Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy
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Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy

Edited by Ruth Towse and Christian Handke

Digital technologies have transformed the way many creative works are generated, disseminated and used. They have made cultural products more accessible, challenged established business models and the copyright system, and blurred the boundary between producers and consumers. This unique resource presents an up-to-date overview of academic research on the impact of digitization in the creative sector of the economy.
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Chapter 4: Space and place

Andy C. Pratt


The aim of this chapter is to elaborate the role of space in relation to the digital creative economy. It will argue that the partial conceptualization of the digital creative economy, mainly focusing on consumption and the immaterial, has settled on a distorted and unhelpful understanding of the nature of current transformations. The net effect has been the simplification, or erasure, of the role that space plays in the digital creative economy. However, I point out that recent research has re-balanced this discussion by stressing the value of examining the (social, economic and cultural) embedded nature of the digital creative economy and so gives a more adequate account of the role of space. Critics have been too quick to declare space irrelevant to digital economies. This was the result of seizing on just one ërevolutionaryí aspect of change. Although notions such as the ëdeath of distanceí do chime with our transformative experience of digital communications they are partial and we should be wary of such characterizations. First, there is the purist line of argument where a key distinction is stressed between the analogue and the digital, or atoms and bits (Negroponte, 1995). Such a binary has the unfortunate side effect of elevating in import and isolating the ëvirtualí as an autonomous sphere, and marginalizing the social relations of the digital.

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