The MyCreativity Sweatshop is a two-day interventionist event in TrouwAmsterdam, on November 20 and 21, 2014. The purpose of this event is to launch the network by gathering artists, designers, programmers, activists and researchers. The aim will be to form alliances and forge strategies for creative survival and clarify the key constituents, discourses and architectures at work in the different kinds of network economies.
The “creative industries” have become an established economic sector across much of Europe, and even a “top sector” in the Netherlands. This has had an ambivalent and often dire impact on the conditions of creative production. More recently, creative industries policies have moved on to new and more technological shores, which see creativity and innovation increasingly become a question of big data economies, algorithmic design and digital scalability. The question is: where does that leave the ever-growing multitude of creative producers?
The MyCreativity Sweatshop offers an opportunity for a productive clash on this question. We invite artists and managers, designers and computer engineers, cultural workers and internet entrepreneurs, educators and market strategists, squatters and policy makers, and everyone else interested in losing some sweat in a controversial exploration of the possible futures of creative production. This is not going to be another TED; there will be blood, i.e., real arguments, constructive fights and ample opportunity to forge strategies and tactics for the struggle for creative survival.
At the conference we will explore the position of creative production in contemporary economy and society from a variety of angles. We will look back at fifteen years of creative industries policy and assess its effects on different fields. One of the questions that continue to interest us is the fate of artistic autonomy in the wake of the creative industries. What happens to aesthetic impetus when the creative industries increasingly subsume the areas of formerly independent thinking and practice? What are the alternatives?
Another important question that has emerged over the last few years concerns digitized urban space and the politics of creative labor/entrepreneurship. As the creative city mutates into the smart city, urban space runs the danger of being re-engineered as a potentially endless rollout of sensor technologies to generate data for the new goldmine of data economies. In this context, what are appropriate strategies and tactics for smart interventions from below? Are creatives simply to follow the technological imperative or are there ways to transform the smooth stream of data and control into truly participative infrastructures?
An important part of this conference will serve as a platform for art, activist and indeed entrepreneurial initiatives that break with the docility of the current creativity discourse. By showing how professional practice can go hand in hand with critical reflections on its cultural, social and political implications, these initiatives point toward a ‘politics of creativity’ that we believe is badly needed today. Their presentations and workshops at the MyCreativity Sweatshop will highlight subversive strategies, disruptive methods and tactics of survival for those who don’t (want to) fit in the templates of the creative industries.
On the My Creativity Blog you can find interesting posts and info on our upcoming event.
MyCreativity: Manufacturing Serendipity Book
As part of this project a book publication is being prepared dealing with the conditions of creative production in the age of manufactured serendipity and creative industries.