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Cultural production, creativity and constraints

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This paper draws on extensive fieldwork in a wide range of creative industriesto argue that creativity itself is under-theorised, and should be considered asboth enabled and inhibited by numerous constraints guiding the choices madeby creative personnel during the course of their work. Six sets of constraints areoutlined in the context of different forms of cultural production: material,temporal, spatial, social, representational and economic. It is argued that theperformance of creative work is similar in part to Turner’s concept of‘communitas’, when an aura of individual creativity is passed to otherparticipants. This kind of liminal space is also found in creative industry ritualevents, which enable participants to communicate on an equal footing, and gainknowledge and connections that they can then use at work in their normaleveryday lives. These in turn may have a long-term effect on culturalproduction, creativity and constraints.

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Brian Moeran

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