Literature Review_ “ICW-Immaterial Civil War” (Pasquinelli, 2007)

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: creative industries, real-estate | No Comments »

In the article, Pasquinelli revisits David Harvey’s work of The Art of Rent (Harvey 2001), claiming that “all the immaterial economies have a material, parallel counterpart where the big money is exchanged” (Pasquinelli 2006: 22). The mode of value generation in creative industries domain is in fact not limited to the exploitation of intellectual property, but also  a more tendentious way of parasitic exploitation  by another material objects. The discourse “collective symbolic capital” introduced by Harvey unveils the potential political economy of cultural interventions and the parasite exploiting the social creativity.

The culture context provides the marks of distinction which be exploited further by capitalists to sell material goods. The article mentions the Barcelona city as an example; Pasquinelli states that the production of culture as social capital and real estate speculation is a couple of immaterial and material compound.

To apply the concept of parasitic exploitation of symbolic capital, the mode of development of creative clusters in local Ningbo seems a contradictory and conflicted circumstance  for further investigation. An initial thought of this phenomenon is that the culture and creative economy-oriented project is possibly exploited mostly by real estate speculators and leave little space for sustainable development of culture and creative reproduction.


Harvey, David (2001), ‘The Art of Rent: Globalization and the Commodification of Culture’, in Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography, New York: Routledge, 2001, pp. 394-411

Pasquinelli, Matteo (2007) ‘ICW-Immaterial Civil War, Prototypes of conflict within cognitive capitalism’, in Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (eds) MyCreativity Reader: Critique of Creative Industries, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, pp. 71-81.

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