On the Production of Creative Subjectivity

“Businesses today are requiring higher levels of creativity and innovation in the face of rapid change, fierce competition and increasingly complex markets. Nowhere is the more obvious than in digital media, where new approaches are being sought to creative concept development.

Grounded in psychology, academic research into creativity has focused almost exclusively on the individual, acknowledging social and cultural environment as passive factors. This paper proposes an approach that radically de-centers the individual, suggesting that creativity emerges from within a complex engagement of individuals, processes, resources, structures and limitations. The model proposed draws on the notions of ‘distributed cognition’ and ‘machinic subjectivity’ to provide a framework that encompasses the creative potential of the individual, but situates it within other equally critical environmental elements.

Given this understanding of the creative endeavour, the term ‘manager’ becomes too limited and prescriptive, and might best be replaced with a more suitable term such as ‘facilitator’ or ‘catalyst’. There is a clear consensus on the value of ‘creative generalists’ who are able to bridge discourses and act as catalysts for creative connection. Such generalists as these appear to be ideally placed to facilitate the creative assemblages that are taking shape inside digital media agencies. ” [read the full paper]


Rolfe, B. (2007) ‘On the Production of Creative Subjectivity’. In K. K. W. Wong, L. Fung & P. Cole (Eds.) DIMEA ’07 Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Digital interactive media in entertainment and arts (pp. 50-57). NY, USA: ACM New York.


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