Lecture Creative Industries in China: From Catch-Up to Cold War 2.0 – Justin O’Connor

Friday 7 June 2019, 16.00 – 18.00
Master Institute of Visual Cultures, Parallelweg 21-23, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Entrance is free.
Drinks afterwards

Performative Defiance Lecture Series #2 – Justin O’Connor

This talk responds to China’s creative industries strategy and the implications for the European model of creative industries, essentially asking the question whether there is anything that Europe could learn from the Chinese model.

The UK Government’s 1998 rebranding of ‘cultural industries’ as ‘creative industries’, and the wider embrace of a ‘creative economy’, was meant to establish the competitive advantage of post-industrial in the face of East Asian manufacturing prowess. However, within a few years many East Asian countries had, to varying degrees, adopted this agenda, China doing so in 2006. China presented both deficit and opportunity. Deficit, because an authoritarian state was anathema to the liberal ideas underpinning the creative economy model. Opportunity because the ‘West’ – UK especially – was well-positioned to supply the know – how China would inevitably require to implement such a model. What this narrative ignores is the fact that Chinese creative industries strategy no longer attempts to follow the liberal model of entrepreneurial subjects, working in fluid networks, nurtured by an innovative urban milieu (or ‘hubs’). Instead it looks to ‘developmental state’ models exemplified by Korea and adapted from its own framework of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’. China’s is an industrial not a creativity strategy, and in this sense is a challenge to the normative settings of the ‘creative economy’ in Europe.

Biography Justin O’Connor

Justin O’Connor is Professor at the School of Creative Industries, University of South Australia and visiting Professor in the School of Media and Design, Shanghai Jiaotong University. Previously he was Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University. He was part of the UNESCO ‘Expert Facility’, supporting the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity. Professor O’Connor is the author of the 2016 Platform Paper “After the Creative Industries: Why we need a Cultural Economy”, and a forthcoming book on Culture and Modernity in Contemporary China. He is co-editor of the Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries (with Kate Oakley, 2015) and Cultural Industries in Shanghai: Policy and Planning inside a Global City (with Rong Yueming, 2018).

Lecture series

The Performative Defiance Lecture Series is an initiative of the Autonomy Research Chair at the Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology (Caradt), organized in collaboration with and hosted by the Master Institute of Visual Cultures. Its aim is to provide within Avans University an open, public forum where some of the foremost national and international voices challenge us to think about and discuss the role of art and design for the creation of a different future, to imagine another kind of world, the kind of world we wish to live in.

The notion performative defiance refers to creative practices that depart from the idea of the future as a mere update of the present, and calls for a recharge of aesthetic practice that turns complicity into defiance. What is required of art and design is an aesthetic mobilization to unsettle and then create the conditions that will ensure our survival and enhance our capacity to create and resist in the future. Performative defiance is therefore an articulation of a creative longing for a desirable future that lends itself to a counter position set against the deadlock of the present and against the symbolic misery of our time.

Share