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An Essay on the Definition of ‘Cultural Contents’ - From Aristotle’s Point of View of Poietike Theory

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2018, (59), pp.149-190
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2018..59.149
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : January 29, 2018
  • Accepted : March 12, 2018

Song Hans aem 1

1국제예술대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to define the term ‘cultural contents’ universally and diachronically. In the latest discourse, cultural content appears to have given way to ‘the fourth industrial revolution.’ The term ‘cultural contents’ is being incorporated into the new paradigm of the fourth industrial revolution without proper conceptual establishment. At this rate, the term cultural contents may melt into the air. In other words, it is imperative to establish a universal, diachronic concept of cultural contents. The inception of the term derives from Dionysia, the festival in ancient Greece to honor the god Dionysus. During the festival, people enjoyed stories on the adaptations of the myth of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, and offered the god the chorus, ‘dithyramb,’ which developed into Greek tragedy. As C. G Jung asserted, the repetition of experience over generations ultimately formed the human mind and became hereditary through a collective unconsciousness that was projected symbolically in myths, religion, dream, fantasy and literature. Building on Jung, the universal character, traditional action, and the universal image in narrative literature are not merely literature’s traditional function, but they are also deeply embedded in the psychology of humanities. It transcends in a way that instigates a strong emotional reaction of the receiver. Likewise, the same can be applied to modern cultural contents. In this context, I argue that Greek tragedies’ elements are prominent in modern cultural contents. In Poetics, Aristotle explores Greek tragedy, and even after 2,500 years since its golden age, modern works resemble the traditional framework that arouses a collective emotion. Therefore, when creating cultural contents, the tragedy of modern communication comes into play and the elements of Poetics can be applied to modern audiences. According to Aristotle, there are four causes of being: material cause, formal cause, final cause, and efficient cause. These elements interact with each other and simultaneously conflate in consilience. The essence of cultural contents is deciphered through Aristotle’s Poietike theory, four causes of being, and consequently divided into “six formative elements,” “form and media,” “essential function,” and “a producer.”The six formative elements of Tragedy, plot, character, thought, diction, melody and spectacle, exist in cultural contents of today. Moreover, cultural contents reflect the five senses, and on top of that, as secondary matter, it is subdivided into visual, auditory, audiovisual, and ‘sensus communis’ text. The essential function of cultural contents is to “instigate emotion among the public,” “provide collective memory,” and “arouse humanity.” The elements parallel pathos, logos and ethos, which Aristotle emphasizes in both Poetics and Rhetoric. Meanwhile, as ‘efficient cause’ for cultural contents, ‘producer’ contained users by expanding its extension as well as planner, producer, and creator. The ‘producer’ shall develop cultural contents by introducing, applying, and developing cultural technologies based on humanistic thought abilities and by collaborating with each other. I assert that cultural contents are representations of human actions that can be deciphered through the human mind only, created with knowledge in humanities and cultural technology and through reconciliation to generate emotion, provide collective memory, and arouse humanity among the public.

Citation status

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