Creative industries

Much criticism has come from academics of Creative Industries Policy. Kieran Healy (2002) has identified creative sector and the new economy might matter to policy makers: Claim 1: The ‘creative sector’ will continue to grow, justifying more policy research in this area. This is the easiest claim to defend, says Healy, but it establishes little in itself. What kind of policies? Can there be any shared policy agenda amongst the very varied interests involved? Claim 2: The creative sector is a miner’s canary for the wider economy because of its uncertain labour markets, flexible collaboration and project-based work.

But, Healy asks, is the project work of a project-based stage actor really relevant to those of a project-based systems administrator? Is the artistic labour force a good model given problems of labour markets there? Claim 3: Creativity in general is becoming increasingly important to competitiveness. This, says Healy, is not established, and demand for different kinds of creative people will be very unequal across different industries and sectors. Claim 4: The so-called ‘creative class’ is intensely interested in cultural goods of many kinds, so cities should invest in culture. As Healy says, this is unlikely to be uniform .

In view of the ever rising incorporation of art policy within an increasing cultural industry, it looks like a problem which is outmoded and obsolete. Art projects and manifestations have become so reliant on private sponsoring and government subsidies that all talk concerning the “intrinsic” value of art seems not enough and meaningless. Given the oversupply of art the role of cultural intermediaries, entrepreneurs and managers has become so significant and decisive that every claim to artistic autonomy seems to vanish into the requirements and determinants of an all-embracing economics and policy of art.

Klamer argues that why must we indeed stop the commercialization of art in view of this substantial and seemingly inescapable commodification and politicization of art? Why must we bother about the “intrinsic” value of art if even some artists, like Jeff Koons, Marko Kostabi and many others, have no scruples whatsoever to work as if there is “no business like art business”? Arent’t we inoperably romantic to believe that art still represents a value of its own, which transcends the economics and politics of art?

Or, as Ruth Towse phrased the problem, have artists become “balanced economic beings” or do they still make “rational choices” which are to a large degree normative and oriented towards “intrinsic rewards”. In that case the idea of rationality of classical economics is totally inadequate. This would not simply explain why most artists’ earnings are typically low, but also why many artists freely prefer self-creativity above career chances. To speak in Weberian terms, artists appear to be oriented more towards “value rationality”, in which artistic demands and principles succeed economic rationality and economic prerogatives.

If the diagnoses of both Klamer and Ruth Towse are right, then art remains a challenge to both classical economic reasonableness and its alleged “disenchantment of the world” (Weber). Then art still confronts us with an experience of wonderment, indeterminacy, and uncertainty, which resists any reduction to economic calculation and rationality. The worth of art still transcends its purely commercial value and so the “essential tension” remains, even within the neo-capitalist tendency to dissolve it entirely into the interaction of demand and supply.

Current Trend of Information Society Information is considered as having a significant role to play in flexible specialization, in numerous ways. One is that, concentrating on production work as the major facilitator and term of flexibility. The new technologies are ‘intelligent’, their differentiating feature being that they incorporate substantial quantities and complexities of information. “This shift towards cultural consumption is of course related to a more general process whereby knowledge and information have become increasingly central to the mode of production” .


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