The Creative Underground: Art, Politics and Everyday Life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Creative Underground

Art, Politics and Everyday Life, 1st Edition

By Paul Clements


232 pages

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Paul Clements champions the creative underground and expressions of difference through visionary avant-garde and resistant ideas. This is represented by an admixture of utopian literature, manifestos and lifestyles which challenge normality and attempt to reinvent society, as practiced for example, by radicals in bohemian enclaves or youth subcultures. He showcases a range of 'art' and participatory cultural practices that are examined sociopolitically and historically, employing key theoretical ideas which highlight their contribution to aesthetic thinking, political ideology, and public discourse. A reevaluation of the arts and progressive modernism can reinvigorate culture through active leisure and post-work possibilities beyond materialism and its constraints, thereby presenting alternatives to established understandings and everyday cultural processes. The book teases out the difficult relationship between the individual, culture and society especially in relation to autonomy and marginality, while arguing that the creative underground is crucial for a better world, as it offers enchantment, vitality and hope.

Table of Contents

1 Introducing the creative underground

2 Utopia

3 Manifestos

4 The avant-garde, autonomy and wider participation

5 Creative resistance: counterculture, subculture and counterpublics

6 Heterotopia, Bohemia and vignettes of creative underground practices

7 Work, play and a post-work scenario

8 Everyday life

9 Concluding words ….

About the Author

Paul Clements is a Lecturer at several universities, including Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. He is the author of Charles Bukowski, Outsider Literature, and the Beat Movement (2013)also by Routledge.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Folk & Outsider Art
ART / Art & Politics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies