Archive for February, 2019

I’m involved in developing and delivering an MA in Critical Creative Industries and Arts Organising at what was once a European university.┬áThe CIAO MA has been a lot of work, and without the help of comrades and sympathetic fellow travellers, it wouldn’t have happened.

In these series of blog posts I want to develop an overall framework for a radical political economy (Marxist, autonomist, queer, feminist, postcolonial, transnational, radically ecological and synesthetically embodied) of creativity and culture. What I intend to do, and not unlike what I have been doing all these many years on this so-called blog, is respond to key readings in the field, develop critical areas of resonance across these works, and come to a better understanding of the ‘logic of practice’ that disrupts the academic capture of the creative industries today.

My first salvo: Following on from Toby Miller’s arguments against the short sightedness of the creative industries framework (2005), I will argue that what we need to understand better, more strategically is the relationship of culture to processes and policies of monopoly rents in the globalized capitalist economy (Harvey, Armin). This argument draws on the political economic critique of intellectual property in the CIAO fields (e.g. My Creativity Reader); Bourdeiu’s social critique of taste in Distinction, and his elaboration of the Logic of Practice; Marx’s analysis of value, original (later ‘primitive’) accumulation of capital, and ‘simple circulation’ in the Grundrisse; and Adorno, Benjamin, and Horkheimer’s critique of the Culture Industries in the middle of German Nazi and American populist authoritarianisms in the 20th century. To telescope the argument:┬áThe global creative industries reduce all singular acts of qualitative creativity to quantities of value added through different but mutually ramifying systems of equivalence (see Horkheimer and Adorno in the Dialectic of Enlightenment, and Lazzarato’s Signs and Machines).

All of this would need to be refocused through the feminist critique of value and cultural/social reproduction (e.g. Gibson-Graham); the postcolonial analyses of cultural imperialism, the international division of cultural labor, and, more specifically, India and China’s development of culture and creative industries as soft power; and finally through Deleuze’s (and others in resonance with his non-dialectical method) treatment of affect, habit, expression, and ecology (Guattari on the Three Ecologies).

That’s the itinerary. Let’s see if it comes together in a new “system”:

The Political Economy of Culture Monopolies.