This post is a copy of the introduction to Section 1 from Creative Tools and the Softwarization of Cultural Production, edited by Frédérik Lesage & Michael Terren, from the book series Creative Working Lives. The section provides an overview of chapters by Kaushar Mahetaji and David Nieborg, by Tom Livingstone, and by Stefan Werning.
It’s finally out! Creative Tools and The Softwarization of Cultural Production is a book project that Michael Terren and I started to develop a few years back during COVID. As a collection, the book examines the rise of softwarization in creativity, where digital tools shape its design, marketing, and production. We argue that, as creativity has become a central element in contemporary power structures, software tools play a crucial role in its material and symbolic formation.
Empirical research can be complicated! Covid 19 made this reality all-too clear by making fieldwork next to impossible. Fortunately for the team working on "Searching for Tasks", we were able to collect most of our data just prior to the lockdowns. The subsequent process of analysing and publishing the results took an inordinate amount of time but the outcome — a new set of methods for visualizing the performance of digital skills — has been amazing.