This chapter seeks to understand innovation in the cultural economy. It argues that the normative
innovation literature obscures innovation in the cultural economy, and hence this literature and its
conceptualisation of knowledge and innovation needs to be revised. The chapter is divided into three
parts. First, I review normative innovation practices and their relationship to the philosophy of
science. Second, I argue that due to normative assumptions about knowledge, the focus of analysis
and empirical investigation is on the transfer of knowledge. The third part proposes a more helpful
focus, namely the translation of knowledge, one that expresses the generative, relational and
situated nature of knowledge making. The normative model of the ‘leaky pipe’ analogy of knowledge
transfer is where the very formation of knowledge is assumed to be concerned with incremental change
(that is, minimally innovative). By contrast, the notion of ‘making in translation’ is conceived of
as a constructive and constitutive practice: one that is focused on radical change.
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