Mobile Networked Creativity

de Souza e Silva, A., & Xiong-Gum, M. (2020). Mobile Networked Creativity: A theoretical framework for understanding creativity as survival. Communication Theory, 31 (4), 821-840. DOI: 10.1093/ct/qtaa006. [pre-print version]

Abstract: Mobile networked creativity is an emergent practice that arises from the ongoing relationships among people and people with technologies—or networked resources. In this article, we propose a concept of creativity as emerging from networked connections, (im)mobility, and situations of hardship. We, thus, make a connection between mobility and space as networked elements of creativity as opposed to individual agent models. We focus on how unplanned or emergent uses of digital technologies reveal how creative practices emerge, particularly in the context of mobile technology use where people are physically mobile and yet connected via the Internet. We define the concept of creativity as a constant process of becoming, a “recursive organization” that can be seen in groups such as migrants, or people living in disenfranchised communities that survive in make-shift locations such refugee camps or slums. Contrary to the affluent and capitalistic-embedded traditional ideas of creativity, mobile networked creativity is a practice that is found mostly in situations of economic hardship, power imbalances, and (im)mobilities.