Saturday, 10 October 2009

9.10 Reading articles from MyCreativity Reader

This session was dedicated to groups presenting articles from MyCreativity Reader (which can be downloaded here). The assignment was to 

1. Read the article and discuss it in the group
2. Spot the main points made by the article
3. Reflect what kind of connections there were with issues and themes that have come up during Design Thinking course, especially design, user-innovation and network economy.
4. And in addition, questions and queries that had arisen during the reading and reflecting.

Presented articles were:

1. Joost Smiers: What if We Would Not Have Copyright? New Business Models for Cultural 


Main point was that copyright is only a means of control for the big conglomerates, whereas for artists, small entrepreneurs and often for non-Western cultures it is a harmful tool. However there is also the issue of fair compensation for work for the artist or producer or patron to consider. Smier's solution is simply that we abolish copyright - this means that conglomerates cannot monopolize production or even less distribution and broadcast of cultural goods, which again will give a fair opportunity for small entrepreneurs to have a decent income.

While Smier's solution was not felt to be as effective as he had promised, discussion about various facets of copyright was lively - also in connection to designers' copyright, and user participation and innovation.

2. Interview with Gert Lovink and Andrew Ross: Organic Intellectual Work

Main points were discussion about methodology (of studying Intellectual Work, but also in wider context), conditions of intellectual work, and intellectual work and activism/ trade unions. Andrew Ross sustains that methodology needs always to be thought with relation to the issue at hand. The researcher should find his/her own voice also. Discussion about the need to be a good listener ensued. Also the point made by Ross that creative workers are inherently, organically networked i.e. organized, but not organized in the sense of forming and joining trade unions. We also discussed the conditions of work for creative intellectual workers. Presenters thought the article was meaningful also in the context of design.

3. Merle Oudenampsen: Back to the Future of the Creative City: An Archaeological approach to Amsterdam's Creative Redevelopment.

Main point was simply that the redevelopment that is being done in Amsterdam in the name of "creative city" is an extreme make-up and face-lift that is done only for the benefit of entrepreneurs and not for public good or the well-being of dwellers. The concept of "the creative city" was discussed.

4. Sebastian Olma: The Creativity of Creative Work.

This was maybe the toughest article - though all were considered to be pretty tough cookies. Olma made a sum-up of themes that had been present at the MyCreativity conference, and ponders on the political significance of creative industry. Olma starts with explaining that the concept of creative industry has two sources, a document for cultural policy by Blair's government, and a WTO agreement. These political interventions determine structurally what creative industries are - as do rules around intellectual property. Conclusion is that creativity should not be seen as property of a restricted group, but belonging to a multitude.

The article also discussed creative work in connection with some theoreticians, how they have defined it, and what could be learned from that.

Thanks to all groups, good work on tough topics! One always has to start somewhere. Hopefully you can use the readings and the discussions in the future.

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