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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

creative industries « Previous | |Next »
July 27, 2008

The postmodern scene in the late 1980s was linked with the discussions about post-fordism, flexible specialisation, globalisation, the collapse of the post-war socio-political settlement of social democracy and the integration of national economies into the global economy. The academic judgement was that a new economic and social order was emerging; one organised around consumer markets for symbolic goods that in turn related to new forms of social distinction and identity.

This phenomena---capital’s ‘cultural fix’ for leftwing academics--- ’ worked particularly at the level of the City, where spectacles, festivals, shopping experiences and ethnic quarters had transformed the derelict industrial cities of the developed world into centres of up-market cultural consumption. Darling Harbor in Sydney and Docklands in Melbourne are examples.

Along with the flows of people, money, goods and information was a vast range of symbolic objects – texts, images, sounds, and experiences, which changed the position of the cultural industries vis-à-vis the rest of the economy. The growth of symbolic consumption (Apple computers?) meant that the cultural industries were no longer seen as a strange remnant of an older craft -based production system, but became the cutting edge, a template for the others to follow into a new economy of ‘signs and space’.

Creative industries are those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property, and thirteen creative sectors are usually identified namely: Advertising; Architecture; Art & Antiques Market; Craft; Design; Designer Fashion; Film & Video; Interactive Leisure Software; Music; Performing Arts; Publishing; Software & Computer Services; and Television and Radio. The academic discourse was structured around regional clusters, embedded networks, the ‘network society’, and the growth of key nodal points which controlled and directed global flows

Cities were now the new economic powerhouses built on the ability to process knowledge and manipulate symbols, and they were plugged into the new global infrastructure of flows, whose different currents flowed together to generate a current of reform and transformation of city life.The cultural industries policy discourse was deeply concerned with ‘the art of city making’, and it represented an model of urban transformation that drew on a European tradition rather than the real-estate driven model of the US . It stressed public space and argued for a new popular urban vision through a ‘revitalisation of the symbolic content’ of cities.

This in turn draws in state governments and city councils. The latter link these transformations with ‘ambitious public efforts of urban rehabilitation in the attempt to enhance local prestige, increase property values and attract new investments and jobs. The revitalisation of the little lanes of Melbourne are a good example.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:57 PM | | Comments (3)


and tonight on Latteline, I learned 280 million people in India live on 30 cents a day.
Brave new world.
Seems am the only one " to it"

a part of the conversation between Shashi Tharoor and Tony Jones was about bringing the 280+ million Indians out of poverty whilst finding alternative form of energy to that produced by coal fired power stations. Nuclear energy was seen as the answer. He observed that:

That the planet is the way it is now because the industrialised West has spent 200 years messing it up with its emissions.And now that countries like China and India are beginning to catch up to hang the environment around their necks when they're not significant contributors to this 200 years of pollution is particularly unfair. ...the political argument that one should simply look at the numbers at India's emissions or China's emissions today and compare it to the American emissions or Australian emissions today, overlook the history and the unequal responsibilities of the two groups of countries for the way the world has got to today that is the real political problem.

India has 600 million people living in homes with no electricity. Its per capita emissions are 5% of ours. Its priority is to end poverty.

They did not explore the nature of development in terms of post-fordism, flexible specialisation, globalisation, the collapse of the post-war socio-political settlement of social democracy and the integration of national economies into the global economy. 'Development' had no content in that conversation, which was more about the need to balance the goal of economic growth with that of long-term sustainability and protection of environmental assets.

the content of development matters. In SA, the Rann Government thinks of development in terms of the mining boom in uranium not the creative industries. It is the latter that gives the city its buzz and makes sit an attractive place for people to spend time in having fun.