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<nettime> Creative Industries and the Limits of Critique from Within
Ned Rossiter on Wed, 4 Jun 2003 21:28:41 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Creative Industries and the Limits of Critique from Within



[Here's my paper from tonight's seminar at Melb. uni. Take it as a 
raw version.  There's still some major problems -- ie, I don't think 
I've  successfully incorporated the ways in which a constitutive 
outside is operating in CI.   The MIT media lab stuff needs to find a 
way in as an independent section rather than a stupid one liner, for 
instance.  The extent to which AUD currency exchange rates  effect 
the security of the creative industries is also very untested - it's 
thrown in as speculation. A decent ARC grant would provide funds to 
do the empirical research on that.  Then there's the far too long 
bibliography -- a postgrad disposition I'll have to grow out of 
sometime. Or maybe not. And then I've made a real hash of the Agamben 
allusion at the end.... ah well..../Ned.]


Seminar paper
Department of Cultural Studies and English, University of Melbourne, 
4 June 2003

'Creative Industries and the Limits of Critique from Within'

Ned Rossiter


'Every space has become ad space'.  -- Steve Hayden, Wired Magazine, May 2003.


Marshall McLuhan's (1964) dictum that media technologies constitute a 
sensory extension of the body shares a conceptual affinity with Ernst 
Jünger's notion of '"organic construction" [which] indicates [a] 
synergy between man and machine' and Walter Benjamin's exploration of 
the mimetic correspondence between the organic and the inorganic, 
between human and non-human forms (Bolz, 2002: 19).  The logo or 
brand is co-extensive with various media of communication - 
billboards, TV advertisements, fashion labels, book spines, mobile 
phones, etc.  Often the logo is interchangeable with the product 
itself or a way or life.  Since all social relations are mediated, 
whether by communications technologies or architectonic forms ranging 
from corporate buildings to sporting grounds to family living rooms, 
it follows that there can be no outside for sociality.  The social is 
and always has been in a mutually determining relationship with 
mediating forms.  It is in this sense that there is no outside.

Such an idea has become a refrain amongst various contemporary media 
theorists.  Here's a sample:

'There is no outside position anymore, nor is this perceived as 
something desirable'. (Lovink, 2002a: 4)

'Both "us" and "them" (whoever we are, whoever they are) are all 
always situated in this same virtual geography.  There's no outside 
.... There is nothing outside the vector'.  (Wark, 2002: 316)

'There is no more outside.  The critique of information is in the 
information itself'.  (Lash, 2002: 220)

In declaring a universality for media culture and information 
flows,[1] all of the above statements acknowledge the political and 
conceptual failure of assuming a critical position outside 
socio-technically constituted relations.  Similarly, they recognise 
the problems inherent in the "ideology critique" of the Frankfurt 
School who, in their distinction between "truth" and 
"false-consciousness", claimed a sort of absolute knowledge for the 
critic that transcended the field of ideology as it is produced by 
the culture industry.  Althusser's more complex conception of 
ideology, material practices and subject formation nevertheless also 
fell prey to the pretence of historical materialism as an autonomous 
"science" that is able to determine the totality, albeit fragmented, 
of lived social relations.

One of the key failings of ideology critique, then, is its incapacity 
to account for the ways in which the critic, theorist or intellectual 
is implicated in the operations of ideology.  That is, such 
approaches displace the reflexivity and power relationships between 
epistemology, ontology and their constitution as material practices 
within socio-political institutions and historical constellations, 
which in turn are the settings for the formation of ideology.  Scott 
Lash abandons the term ideology altogether due to its conceptual 
legacies within German dialectics and French post-structuralist 
aporetics, both of which 'are based in a fundamental dualism, a 
fundamental binary, of the two types of reason.  One speaks of 
grounding and reconciliation, the other of unbridgeability .... Both 
presume a sphere of transcendence' (Lash, 2002: 8).

Such assertions can be made at a general level concerning these 
diverse and often conflicting approaches when they are reduced to 
categories for the purpose of a polemic.  However, the work of 
"post-structuralists" such as Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari and the 
work German systems theorist Niklas Luhmann (1995) is clearly 
amenable to the task of critique within information societies (see 
Bogard, 1996; Feenberg, 2002; Lyon, 2001; Rossiter, 2003).  Indeed, 
Lash draws on such theorists in assembling his critical dispositif 
for the information age.  More concretely, Lash (2002: 9) advances 
his case for a new mode of critique by noting the socio-technical and 
historical shift from 'constitutive dualisms of the era of the 
national manufacturing society' to global information cultures, whose 
constitutive form is immanent to informational networks and flows 
(see Wittel, 2001).  Such a shift, according to Lash, needs to be met 
with a corresponding mode of critique:

'Ideologycritique [ideologiekritik] had to be somehow outside of 
ideology.  With the disappearance of a constitutive outside, 
informationcritique must be inside of information.  There is no 
outside any more'. (2002: 10)

Lash goes on to note, quite rightly, that 'Informationcritique itself 
is branded, another object of intellectual property, machinically 
mediated' (2002: 10).  It is the political and conceptual tensions 
between information critique and its regulation via intellectual 
property regimes which condition critique as yet another brand or 
logo that I wish to explore in the rest of this essay.  Further, I 
will question the supposed erasure of a "constitutive outside" to the 
field of socio-technical relations within network societies and 
informational economies.  Lash is far too totalising in supposing a 
break between industrial modes of production and informational flows. 
Moreover, the assertion that there is no more outside to information 
too readily and simplistically assumes informational relations as 
universal and horizontally organised, and hence overlooks the 
significant structural, cultural and economic obstacles to 
participation within media vectors.  That is, there certainly is an 
outside to information!  Indeed, there are a plurality of outsides. 
Certainly these outsides are intertwined with the flow of capital and 
the imperial biopower of Empire, as Hardt and Negri (2000) have 
argued.  As difficult as it may be to ascertain the boundaries of 
life in all its complexity, borders, however defined, nonetheless 
exist.  Just ask the so-called "illegal immigrant"!

This essay identifies three key modalities comprising a constitutive 
outside: material (uneven geographies of labour-power and the digital 
divide), symbolic (cultural capital), and strategic (figures of 
critique).  My point of reference in developing this inquiry will 
pivot around an analysis of the importation in Australia of the 
British "Creative Industries" project and the problematic foundation 
such a project presents to the branding and commercialisation of 
intellectual labour.  The creative industries movement - or 
Queensland Ideology, as I've discussed elsewhere with Danny Butt 
(2002) - holds further implications for the political and economic 
position of the university vis-à-vis the arts and humanities. 
Creative industries constructs itself as inside the culture of 
informationalism and its concomitant economies by the very fact that 
it is an exercise in branding.  Such branding is evidenced in the 
discourses, rhetoric and policies of creative industries as adopted 
by university faculties, government departments and the cultural 
industies and service sectors seeking to reposition themselves in an 
institutional environment that is adjusting to ongoing structural 
reforms attributed to the demands by the "New Economy" for increased 
labour flexibility and specialisation, institutional and economic 
deregulation, product customisation and capital accumulation.  Within 
the creative industries the content produced by labour-power is 
branded as copyrights and trademarks within the system of 
Intellectual Property Regimes (IPRs).  However, as I will go on to 
show, a constitutive outside figures in material, symbolic and 
strategic ways that condition the possibility of creative industries.

The creative industries project, as envisioned by the Blair 
government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 
responsible for the Creative Industry Task Force Mapping Documents of 
1998 and 2001, is interested in enhancing the "creative" potential of 
cultural labour in order to extract a commercial value from cultural 
objects and services.  Just as there is no outside for 
informationcritique, for proponents of the creative industries there 
is no culture that is worth its name if it is outside a market 
economy (see McNamara, 2002).  That is, the commercialisation of 
"creativity" - or indeed commerce as a creative undertaking - acts as 
a legitimising function and hence plays a delimiting role for 
"culture" and, by association, sociality.  And let us not forget, the 
institutional life of career academics is also at stake in this 
legitimating process.

The DCMS cast its net wide when defining creative sectors and deploys 
a lexicon that is as vague and unquantifiable as the next mission 
statement by government and corporate bodies enmeshed within a 
neo-liberal paradigm.[2]  The list of sectors identified as holding 
creative capacities in the CITF Mapping Document include: film, 
music, television and radio, publishing, software, interactive 
leisure software, design, designer fashion, architecture, performing 
arts, crafts, arts and antique markets, architecture and advertising. 
The Mapping Document seeks to demonstrate how these sectors consist 
of '... activities which have their origin in individual creativity, 
skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job 
creation through generation and exploitation of intellectual 
property' (CITF: 1998/2001).  The CITF's identification of 
intellectual property as central to the creation of jobs and wealth 
firmly places the creative industries within informational and 
knowledge economies.  Unlike material property, intellectual property 
such as artistic creations (films, music, books) and innovative 
technical processes (software, biotechnologies) are forms of 
knowledge that do not diminish when they are distributed.  This is 
especially the case when information has been encoded in a digital 
form and distributed through technologies such as the internet.  In 
such instances, information is often attributed an "immaterial" and 
nonrivalrous quality, although this can be highly misleading for both 
the conceptualisation of information and the politics of knowledge 
production.

Despite the delirious utopian proclamations of cyber-libertarians 
(Gates, 1995; Mitchell, 1995, 2000; Negroponte, 1995), university 
managers and enthusiasts of e-commerce, a material substrate 
underpins the possibility of knowledge creation (Innis, 1951; 
Feenberg, 1999; Poster, 1995, 2001).  Knowledge and the media of 
communication that enables the distribution of its abstracted forms 
are embedded in socio-political practices, cultural systems and 
institutional realities (Chun, 2000; James and McQueen-Thomson, 2002; 
Miller and Slater, 2000; Ross, 2003; Sassen, 1996).  Even when 
knowledge is produced in flexible, transnational modes, it still 
remains situated within media forms, material cultures and labour 
practices.  The situatedness of knowledge and its distribution as 
information according to technical standards and symbolic regimes 
gives rise to the extraterritorialisation of state borders that come 
into tension with the politics of location (May, 2002: 114-148; 
Rossiter, 2002).

Intellectual property, as distinct from material property, operates 
as a scaling device in which the unit cost of labour is offset by the 
potential for substantial profit margins realised by distribution 
techniques availed by new information and communication technologies 
(ICTs) and their capacity to infinitely reproduce the digital 
commodity object as a property relation.  Within the logic of 
intellectual property regimes, the use of content is based on the 
capacity of individuals and institutions to pay.  The syndication of 
media content ensures that market saturation is optimal and 
competition is kept to a minimum.  However, such a legal architecture 
and hegemonic media industry has run into conflict with other net 
cultures such as open source movements and peer-to-peer networks 
(Lovink, 2002b; Meikle, 2002), which is to say nothing of the digital 
piracy of software and digitally encoded cinematic forms (see Wang, 
2001).  To this end, IPRs are an unstable architecture for extracting 
profit.

The operation of Intellectual Property Regimes constitutes an outside 
within creative industries by alienating labour from its mode of 
information or form of expression.  Lash is apposite on this point: 
'Intellectual property carries with it the right to exclude' (Lash, 
2002: 24).  This principle of exclusion applies not only to those 
outside the informational economy and culture of networks as result 
of geographic, economic, infrastructural, and cultural constraints. 
The very practitioners within the creative industries are excluded 
from control over their creations.  It is in this sense that a legal 
and material outside is established within an informational society. 
At the same time, this internal outside - to put it rather clumsily - 
operates in a constitutive manner in as much as the creative 
industries, by definition, depend upon the capacity to exploit the IP 
produced by its primary source of labour.

I have argued elsewhere (Rossiter, 2002) that the exclusive nature of 
IPRs can potentially operate in strategic ways that benefits 
Indigenous peoples, for example, in their fight for 
self-determination and political, economic and social legitimacy. 
While Indigenous land claims and human rights violations have been 
recognised at the supranational level by the UN and UNESCO, thus 
conferring upon Indigenous peoples the status of what Saskia Sassen 
(1996; 2000) terms 'denationalised political subjects', such 
legitimacy has then been disavowed at the national level by the 
Howard coalition government.  A modified framework of intellectual 
property regimes, I argued, condition the possibility of Indigenous 
sovereignty in as much Indigenous peoples are able to obtain an 
economic autonomy that can then articulate with socio-political and 
cultural discourses that have hitherto failed in too many instances. 
Aboriginality, as a sign of social practice, functions in strategic 
ways as a constitutive outside for both the transformation of the 
legal architecture of IPRs and the ways in which a democratic 
pluralism may be constructed within national sovereignty as the state 
undergoes extraterritorialisation and re-scaling.  So, my position 
with regard to IPRs is in no way the naïve or idealistic one that 
insists on resisting or escaping such a legal architecture or 
assuming that state sovereignty has been eclipsed by "globalisation". 
In the instance of this essay, I am suggesting that those working in 
the creative industries, be they content producers or educators, need 
to intervene in IPRs in such a way that: 1) ensures the alienation of 
their labour is minimised; 2) collectivising "creative" labour in the 
form of unions or what Wark (2001) has termed the "hacker class", as 
distinct from the "vectoralist class",[3] may be one way of achieving 
this; and 3) the advocates of creative industries within the higher 
education sector in particular are made aware of the implications 
IPRs have for graduates entering the workforce and adjust both their 
rhetoric, curriculum, and policy engagements accordingly.[4]

For all the emphasis the Mapping Document places on exploiting 
intellectual property, it's really quite remarkable how absent any 
elaboration or considered development of IP is from creative 
industries rhetoric.  It's even more astonishing that media and 
cultural studies academics have given at best passing attention to 
the issues of IPRs.[5]  Perhaps such oversights by academics 
associated with the creative industries can be accounted for by the 
fact that their own jobs rest within the modern, industrial 
institution of the university which continues to offer the security 
of a salary award system and continuing if not tenured employment 
despite the onslaught of neo-liberal reforms since the 1980s.  Such 
an industrial system of traditional and organised labour, however, 
does not define the labour conditions for those working in the 
so-called creative industries.  Within those sectors engaged more 
intensively in commercialising culture, labour practices closely 
resemble work characterised by the dotcom boom, which saw young 
people working excessively long hours without any of the sort of 
employment security and protection vis-à-vis salary, health benefits 
and pension schemes peculiar to traditional and organised labour (see 
McRobbie, 2002; Ross, 2003).  During the dotcom mania of the mid to 
late 90s, stock options were frequently offered to people as an 
incentive for offsetting the often minimum or even deferred payment 
of wages (see Frank, 2000).

Of course the attraction of stock options and the rhetorical sheen of 
"shareholder democracy" adopted by neo-liberal governments became 
brutally unstuck with the crash of the NASDAQ in April 2000, which 
saw the collapse in share value of high-tech stocks and telcos 
followed up by the negative impact of S11 on tourism and aviation 
sectors.  The 'market populism', as Thomas Frank (2000) explains, of 
the high-tech stock bubble was defined by a delirious faith in 
entrepreneurial culture and the capacity for new ICTs articulated 
with corporate governance and financescapes to function as a policy 
and electoral panacea for neo-liberal states obsessed with 
dismantling the welfare state model and severing their 
responsibilities for social development.  The creative industries 
project emerged out of a similar context as it played out in Britain, 
and adopted much of the same rhetoric.  However, it remains 
questionable as to the extent to which such rhetoric is transposable 
on an international scale and the extent to which it is then 
appropriate to be adopted by countries and regions with significantly 
and sometimes substantially different socio-political relations, 
industrial structures and policies, and cultural forms and practices.

As Scott McQuire has noted, there is a 'strategic rationale' behind 
the creative industries project: 'It provides a means for 
highlighting the significant economic contribution already made 
collectively by areas which individually may pass unnoticed all too 
easily' (McQuire, 2001: 209).6  In this respect, the creative 
industries concept is a welcome and responsible intervention.  But as 
McQuire also goes on to point out, the creative industries 'provides 
a template for change in educational curricula' (209).  This aspect 
is just one among others that warrants a more circumspect approach to 
the largely enthusiastic embracement of the concept of creative 
industries.  Change of course is inevitable and it's often a good and 
much needed thing.  However, there is a conformist principle 
underpinning the concept of creative industries as it has been 
adopted in Australia - namely the reduction of "creativity" to 
content production (Cunningham, 2002) and the submission of the arts 
and humanities to the market test, which involves exploiting and 
generating intellectual property (McQuire, 2001: 210).  What happens 
to those academic programs that prove unsuccessful in the largely 
government and market driven push to converge various media of 
expression into a digital form?  How are the actual producers - the 
"creative" workers - to be protected from the exploitation incurred 
from being content producers?

It is understandable that the creative industries project holds an 
appeal for managerial intellectuals operating in arts and humanities 
disciplines in Australia, most particularly at Queensland University 
of Technology (QUT), which claims to have established the 'world's 
first' Creative Industries faculty.7  The creative industries provide 
a validating discourse for those suffering anxiety disorders over 
what Ruth Barcan (2003) has called the 'usefulness' of 'idle' 
intellectual pastimes.  As a project that endeavours to articulate 
graduate skills with labour markets, the creative industries is a 
natural extension of the neo-liberal agenda within education as 
advocated by successive governments in Australia since the Dawkins 
reforms in the mid 1980s (see Marginson and Considine, 2000). 
Certainly there's a constructive dimension to this: graduates, after 
all, need jobs and universities should display an awareness of market 
conditions; they also have a responsibility to do so.  And on this 
count, I find it remarkable that so many university departments in my 
own field of communications and media studies are so bold and, let's 
face it, stupid, as to make unwavering assertions about market 
demands and student needs on the basis of doing little more than 
sniffing the wind!  Time for a bit of a reality check, I'd say.  And 
this means becoming a little more serious about allocating funds and 
resources towards market research and analysis based on the 
combination of needs between students, staff, disciplinary values, 
university expectations, and the political economy of markets.

However, the extent to which there should be a wholesale shift of the 
arts and humanities into a creative industries model is open to 
debate.  The arts and humanities, after all, are a set of 
disciplinary practices and values that operate as a constitutive 
outside for creative industries.  Indeed, in their creative 
industries manifesto, Stuart Cunningham and John Hartley (2002) loath 
the arts and humanities in such confused, paradoxical and 
hypocritical ways in order to establish the arts and humanities as a 
cultural and ideological outside.  To this end, to subsume the arts 
and humanities into the creative industries, if not eradicate them 
altogether, is to spell the end of creative industries as it's 
currently conceived at the institutional level within academe.

Too much specialisation in one post-industrial sector, broad as it 
may be, ensures a situation of labour reserves that exceed market 
needs.  One only needs to consider all those now unemployed 
web-designers that graduated from multi-media programs in the mid to 
late 90s.  Further, it does not augur well for the inevitable shift 
from or collapse of a creative industries economy.  Where is the 
standing reserve of labour shaped by university education and 
training in a post-creative industries economy?  Diehard neo-liberals 
and true-believers in the capacity for perpetual institutional 
flexibility would say that this isn't a problem.  The university will 
just "organically" adapt to prevailing market conditions and shape 
their curriculum and staff composition accordingly.  Perhaps. 
Arguably if the university is to maintain a modality of time that is 
distinct from the just-in-time mode of production characteristic of 
informational economies - and indeed, such a difference is a quality 
that defines the market value of the educational commodity - then 
limits have to be established between institutions of education and 
the corporate organisation or creative industry entity.

The creative industries project is a reactionary model insofar as it 
reinforces the status quo of labour relations within a neo-liberal 
paradigm in which bids for industry contracts are based on a 
combination of rich technological infrastructures that have often 
been subsidised by the state (i.e. paid for by the public), high 
labour skills, a low currency exchange rate and the lowest possible 
labour costs.  In this respect it is no wonder that literature on the 
creative industries omits discussion of the importance of unions 
within informational, networked economies.  What is the place of 
unions in a labour force constituted as individualised units? (see 
Beck, 1992; Bauman, 1992; McRobbie, 2002).  The conditions of 
possibility for creative industries within Australia are at once its 
frailties.  In many respects, the success of the creative industries 
sector depends upon the ongoing combination of cheap labour enabled 
by a low currency exchange rate and the capacity of students to 
access the skills and training offered by universities.  Of all these 
factors, much depends  on the Australian currency being pegged at a 
substantially lower exchange rate than the US dollar.  The economic 
effects in the United States of an expensive military intervention in 
Iraq and the larger costs associated with the "war on terrorism", 
along with the ongoing economic fallout from the dotcom crash and 
corporate collapses, have all led to a creeping increase in the value 
of the Australian dollar.  A significant portion of the creative 
industries sector in Australia is engaged in film production 
associated with Hollywood's activities "downunder" and, shortly, IT 
developments attached to MIT's media lab in Sydney.  These are both 
instances in which IP is most definitely not owned by Australian 
corporations or individuals, but is held more often by US based 
multi-nationals.  As such, the security of labour is contingent upon 
the stability of global financial systems which are underpinned by 
risk, uncertainty and a faith in the hubris peculiar to discourses on 
growth and expansion associated with the "New Economy" (Brenner, 
2002; Gadrey, 2003; Lovink, 2002c; Tickell, 1999).  Additional 
contingencies emerge with government policies that seek to intervene 
in the supranational, regional and national regulatory fields of 
trade agreements, privacy rights, and so forth.  Certainly in 
relation to matters such as these there is no outside for the 
creative industries.

There's a great need to explore alternative economic models to the 
content production one if wealth is to be successfully extracted and 
distributed from activities in the new media sectors.  The suggestion 
that the creative industries project initiates a strategic response 
to the conditions of cultural production within network societies and 
informational economies is highly debateable.  The now well 
documented history of digital piracy in the film and software 
industries and the difficulties associated with regulating violations 
to proprietors of IP in the form of copyright and trademarks is 
enough of a reason to look for alternative models of wealth 
extraction.  And you can be sure this will occur irrespective of the 
endeavours of the creative industries.

Unlike Lash, Chantal Mouffe argues that 'the "constitutive outside" 
cannot be reduced to a dialectical negation.  In order to be a true 
outside, the outside has to be incommensurable with the inside, and 
at the same time, the condition of emergence of the latter' (2000: 
12).  I've argued that the emergence of creative industries is caught 
up in such a process.  The phenomenon of flexible production by 
transnational corporations and the exploitation of sweatshop labour 
in both developing and developed countries are surely material and 
symbolic instances of an incommensurable, constitutive outside that 
conditions the possibility of high living standards, practices of 
consumption, and material wealth within advanced economies that adopt 
a neo-liberal mode of governance.  While labour within the 
"invisible" zones of production is not directly part of informational 
economies in terms of belonging to those sectors identified as part 
of the creative industries, it is nevertheless a condition of 
possibility for the larger social relations, consumer dispositions 
and labour practices within advanced economies.  Even those workers 
located within informationalism are positioned in relation to IPRs in 
such a manner as to be "outside" processes of power, authority, and 
decision making, and hence occupy an illegitimate and structurally 
disabled position vis-à-vis a sovereignty of the self and/or the 
social collective.

In contrast to Georgio Agamben's (1998: 6-12) use of the juridical 
concept in ancient Roman law of "bare life" - or homo sacer (sacred 
man) - as the state of exception, a figure that is excluded as it 
constitutes the inside of sovereign power, Hardt and Negri proclaim 
rather gloomily for contemporary socio-technical forms of capital 
that 'There is nothing, no "naked life", no external standpoint, that 
can be posed outside this field permeated by money; nothing escapes 
money' (Hardt and Negri, 2000: 32).  Maybe, maybe not.  Not all 
fields of money and finance capital are subject to the dark power of 
Empire.  Social actors can still find recourse to spatial scales and 
temporal rhythms that offer the possibility of a strategic outside. 
In this way - as grossly patronising and condescending as this must 
sound -  there is hope for those located in material and symbolic 
outsides to the hegemon of informationalism.




Notes


1 Or perhaps, more correctly after Baudrillard, a globalisation of 
media culture and information flows, since universality, for 
Baudrillard (2003), is homologous with ethical principles such as 
human rights, whereas globalisation is a term that has emerged with 
the advent of new ICTs, post-1989 world events, and the re-scaling of 
capital.  One does not speak of "global" human rights, for example. 
Rather human rights are a set of principles that may be idealised, 
and rarely adhered to.

2 At least one of the key proponents of the creative industries in 
Australia is ready to acknowledge this.  See Cunningham (2003).

3 While I think Wark is correct in identifying the symptoms peculiar 
to the division of labour and the mode of information within network 
societies and informational economies, it is unlikely that his terms 
for these socio-technical distinctions will have any broad appeal. 
Certainly it is possible that new institutions will emerge that 
function to organise informational labour, though I suspect a more 
likely scenario is for existing institutions such as unions to 
address the situation of "new labour" as it relates to IPRs and 
working conditions.  Arguably unions are best equipped for the task 
at hand insofar as they have useful institutional memories to draw 
upon and broad experience in negotiation and connections with 
industry and government actors.  The greatest obstacles for unions 
consists of declining membership, especially amongst younger workers, 
a hostile political environment of neo-liberalism in which 
governments and industry share a mutual distaste for organised 
labour, and the problematic of individualisation peculiar to 
informational labour as it articulates with neo-liberalism.  Richard 
Caves (2000: 121-135) has also pointed to the additional economic 
burden unions can place on film production in terms of, particularly 
for independents.  Unions alone will not be able to address the issue 
of exploitation for creative industries workers.  That will require a 
new configuration, one the is perhaps made possible by entities such 
as fibreculture articulating their membership with other 
institutional bodies such as unions.  In doing so, there is a 
possibility for new institutions to emerge.  I imagine different 
institutional configurations again would be needed for those creative 
workers that fall outside of the admittedly limited purchase has on 
the broad spectrum of creative labour.

4 To be fair to QUT's Creative Industries faculty, one if not more of 
the core subjects - 'Creative Industries' -  in the Bachelor of 
Creative Industries does address issues of IP.

5 Flew (2002: 154-159) is one of the rare exceptions, though even 
here there is no attempt to identify the implications IPRs hold for 
those working in the creative industries sectors.

6 A recent QUT report commissioned by the Brisbane City Council 
provides some illuminating statistics on the varying concentrations 
of workers in the creative industries across Australia.  There aren't 
too many surprises.  Of the seven capital cities in Australia in 
2001, Sydney holds the highest proportion of creative industry 
workers (90, 6000/40.1%).  Melbourne has 63, 453 (28.1%), Brisbane 
(25, 324), Perth (21, 211), Adelaide (15, 345), Canberra (6, 916), 
and the Greater Hobart Area (3, 055) (Cunningham et al., 2003: 16). 
At a statistical level then, Sydney pretty much leaves Melbourne for 
dead when it comes to that rather parochial old debate over which 
city is Australia's "cultural capital".  Still, you'd have to 
disagree when it comes down to which city has better food, bars, 
galleries and quality of life for the "bourgeois bohemians", or 
"bobos" (Brooks, 2000) - Melbourne wins hands down when the 
quantitatively feeble indices are considered.

7 Creative Industries Faculty, QUT, 
http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com.  A number of research papers 
and reports can be found at the Creative Industries Research and 
Applications Centre, 
http://www.creativeindustries.qut.com/research/cirac/index.jsp.
13








Works Cited

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Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Barcan, Ruth. 'The Idleness of Academics: Reflections on the 
Usefulness of Cultural Studies'. Continuum: Journal of Media and 
Cultural Studies (forthcoming, 2003).

Baudrillard, Jean. 'The Violence of the Global'. Trans. François 
Debrix. CTheory a129 (May, 2003), 
http://www.ctheory.net/text_file.asp?pick=385

Bauman, Zygmunt. The Individualized Society. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992.

Beck, Ulrich. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Trans. M. 
Ritter. London: Sage, 1992.

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