Time, rhythm & the creative economy

Phil Jones, Saskia Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
219 Downloads (Pure)


Creative practice is fetishized in the policy discourse of post-industrial economies as a driver of growth and social inclusion. Conceptually, we advance Lefebvre’s incomplete rhythmanalysis project by combining the ideas of dressage and arrhythmia to give novel insights into contradictions within the contemporary creative economy. Our analysis shows dressage (practices learned through repetition), being used as a means to impose unsustainable (‘arrhythmic’) patterns of working within the creative sector. Cultural intermediaries, practitioners whose work focusses on engaging communities with the benefits of the creative economy, are today finding themselves chasing short term, bureaucratic demands upon their time, which operate counter to the rhythms of creative production. This paper draws on interviews and activity diaries kept by intermediaries collected as part of a large AHRC-funded project. We conclude that the rhythmic regimes being imposed on intermediaries by policymakers and funders are in fact driving out the very creative practices they are intended to foster. This contradiction has major implications for growth, social inclusion and wellbeing in an age of neoliberal austerity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286–296
Number of pages11
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number3
Early online date25 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • rhythmanalysis
  • time
  • cultural intermediaries
  • creative economy
  • activity diaries
  • UK


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