project: THE UNCREATIVE CITY
From Total Creative Environments to Gentripunctural Injections
This essay deals with Rotterdam’s recent attempts to win the title of ‘Creative Capital of the Netherlands’. (1) In particular, it focuses on two recent housing developments in Rotterdam in which the ‘creative class’ features as a central referent: the Lloyd Quarter development in Delfshaven and The Poetic Freedom housing project in Spangen. The main argument of this essay is that if creativity is as bad off as it is often claimed today – instrumentalised as it is through perverted schemes by city-managers – the only option left for creative forces is to perform a similar act as the Greek mythological figure Medea: to stop what is most dear to her, her children, from being the object of a cruel manipulation by her unfaithful husband, Jason; instead of trying to protect them at all costs, she killed them out of love. In a similar vein, we plead for creative agents to tactically act uncreatively in the face of the aggressive usurpation of creativity by government and market forces.