November 16-18 2006 | Club 11, Amsterdam

On November 16-18 2006 the Institute of Network Cultures and the Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster hosted MyCreativity: Convention on International Creative Industries Research. This two-day conference sought to bring the trends and tendencies around the Creative Industries (CI) into critical question. It addressed the local, intra-regional and transnational variations that constitute the international creative industries, seeing these as an uneven field of actors, interests and conditions. The conference explored a range of key topics that, in the majority of cases, remain invisible to both academic research and policy-making.

The concept of ‘Creative Industries’ was initiated by the UK Blair government in 1997, to revitalise de-industrialised urban zones. Since then, it has been further celebrated and institutionalised. The CI concept gathered momentum after being championed by Richard Florida in his 2002 book The Creative Class. As much as CI should mean empowering artists, designers and other creative workers, in reality it often spells the introduction of neo-liberal market forces in areas such as education, arts funding, local initiatives, and in particular, housing. The CI buzz is often also used as a force to reinstate intellectual property rights and relax hard won labour conditions.

Overall, the conference adopted a comparative focus in order to illuminate the variability of international ‘creative industries,’ a terrain dominated by consultants and public relations experts. This approach enabled new questions to be asked about the mutually constitutive tensions between the forces, practices, histories and policies that define creative production, distribution and organisation within an era of information economies and network cultures.

themes: critique of creative industries, creative China, alternative business and organisational models, economy of design, creative labour and precarious creativity, debating intellectual property rights (WIPO), made in Europe: dispatches from the city, and economy of the arts.

speakers: Valery Alzaga, Gideon Boie, Danny Butt, Teun Castelein, Chaos Chen, Anthony Davies, Danielle van Diemen, Mieke Gerritzen, Donna Ghelfi, Rosalind Gill, Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Christoph Spehr, David Hesmondhalgh, Brian Holmes, Michael Keane, Paul Keller, Aphra Kerr, Rogerio Lira, Sebastian Luetgert, Luca Martinazolli, Elisabeth Mayerhofer, Monika Mokre, Justin O’Connor, Marion von Osten, Merijn Oudenampsen, Matteo Pasquinelli, Joost Smiers, Barbara Strebel, Minna
Tarkka, Su Tong and Annelys de Vet.

website: To subscribe to the MyCreativity discussion list, or to download The Creativity newspaper pdf, or to access audio and video documentation of the conference, go to

credits: Organised by the Institute of Network Cultures and the Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster. Concept: Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter. Supported by: ThuisKopie Fonds.

publications: The Creativity publication is a free accidental newspaper dedicated to the anonymous creative worker, produced by the Sandberg Institute, the Institute of Network Cultures and the Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster.

Creativity For All is a book by ALL MEDIA produced in the context of MyCreativity. Both publications are edited by: Mieke Gerritzen, Sabine Niederer, Geert Lovink, Hendrik-Jan Grievink and Ned Rossiter.