Creative Industries, Comparative Media Theory and the Limits of Critique from Within

Ned Rossiter


It has become common for contemporary media and cultural theorists to claim that “there
is no more outside.” Such a position pushes the idea of a horizontally organized
information society to the extreme and fails to account for how exclusion is a condition of
possibility. This essay analyses how a “constitutive outside” functions within the creative
industries as a result of the exploitation of the intellectual property generated by labourpower.
The essay develops the notion of an outside as it figures in Adorno’s method of
immanent critique and Deleuze’s logic of immanence. Finally, the essay examines how the
constitutive force of an outside is a key component of Innis’s theories of communications
media and cultural formation. Overall, the essay argues that a political theory of mediaculture
is one that addresses how the outside operates as an affirmative force that holds the
capacity for transformation.

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