The Global and the Local
This chapter considers the cultural implications of globalization and the role of public institutions and popular movements in artistic developments for the future. The global economic and political system was driven by Europeans and the West for long enough to give their culture enormous influence throughout the world, despite the emergence of new centers of power in the late twentieth century. In the meantime, the United States took over from Europe to become the dominant global power, then other regional economies rose and fell in ever-expanding cycles of industrialization, consumption, and resource exploitation. The consumers may purchase craft products to connect themselves with more traditional exotic ways of life, which the producers may be seeking to maintain for local economic and cultural autonomy. With so many of the world’s local artistic traditions under threat, museums as invented in Europe and exported worldwide are often held to be bastions for their protection.