Post-Fordist State planners, developers, and their entrepreneurial service arm have debased the meaning of ‘creativity’ to a shallow pretext for the further looting of cities and public wealth. The aestheticisation of selective zones of our cities is a mere fig leaf covering the acts of enclosure and exclusion that cultural regeneration entails. But as the recession bites, there are signs that dreams of the Creative City are crashing, as the public purse-strings tighten and the financial sector’s ability to underwrite the creative industries weakens. In this issue we examine that possibility, explore artists’ creative sabotage of their own regenerative co-optation, and philosophically examine what ‘expression’ might actually be.
As the financial crisis fastens its grip ever tighter around the means of human and natural survival, the age of the algorithm has hit full stride. This phase-shift has been a long time coming of course, and was undoubtedly as much a cause of the crisis as its effect, with self-propelling algorithmic power replacing human labour and judgement and creating event fields far below the threshold of human perception and responsiveness.