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The Laws of CoolKnowledge Work and the Culture of Information$
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Alan Liu

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226486987

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226487007.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Destructive Creativity

Destructive Creativity

The Arts in the Information Age

Chapter:
(p.317) Chapter 11 Destructive Creativity
Source:
The Laws of Cool
Author(s):

Alan Liu

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226487007.003.0016

The rationale of contemporary knowledge work is “creative destruction,” with the emphasis on “creative” and almost no serious reflection on “destruction.” The question of a future aesthetics is the question of the general legitimation of art in such an age of creative destruction. What is the function of the creative arts in a world of perpetually “innovative” information and knowledge work? The special potential of the arts in the age of knowledge work may well be to complement the humanities lesson that “cool has a history” with the crucial inverse of that lesson: history can be cool. Cool à la mode—the cool of the instantaneous present—can no longer be the exclusive obsession of knowledge workers. In the age of “creative destruction,” the sense of history will also need to be cool. This chapter looks at viral aesthetics and the potential of the new aesthetics of “destructive creativity” in the information age.

Keywords:   knowledge work, information age, cool, creative destruction, creative arts, viral aesthetics, history

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