Free/Slow University of Warsaw. Volume 4

A joy forever is a promise of a common happiness, provided also in the sphere of economy by widely applied creativity. Is it then a tool for the emancipation of humanity, an instrument of control or a space for investment and speculation?

The book published by F/SUW in cooperation with MayFly Books gathers papers based on presentations at the conference Labour of the Multitudes? Political Economy of Social Creativity, organized in Warsaw in October 2011. It includes contributions by renowned thinkers and artists, including Luc Boltanski, Neil Cummings, Diedrich Diederichsen, Isabelle Graw, Massimiliano Tomba, Stevphen Shukaitis, and Martha Rosler, among many others.

The title Joy Forever refers to the false promise of a common happiness, constantly played out by the proponents of the creative class and creative economy – the very promise that since Romanticism has been ascribed to art itself, a vow which remains unfulfilled. The aim of F/SUW’s publication is to scrutinize the false promises of distributed creativity as an ideology of cognitive capitalism. The authors devote themselves to critical examination of the structural links between art, creativity, labour and the creation of value under contemporary relations of production. Some of them do not stop at a critical diagnosis but go further, reflecting upon potential alternatives to the status quo.

The book covers more than the issues of a narrowly understood art world, despite the fact that it pays a lot of attention to them. Art is conceived here as a social lab, where innovative ways of organizing of labour, socializing both for labour and through labour, as well as different types of production, speculation, generation and accumulation and appropriation of value are experimented with and tested.

Co-publisher of english edition: MayFly Books

Read about the book at MayFly Books

Read more about the conference+ HERE

AuthorsHans Abbing, Joanna Bednarek, Luc Boltanski, Isabelle Bruno, Neil Cummings, Diedrich Diederichsen, Freee Art Collective, Isabelle Graw, Alexander Neumann, John Roberts, Gigi Roggero, Martha Rosler, Massimiliano Tomba, Marina Vishmidt, Precarius Workers Brigade and Carrot Workers Collective, Stephen Shukaitis
Editorial committee: Michał Kozłowski, Agnieszka Kurant, Jan Sowa, Krystian Szadkowski, Kuba Szreder, Szymon Żydek (editorial assistance)
Publishers: Bęc Zmiana Foundation and MayFly Books

The publication is the result of the international conference "The labour of the multitude? The political economy of social creativity" relised in partnership with the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Warsaw and Austrian Culture Forum in Warsaw as a part of Free/Slow University of Warsaw's 2011 program "Social economy of creativity. In search of economic strategy to promote the circulation of independent culture"  co-financed by the Polish National Cultural Centre under the Culture Observatory program /