Friday, February 1, 2008

"Creative Class" and critique of creative industries

Out now: MyCreativity reader
Download a low-res pdf from the website.

About the book: The MyCreativity Reader is a collection of critical research into the creative industries. The material develops out of the MyCreativity Convention on International Creative Industries Research held in Amsterdam, November 2006. This two-day conference sought to bring the trends and tendencies around the creative industries into critical question.
The 'creative industries' concept was initiated by the UK Blair government in 1997 to revitalise de-industrialised urban zones. Gathering momentum after being celebrated in Richard Florida's best-seller The Creative Class (2002), the concept mobilised around the world as the zeitgeist of creative entrepreneurs and policy-makers.
Despite the euphoria surrounding the creative industries, there has been very little critical research that pays attention to local and national and variations, working conditions, the impact of restrictive intellectual property regimes and questions of economic sustainability. The reader presents academic research alongside activist reports that aim to dismantle the buzz-machine.
It is becoming ever more obvious, as even the mainstream business press is acknowledging this, that the information economy is split in two; we have two economies rather than one (or three, if we include the growing criminal or informal economy which we will not treat in this paper). On the one hand, there is the traditional capitalist economy that works with monetary incentives. This economy still handles the main part of material production: the production of cars, shoes, computer chips, and the transportation and maintenance of these goods. But immaterial production- the production of the ideas, innovations, experiences and other intangibles that virtually everybody agrees to be the most important source of value and development- is increasingly performed by another economy that does not primarily move according to monetary incentives. Most people who participate in creating the enormous wealth of content that give MySpace or YouTube their market values are not in it for the money.
More critique:
Back to the Future of the Creative City: An Archaeological Approach to Amsterdam's Creative Redevelopment
"The dominance of entrepreneurial approaches to city politics is the feature of a new urban regime, labelled the 'Entrepreneurial City'. With origins in the reality of neoliberal state withdrawal from urban plight ... the claims of the new creative city as being a 'great equalizer' actually appear as the opposite; it is based on functional inequality. Now let's take a closer look at the city..."

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