Against Creativity

My second monograph, ‘Against Creativity‘, will be published September 2018 (you can preorder on Amazon) by the excellent folk at Verso. It’s essentially a series of essays that pit the dominant narrative of creativity against the more subversive forms. Through the lenses of work, people, politics, technology and (of course) the city, I dissect how capitalism articulates creativity, but champion those who are going against that. Below is the blurb from the publisher.

Everything you have been told about creativity is wrong.

From line managers, corporate CEOs, urban designers, teachers, politicians, mayors, advertisers and even our friends and family, the message is ‘be creative’. Creativity is heralded as the driving force of our contemporary society. It is celebrated as agile, progressive and liberating; the ideal paradigm of working in the knowledge economy. It shapes the cities we inhabit to encourage the wealth-generating ‘creative class’ to live and work there. It even defines our politics. What could possibly be wrong with this?

In this brilliant, counter-intuitive blast Against Creativity, Oli Mould demands that we rethink the story we are being sold. Behind the novelty, he shows that creativity is a barely hidden form of neoliberal appropriation. It is a regime that prioritizes individual success over collective flourishing. It refuses to recognize anything – job, place, person – that is not profitable. And impacts on everything around us: the places where we work, the way we are managed, how we spend our leisure time.

This version of creativity exposes every aspect of life to the market; is there an alternative? Mould offers a radical redefinition of creativity, one embedded in the idea of collective flourishing, outside the tyranny of profit. Bold, passionate and refreshing, Against Creativity, is a timely correction to the doctrine of our times.