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Article

Novelty and the politicization of the creative field: Creative labour and the poetics of the ‘open work’

Critical Contemporary Culture. 2012. Vol. 1. No. 1.

This article examines the ways that novelty can operate as an emancipatory thrust within the creative field today. For this purpose, it first discusses how novelty is understood by creative economy rhetoric and demonstrates the ways that this understanding is incorporated in the actual production of works associated with the field. Whereas creative economy increasingly embraces the ‘poetics of the open work’ and recognizes the creative capacities of the audiences, it regards innovation as a quality that principally advances forms of competitive advantage. This emphasis on ‘openness’ often comes to mask the twofold exploitation of the audience- based labour and the (self-) exploitation of the creative worker. It will be argued that within the creative field today, novelty can operate as a force of emancipation only when it is articulated within emancipatory frameworks of respective value systems.