creative labour and the precariat
living with uncertainty in the creative age [24/9/2010]
A Public Symposium on Friday 24th September 14:00 - 17:30
Gerald Raunig, Kate Oakley, Toby Scott + Tim Stott
Dublin Institute of Technology, Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1
While various rhetorics on creativity - creative cities, the creative class and creative economy - are enjoying favour in certain quarters, a counter-discourse has emerged around the theme of 'precarity'. This seminar will provide an opportunity to come to terms with the issues and the challenges bound-up with these controversial terms.
This seminar will explore what it means to be a ‘creative worker’ today. What are the working conditions, expectations and realities for those working in the cultural and creative sector? Helping us to explore these issues, we are delighted to welcome Gerald Raunig and Kate Oakley to Dublin as international guest speakers for this event. We are especially pleased that they will be joined in this discussion by two speakers currently based in Ireland, Toby Scott and Tim Stott, who have both greatly contributed to national debates on these issues. (Download pdf here).
Over the last twenty years or so, writers and policy-makers have promoted creative economy policies and ideologies supportive of the flexible, autonomous and ‘entrepreneurial’ cultural and creative worker (artist, designer, performer etc.). What does entrepreneurialism and flexibility mean in this context? Is it enforced ‘machinic enslavement’ (pace Raunig) or self-chosen creative liberation? Can ‘precarity’ or precarious work, re-invent itself? As Angela McRobbie has asked: “How can the relentless process of individualisation in the world of cultural work be kept apart from the seeming inevitability of local and global neo-liberalism and be re-directed as a force for re-vitalising the democratising process?”
The seminar builds upon previous events at GradCAM including the 'After The Economy' series of 2009-2010. It will be of interest to creative practitioners, designers, architects, artists, curators, critics, educators, media researchers, sociologists, economists, theorists, writers, policy-makers and all those engaged by questions of cultural work and the question of creative labour in the 21st century.
Gerald Raunig: Philosopher, art theoretician; works at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Departement Kunst und Medien, Vertiefung Theorie) and at the eipcp (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies); co-ordinator of the transnational eipcp research projects republicart ( http://republicart.net, 2002-2005), transform (http://transform.eipcp.net, 2005-2008) and Creating Worlds (http://creatingworlds.eipcp.net, 2009-2012); habilitation and venia docendi at the Institute for Philosophy, University of Klagenfurt/A; member of the editorial board of the multilingual webjournal transversal http://transversal.eipcp.net/ and the Austrian journal for radical democratic cultural politics, Kulturrisse (http://www.igkultur.at/kulturrisse). Recent books in English: Art and Revolution. Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century, translated by Aileen Derieg, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e)/MIT Press 2007; Art and Contemporary Critical Practice. Reinventing Institutional Critique, London: mayflybooks 2009 (Ed., with Gene Ray); A Thousand Machines, translated by Aileen Derieg, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e)/MIT Press 2010.
Kate Oakley is a writer and policy analyst; her teaching interests include the creative industries, cultural policy and cultural labour markets. She has been a Visiting Professor at the Department of Cultural Policy and Management since 2006 and is also a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London. Kate's research interests cover the creative industries, regional development, cultural policy and cultural labour markets. While researching The Independents (2000) in the late 1990s, she became interested in how independent creative businesses were linking up with publicly-funded ‘culturally-led regeneration’ to re-orient often-decaying city and town centres around consumption and the leisure and cultural industries. The politics of place within a knowledge-economy and the influence of academics like Richard Florida on our narratives of place and its relationship to culture have been of interest ever since. At the same time she developed an interest in work and labour issues in the cultural industries, which remains a prime concern, Recent publications in this field include:
- co-editor of Making Meaning, Making Money, New Directions for the Arts in the Creative Age, published by Cambridge Scholars Press, May, 2008
- Getting out of place: the mobile creative class takes on the local: A UK perspective on the creative class, in Kong L, and O’Connor J (Eds), Creative Economies, Creative Cities: Asian-European Perspectives, Springer, Berlin, 2009
- The disappearing arts – creativity and innovation after the creative industries, Special Issue, International Journal of Cultural Policy (October 2009)
- Include us out - economic development and social policy in the creative industries, Cultural Trends, Vol 14, No. 4, December 2006
- Not so Cool Britannia, The Role of Creative Industries in Economic Development, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Special Issue, March 2004
- Art Works – a review of the literature on cultural and creative labour markets, Arts Council, September 2009
- with Andy Pratt, Brick Lane: Community-drive innovation? in NESTA Local Knowledge, Research Report, 2010
Toby Scott is a director of Pentacle (www.pentacle.ie), the most progressive business school in the world, that alternately provokes, inspires, educates, facilitates and enables. He is also a fully paid up member of the precariat which is how Pentacle has been run for the last 15 years. Previously he was founding director of the Irish Centre for Design Innovation (www.designinnovation.ie), the first body to promote the use of creativity as a mechanism for innovating within companies in Ireland. Previously he was a Director of the Design Council in the UK (www.designcouncil.org.uk) where he played a key role in placing design on the agenda of Government and business as a means of generating competitive advantage. This work built on earlier roles as a senior policy advisor on the role of creative economy at the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport and also within Arts Council England where he worked to support arts organisations to operate as effective businesses. He is a regular commentator and speaker and is currently working in Scotland, Italy and Japan with large corporations and even larger cities to help them cope more effectively with change. In an earlier life he has directed for theatre and radio, driven trucks and tasted wine (for a living).
Tim Stott is Assistant Lecturer in Art History and Theory at Dublin Institute of Technology and Research Scholar at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin. He has a BA (Hons) in Drawing and Painting (2003) and an MSc in Contemporary Art Theory, both from Edinburgh College of Art (2004). He has published widely on contemporary art in journals such as Art Review, Frieze, Circa, Variant, Afterall and Printed Project and is currently preparing a doctoral thesis on the triangulation of play, complexity and governance elaborated in participatory arts practices.
This event has been developed by Tara byrne (Gradcam Research Scholar) with Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick (DIT ADP Research Coordinator / GradCAM Associate Fellow) and the Creative Cities seminar group. It is co-organised by the School of Art, Design & Printing, DIT and GradCAM.