User:Janis Klimanovs/Term 3: my factory/Reading/Notes about “Creative industries,” neoliberal fantasies, and the cold, hard facts of global recession: some basic lessons by Chuck Kleinhans

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“Creative industries,” 
neoliberal fantasies, and the cold, hard facts of global recession: some basic lessons by Chuck Kleinhans

Especially for communications and media folks, is that we need to understand capitalism from the point of what it is fundamentally about. And that is not about specific services, products, or ideological representations (what we usually study), but about expanding and maximizing capital itself. We should not give up analyzing products, services, and ideologies, but we need to see the material foundation of the larger system of circulation.

Precarity, an economically precarious life, is a familiar condition for many of my readers, even if they are not fully aware of it. In fact, students are one group that actually often pays money (tuition) to be super-exploited in “student internships” The term “precarity” has come to refer to insecure employment in the neoliberal era.

Precarity is not a necessary result of these changes. Rather, it is a deliberate policy and aspect of neoliberalism in its relation to the labor force. Such a policy aims to make the situation of owners, of capitalists, of employers (even non-profits like many colleges) more flexible

A very skeptical look at much of the “creative industries” hype. By that I mean especially the sales pitch/ideology that the information and new media industries in capitalist countries are a pathway to national economic advancement and provide the resourceful and satisfying creative jobs that we should be training our students to handle.

Dutch economist (and artist) Hans Abbing asks, Why Are Artists Poor?He points out that the economy of the arts defies one of the basic postulates of mainstream economics. Orthodox economics would assume that individual laborers would choose to leave a field if they couldn’t make a good living. As indeed we see with internal and global labor migration, career changes often follow when jobs are outsourced or technological change makes some work redundant. But by and large artists don’t follow this logic. They tend to continue in their artistic activities, though they might need to supplement their income with additional jobs or have a day job to support their art making, performing, etc. In the large overview, the whole art sector is often subsidized (particularly in Europe) which allows for maintaining a relatively large group of underpaid artisans. Why are artists the exception to the stern rule of labor economics? As Abbing’s research shows, they largely find the activity so personally satisfying that they are willing to trade economic security and success (except for a small number of celebrity artists at the top of the pyramid). This applies not only to visual artists, but also to musicians, writers, actors, and other artists. The satisfaction of doing what you like doing is so strong that many will forego job security, a higher level of income, and a more stable lifestyle for the freedom of creative self-determination.

For intellectuals in higher education the seductive power of Creative Economy and Creative Industries thinking has inspired new initiatives which sometimes short circuit a more rigorous analysis.

The Recession of 2007 provides one stress test for the Creative Industries argument. And it seems to show us that the larger forces of neoliberalism, such as speedup and outsourcing even “creative” work overseas, are more decisive in shaping the actual creative work climate and the possibilities that individual face as employees than the wispy utopianism of turning on the creative faucet to get a stream of new jobs, opportunities, and adventures.

We need to look behind the screen, behind the visible if intangible form of our creative culture, and bring it back to understanding capitalism itself, and from there, how we might effectively challenge it and change it.

A striking case of unjust, unpaid labour in the media industries is the internship system. It is increasingly difficult to enter the media and media-related industries in advanced industrial countries without having performed, at some point, a significant period of unpaid work.


Its just about the money and how to save it, cartoons for US are made in Korea; We don't see creative class in the Simpsons factory parody; About the collapse of creative class:

In economics and politics creativity is integrated in the sector of creative industries; Vivendi, french water company - water supplier, who end up buying TV channels and Hollywood production companies;

There are some interesting lessons here. First is that in the marketplace both commodities (porn and toilet paper) are connected to commonplace activities involving human private parts. With porn, representations for a male audience; with toilet paper, practical body use, primarily for women (since women consume more toilet paper than men). Second is that capitalism thrives on imperial conquest (while exploiting a natural resource of the Philippines, the company was not a Philippine company) and along the way produces environmental destruction and global warming as a side effect of unregulated accumulation. And third, it is the nature of capitalism to change forms: the capitalist corporation in this case simply sought to maximize profit, to do as much as it could with the resource of which it had taken control. What nation was the source of the wealth was unimportant, what nation was the final market was irrelevant, what marketable product was produced was insignificant — the only thing that mattered was that capital could be more efficiently expanded.

Capitalism is about the accumulation of the capital - Marxism thinking; The old superstructure is now the base and creating their basic economy;

Probably the most successful of the creative economy salesmen was Richard Florida, a city planner, who pointed at the transformation of Pittsburgh PA from a classic rustbelt disaster to a revivified regional financial and education hub within a massively cleaned up and remade central core.

Florida’s counterintuitive imagination reverses the commonplace wisdom that improving the economic base of a city will lead to a better cultural superstructure. Instead the order is reversed: change the cultural environs and an economic miracle will follow: “Build it and they will come.”

In Rotterdam the model is in a process, it attracts people from other countries, for example new creatives in Piet Zwart Institute or Worm or other creative places, because they are coming here just knowing about some cool organizations but not knowing that Rotterdam is actually quite boring harbor city made for working class people initially; Than happens the shift to the creative class; Dutch government says that it is great to have creative industries because you can make money from artists being in Rotterdam for example;

Dutch Government merges different disciplines like visual arts, web arts and fashion and interior to create the sector - creative industry;

One of the top sectors for Dutch export market will be creative industry; It opens up more opportunities for cross disciplinary work;

the conservative ideal of High Culture and its entrenched and reactionary views of preserving a legacy, adherence to the recognized classics in the arts, and resistance to the popular and mass consumed; The creative industry in the past was called the culture industry; Creative is more broader; But in nowadays everything is more and more merged together; Creative describes everything, does not matter commercial, artistic or technical;

The avant-garde is no longer the art it is a technical solution;

Creative labor is more the postindustrial labor, the question is why you call it still an industry? Florida’s creative class, making these supposedly valued workers the equivalent of testosterone injections for cities — does not guarantee that a “knowledge worker” can make a real living these days. Optimists like Florida are undoubtedly right about something: This country doesn’t make things anymore and never will. What the United States produces now is culture and ideas. Trouble is, making a living doing this has never been harder. What artists do now is help brands build an identity. They end up styling or set decorating. That’s where we’re at now..

The question is about the capitalism model which is developed up to now, how long is it going to last like this and what is going to happen if it will collapse?