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  Open-ended cumulative cultural evolution of Hollywood film crews

Tinits, P., & Sobchuk, O. (2020). Open-ended cumulative cultural evolution of Hollywood film crews. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2: e26. doi:10.1017/ehs.2020.21.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-922F-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-9230-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Tinits, Peeter, Author
Sobchuk, Oleg1, Author              
Affiliations:
1The Mint, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2301700              

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Free keywords: computational humanities; cultural evolution; films; cumulative culture; innovation
 Abstract: Are there large-scale trends in art history that surpass individual creativity or relatively short artistic movements? Many theories describe art history as a process similar to a change of fashions, while others suggest that art can be progressive – getting better, in some sense, over time. We approach this question anew with the theory of cumulative cultural evolution, which describes cultural accomplishments in terms of innovations that are maintained across generations and accumulated to support ever greater creative potential. In this paper, we empirically test the possibility for cumulative evolution in the techniques used to make an artistic product. Specifically, we measure the size and structure of the production crews in American films in 1910–2010 based on a dataset of 1000 popular films across the century. We find that film crews become exponentially more complex, with a growing set of core jobs, and more innovative in creating new jobs in filmmaking. Our study shows that art history can be cumulative, showing the progressive maintenance of innovative techniques, and thus providing an alternative to the widespread view of art history as a mere fluctuation of trends and fashions.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-05-07
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 15
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2020.21
Other: shh2632
 Degree: -

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Title: Evolutionary Human Sciences
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 2 Sequence Number: e26 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2513-843X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2513-843X