The research project “Machine Love? Creativity Cultures in Electronic Music and Software Development” is geared towards the investigation of meaning and significance of the creative in two vibrant fields of the Creative Industries: underground electronic music and software engineering within the context of the production of tools for ›creative labour‹ and the development of new methodologies for qualitative research in art and design.

Lay summary

Based on approaches to culture as a conglomerate of social practices, we regard the creative in Creative Industries as a gap to be filled with discursive-material practices that make up distinct creativity cultures. That is, instead of departing from an anthropological concept of creativity, we think of it as a culturally-specific, discursive phenomenon as a reaction to the ubiquitous demand for creativity in current knowledge societies. The central questions of the project are: What role do concepts of creativity and creative praxis play in the targeted fields of the Creative Industries? How are culturally-specific understandings of creativity negotiated, instituted, and reworked in production practices?

Our primary goals are the development of a modular theory-methods package for qualitative research in art and design and a contribution to social science analyses of (cultural) production and work organisation in Creative Industries. This includes an empirical interest in the meaning and significance of creativity in the targeted fields as well as a theoretical discussion of the relationship of discourses and practices in the context of cultural theories of social practice. Methodologically, we seek to combine qualitative research techniques with collaborative projects at the interface of art, design and research.