-Notes on Critique Creative Industries 2-

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Attempts to win the title the creative capital of the Netherlands (…) essay on two housing developments in Rotterdam: the poetic Freedom in Spange and the Lloyds Kwartier (…) exploitation of creativity by city developers (…) so this is a plead to creative agents to act un-creatively (…) tough for Rotterdam (…) big neighbor Amsterdam (..) popular image of Rotterdam as a no non-sense working class city (…) in line with the narrative about how Rotterdam got out of the ashes after the WWII (…) sublime chance to do it all over again (…) Crimson Architectural Historians (…) negative correlation between the working class nature of the city and the bohemian climate associated with creativity (…) high concentration of industrial workers, very hard de- industrialization process leading to social unrest; fertile ground for populist parties. No expense or effort spared to attract creative people and keep them in the city (…) desperate attempts to avoid further influx of non-creative people, like the Rotterdam Law (research on). Simultaneously, non creative people got kicked away from locations with high potential for creative’s and entrepreneurs and spread throughout the city (…) O Rotterdam didn’t wait for creativity to grow naturally out of its interstices; Rotterdam manufactures it.


This development anticipates the expected arrival of the creative class; it’s a ‘breeding place where creative’s can cooperate’ (…) common working places are in the end no more than regular office units, all under one roof and one label, like the BINK and the CREATIVE FACTORY (…) the plan is not meant for artists, designers or musicians, once they wouldn’t be able to afford it; creativity here becomes only a label that yuppies, managers and so on like to refer to as life style. It becomes a mark of authenticity and distinction (…) the purpose of the plan is to attract entrepreneurial people to a depressed and segregated area, but it actually failed to do so until now, once there is no integration between this sort of gated community and the surrounding area. The fact that the strategy, from content to form (creative docklands typology), is a copy paste from other solutions in many other harbor cities, places Rotterdam in a pretty hard inter-urban competition


Critical discourse against big developments like the Lloyds Kwartier tends to push the attention away from exploitation of creativity itself and to focus on the big scale of the plan and its speculative nature (…) we should be aware of other plans, seen as ‘more authentic’, in which creativity plays a similar labeling role (…) the ‘Poetic Freedom’ offered for free a dilapidated building in Spangen to anyone who would commit to re-design and re-build it, within a communal effort, keep it for at least two years and engage deeply with the local community; Spangen is a very problematic neighborhood, with a lot of unemployment and high criminality rate (…) only the creative middle class was willing to engage in the adventure (…) but, the collective initiative only masks the will for individual ownership and the community apparently stays in a state of island mentality and exclusivity regarding the neighborhood; there is no actual integration and no actual positive consequence for the impoverished surroundings (…) the whole initiative was broadly subsidized by the government and brought no particular public advantage (…) the creative class is paying also a far too high price for a freedom that happens to be fake; the city is imprisoning them within certain convenient borders in exchange for a bit of living stability instead of helping them out on their usual precarious working conditions.


The role of family under capitalism: deliver disciplined and productive subjects (…) family functions as a safety net when something goes wrong with the individual (…) “family is caught in a double exploitation scheme, it assumes the costs for services that the society and the market are not willing to pay for, while clearly benefiting from them” (…) we can see this safety net provided by the family as playing a similar role to that of the creative networks (…) precarious work leads to dependency upon family, friends and creative co-workers in order to get commissions and be able to overcome major financial problems (…) the ‘Poetic freedom’ plan looks like a good example of this sponsoring of a helping network (…) (…) “one should learn how to not be creative. It is only by a friendly, organized refusal of its manipulated role as creative avant-garde that the cultural sector can safeguard its most precious asset – its creativity – from being the object of perverse politico-economical games” (…)