This article considers the strange confluence of the rhetoric of creativity and commerce at key points across the “Great Acceleration”. It argues that although the idea of creativity has its most common contemporary expression in art, it does not in fact emerge from the discourse of art. Rather, the idea of creativity as a specifically human possession emerges from the discourse of nature at the end of the eighteenth century, and particularly in the proliferation of natural scientific ideas about “natural creation”. It argues that if a global response to climate change necessitates a more enlightened remaking of ideas, industries and communities, then one of the ideas that must be “remade” is the Promethean aspect of the idea of creativity, and the relationship it articulates between human beings and the planetary environment we inhabit.


art, creativity, discourse, ideology, the Anthropocene, commerce