The Department of Culture, Media and Sport are currently in the process of re-classifying the ‘Creative Industries’ with the intention of deciding what stays and what gets rejected.
In our culture, where that which cannot be measured does not exist and appears to have no value, an industry will only be deemed suitably ‘creative’ if 30% of people working in that industry are being ‘creative’.
The list of who’s in makes interesting reading and includes marketing and sales directors, advertising accounts managers, broadcasting equipment operators and marketing associate professionals.
I am sure that all of these professions involve ‘creative’ activities (recent tax evasion scandals by well known multinationals demonstrate that ‘creative accountancy’ is a thriving industry) but conspicuous by its absence is the inclusion of ‘crafts’
The crafts industry is dismissed with this statement:
‘most crafts businesses are too small to identify in business survey data…..We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the view is that in the main these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing process, rather than the creative process’ (Classifying and Measuring the Creative Industries: Consultation on Proposed Changes. Department for Culture, Media and Sport.)
This new taxonomy, whilst apparently still in a consultation period, has been constructed with much compiling of data, research, and attention to detail, but even so, I can’t help thinking about the subjective, and arbitrary, nature of taxonomic orders.
In ‘The Order of Things’ Michel Foucault transcribes a passage by the writer Jorge Luis Borges who discovered in ‘a certain Chinese encyclopedia’ a taxonomy for the classification of animals:
‘animals are divided into (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.’
I wonder if this is the same encyclopedia that the DCMS has been consulting.
This blog post has been produced using 30% creativity, 20% productivity and 50% irony.
You can find out more information about the re-classification of the creative industries here.