All About The Artists? What’s Creative (Class) About That?

Is Richard Florida’s “Rise of The Creative Class” really about art? “It’s not just that Florida relies on words like ‘funky’ and ‘eclectic’ to describe art scenes – words that tend to signal a passive enjoyment of the scene rather than genuine interest in art itself. Or that someone devoted to creative thinking uses empty phrases like ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘pushing the envelope’ instead of proposing real innovations. It’s true that Creative Class is dedicated more to a dissection of the economic situation rather than solutions for creating what Florida calls ‘people climates’ – that is, the kind of place that these creative-class types would like to live. But Florida tends to glide over the solutions (as well as some of the more outstanding problems) with vague recommendations such as ‘invest broadly in arts and culture,’ an idea he puts right up there with tax breaks for technology companies.”