Cultural and Creative Industries
Cultural and creative industries mean various economic activities concerning the creation or exploitation of information and knowledge. They have been an essential part of people’s lives and social advancement. These spheres are closely connected with production of things and ideas nobody knew about before. Cultural and creative industries are based on an intellectual activity of people. Innovations help to reduce cost of productions and to design new highly developed goods. They are the engine for progress and development of human thoughts. Nowadays, the role of cultural and creative industries start to be more and more important, and the intellectual activities of people become the basis of the economy in whole.
First of all, let’s give a brief definition of what cultural and creative industries are and how they appeared. The term “creative industries” first appeared in early 2000s referring to the cultural industries in Europe (Hesmondhalph, 2002, p. 14) or to the creative economy in whole (Howkins, 2001). The creative economy includes such areas of creativity as art, architecture, advertising, film, music, fashion, publishing, video games, craft, design, performing arts, etc. The cultural industries, as distinct from creative, are mostly referred to cultural tourism and heritage, libraries, museums, sports and outdoor activities; in other words, they are focused mostly on delivering of non-monetary kinds of value – social and cultural wealth. In the modern world, the creative industries are increasingly important to economic well being, and their role grows rapidly together with the growth of value of knowledge and intellectual creations of people.
An important aspect of cultural and creative industries is its subjectivity. Creative products are “experience goods” that cannot be judged in advance, and their judgement in whole is very subjective also. Neither consumers nor producers can estimate the quality of the product before its entry into the market or just ostentation. For example, regarding new drugs and vaccines created by scientists against one or another disease, the complete results, its effectiveness and impact can be established not only due to longstanding studies and experiments required for prominent investments but also through time after its presentation to public. In other words, investments to the creative industries are always accompanied by a great risk; even if the idea is brilliant, its realization can face serious problems and will not be completed, or will not succeed among the public, what is especially central for creative products as films, books, theatrical performances, paintings, and another pieces of art. The investments cannot be retrieved before the product will be finished, and together with the opportunity of earning more money the investor can face their loss in essence.
The growth of importance of the cultural and creative industries together with positive opinions faces a lot of critique. The bright example of subjectivity towards art, its roots and manifestations can be seen in Suely Rolnik’s work “The Geopolitics of Pimping.” The author says that art is the production of thought, and its specificity lies in embodiment of the changes of the sensible texture in artistic action; the artist always presences in his creation, even lives inside it (Rauning, 2011, p. 24). In other words, the piece of art transforms the world and aligns it with the artist’s vision that need not agree with the vision of spectators. And, if art is a way of thinking, which is not a secret, than the politics of subjectivity is in crisis. According to the author, one of the main problems artistic practices face is anaesthesia of vulnerability (Rauning, 2011, p. 25). Nowadays, people can easily judge each other only due to social, economic, or racial conditions, and without accepting each other the way they really are people cannot open-mindedly accept results of creative activities of others. Another problem is flexible subjectivity, which means that apprehension of one or another creative activity depends not only on people but on the environment also (Rauning, 2011, p. 27). In other words, art is timely, and if it do not answer the requirements of the world and society, and is not acceptable because of different religious, political, or social reasons, very likely it will not gain public backing, these times at least. History knows a lot of such examples; most painters and writers, who are famous nowadays, met with recognition from the public only after death. Except personal suffering of these creative thinkers, such non-permanence and subjectivity of society is also a great risk for investors and their money. Investments should generate profits, and before putting money every person wants to be sure this is safe and pay-your-way. Regarding art, which constitutes a significant part of the creative industries, this can hardly be guaranteed.
Creativity is a discursive term, and, hence, creative industries are unstable. According to Marion von Osten, creativity is “the reflected constitution of the modern form of subjectivity that plays such a central role in capitalist societies” (Rauning, 2011, p. 134). The mass production of goods directly encourages to loss of capacity and blunting. As it was mentioned above, the question of subjectivity and answering of themes of cultural and creative industries to economic, social, and political processes is the main subject of debates considering cultural and creative industries in whole. Von Osten states that this problem makes him doubt creative industries are real sectors of economic activity and really exist (Rauning, 2011, p. 134). However, the debates and the international will to make them real will definitely produce some results. Cultural and creative industries bring a new conception of the subject of labour and make it a possibility for future industrial treatment. Technically, the artist is an “exceptional creator of innovations in modes of production, notions of authorship and forms of living circulates today in various discourses of social transformation” (Rauning, 2011, p. 136). In political debates, being an artist means combining of unlimited amount of ideas, creativity, and smart self-marketing. However, the debates and discussions themselves are the main causes of subjectivity (Rauning, 2011, p. 135). It is worth remembering that opinions always differ, and every person looks at one or another situation through his or her own lens. The subjectivity is created not only by the inward man but under the influence of environment also, and waves of discussions affect the environment and public moods. Marion von Osten writes, “the subjectivity of non-recognition is integrated into the self-representations of immaterial labourers at large” (Rauning, 2011, p. 138). The artist self-represents new flexible labour force, and this representation can be found in some business branches, such as the media and the IT field. Von Osten writes about contingent subjectivities in terms of a study of T-Mobile Germany (Rauning, 2011, p. 139). According to the study, low or unstable wages seemed to employees as a transition, difficult times that will be overcome soon and are only a hindrance on the way to desirable job. Said differently, failures in the free market can be understood as heavy, but positive individual experiences, and changes in social, politic, and economic spheres of life can be comprehended as personal challenges. Self-organization and self-understanding, in such a manner, become productive and suitable for economic processes and keeping the economy afloat in whole.
Another side of subjectivity is the process of creating itself. Not only the perception of the ultimate product is subjective, but the ideas and vision of artists also. According to Ray, the creative process is “all about moods, fantasies and libidinal investments” (Rauning, 2011, p. 167). Some people can find freedom in places and situations, where the others just simply cannot see it, and the same can be said about finding truth or changing lifestyle. Being connected with the reaction of society, the subjectivism of the artist clashes with the dominating objectivity, which, in fact, is rather subjective also. Dominating objectivity is just a prevailed subjectivity, and, together with the last, waves under the influence of times and state of the environment.
Talking about operation procedures regarding the aspect of subjectivity, one of the main means of risk decrease is market research and opinion surveys. As it was said before, creative products should answer the requirements of the time and be on the wave of society. This concerns both arts and crafts, and technological and scientific activities. The full researches of country’s situation and processes in different life spheres allow better understanding of needs and obtaining knowledge, lack of which, as it is well known, is one of the main factors causing higher risk probabilities. Knowledge and full substantiations of actual continuity of one or another idea are the basis, in virtue of which investors render decisions should they risk and devote their money to the project or not. Another way of subjectivity control is advertising. As it was mentioned above, subjectivity, in particular, forms under the impact of the environment. In the twenty first century we live in, advertising becomes a very strong instrument of influence. The modern society is the society of consumers, and the desire of obtaining one or another thing here is natural. Highly publicized innovations get much more attention, and, hence, could bring their creators more money. This is particularly true for technological industries, but betimes for arts, crafts, tradeshows, films, and theatres also. For example, a film with a worldwide famous actor or actress in the lead role will attract more viewers than a film with young cast of characters just because the subjective thought that he or she would never screen in a film with a bad scenario. Technically, this thought is not true and does not have any background; it is just a product of advertising and self-perception elaborated under the influence of the environment.
Cultural and creative industries have been an essential part of the world economy and from day to day integrate into it more and more. They form a basis of micro-economies and small businesses, which, in turn, support macro-economies in whole. According to McRobbie, in the United Kingdom micro-economies of culture and creativity are especially timely among young people of working and middle classes (Rauning, 2011, p. 119). Experiments in creative self-employment are very popular and allow revealing human potential, even if not always successful. Great Britain is the world leader in cultural and creative industries, but nowadays this practice enlarges upon another countries. With every passing day, the amount of small businesses and the scale of micro-economies increase bringing innovations and varying of production in people’s lives.
The place of cultural and creative industries and the role of human creativity in economy in whole significantly increased from year to year. In the twenty first century, human creativity becomes a powerful economic resource able to generate significant profits. However, intellectual activity is always a risk for investments. Cultural and creative industries have different specific aspects, and one of them is subjectivity. Subjectivity has several forms. One of them is subjectivity of perception of ultimate products, which is especially challenging for pieces of art, films, and books. Another subjectivity manifests in perception of processes, such as problems with work or artist’s block. Subjectivity is also a thing of the great current interest of rise of creative concepts itself. It is an essential part of creativity and production of ideas, a thing that help people to perceive the world in their own way, and, hence, to invent something the world have never seen before. However, for cultural and creative industries subjectivity brings higher risk probabilities, and should be well studied and investigated before the investments. Knowledge increases assurance in payback and obtaining a profit every investor is waiting for. The knowing of the world situation and proper advertising essential for the capitalist society we live in raise firmness in products human intellectual labour and give rise to cultural and creative industries in whole.
Hesmondhalgh, D., 2002. The Cultural Industries. New York, NY: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Howkins, J., 2001. The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas. New York, NY: Penguin.
Rauning, G., 2011. Critique of Creativity: Precarity, Subjectivity and Resistance in the 'Creative Industries.' MayFlyBooks/Ephemera.