The strange but common distinction between “creative” industries and others

May 29, 2009

The front page story on last week’s City News (Festive Sydney gets creative) included the strange but commonly-made distinction between “creative” industries and other industires. While the story focussed on a festival (the inaugural Creative Sydney festival), its messages were consistent with a commonly-expressed theme of particular industries being “creative”.

Interestingly, “creative” has been turned into a noun, e.g. “I employed a creative to work on X”. This usage appears to be used for a person employed in “creative” work or in a “creative industry”.

The City News article stated:

Creative Sydneysiders have a chance to let their true colours fly, with new events announced as part of the inaugural Creative Sydney festival.

Launching in late May, the festival will celebrate the strength of the city’s creative talents.

Geoff Parmenter, CEO of Events NSW said: “The festival features many free events that will engage the community with the arts and the city’s creative industries.”

Creative industries include music, design, architecture, gaming, photography, performance, writing, radio, film, TV, advertising and visual arts.

Over three weeks from May 27, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Foundation Hall will be home to the Creative Sydney event series featuring talks, performances and exhibitions showcasing the local creative industries.

I object to this labelling of some industries as “creative”, as it implies that work in those industries, as opposed to others, particularly draws upon creativity. Now people are creative in all different types of work, across all kinds of industries – and not just ones such as discussed in the news article.

The apparent distinction between “creative” work and other work will probably disappear in time, although it’s impossible to know how long this will take. But after it disappears, people will look back and wonder why such a strange distinction was ever made. The current distinction may well be a simple stereotyping of what different sorts of work entails, but this stereotyping isn’t very useful nor informative.

Federal opposition and its reading of the political situation

May 10, 2009

It’s appeared to me that the federal opposition has had the politics all wrong since at least Lehmann’s Brothers went bust in September 2008, and that their message on the CPRS is all over the place as well.

This isn’t surprising after having had trouble defining themselves and a coherent message since the 2007 election. There’s a general assumption that the Rudd Government would have to stuff up in a really major way to lose the next election. However, what is surprising is how they havn’t read the politics of the GFC well. On the other hand, perhaps they have read it well but don’t see an alternative. Read the rest of this entry »