score, the disc or the DVD) containing the artistic or literary work, but much else has changed with the digitization of cultural goods. As for the need to remunerate work, whether manual or intellectual, hasn’t it always been there?”
What happens in this radical paradigm shift, is that the production processes are reversed. The image is proposed by Pedro Wallenstein and is emblematic of what is at stake here: Harvest to Sow. In other words, there is an entire production, in this case artistic, whose capital gains [related rights] must be “harvested” in order to redistribute them in the widest sense of the word, through the GDA by those who generated those rights [artists performers] and through the GDA Foundation by those who represent the wider universe of artistic creation and deserve access to funding to develop their work that may not yet have achieved financial viability and autonomy, or whose artistic activity is not viable in the market and has another, non-quantifiable, added value.
It is this broader vision of redistribution that underlies this metaphor of “sowing”.
Author of the book Colher para Semear: 25 years of GDA, 10 years of the GDA Foundation
The digital version of the book is also available for consultation.
Click here to download the file (.pdf).