09.25.2004

Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies

Topic(s): Ongoing outdoor | No Comments

Date/Time: 25/09/2004 12:00 am


Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies
A public intervention in De Pijp, Amsterdam
by Oliver Ressler
These days it is becoming extremely difficult to imagine alternative
social and economic structures for a society radically different from
the capitalist society in which we are forced to live. This project,
which is being carried out in public inner-city spaces in De Pijp,
Amsterdam, is based on ideas that might be of interest when considering
the principles on which an alternative to the existing system could be
based. The project consists of a series of postcards and many hundreds
of posters, put up at different locations in De Pijp, a district in
which gentrification, as part of a larger economic transformation
process, has been causing social conflicts in recent years. The poster
and postcard texts, with their large and highly visible fonts, are in
the form of appeals, questioning existing dominant power relationships
and indicating alternatives that share the rejection of the capitalist
system of rule. Some of the ideas presented in this project have been
elaborated upon in concepts such as “Participatory Economy” or
“Inclusive Democracy”.
The project in De Pijp uses the format of posters and postcards as
arenas for the imagination during the next weeks. “Imagination is a very
powerful liberating tool. If you cannot imagine something different you
cannot work towards it”, explains Marge Piercy in a video interview
conducted for the ongoing exhibition project “Alternative Economics,
Alternative Societies”, to which this project is related (check out
www.ressler.at).
The poster texts read:
IMAGINE A SOCIETY IN WHICH PEOPLE HAVE A SAY IN DECISIONS IN PROPORTION TO THE DEGREE THAT THEY ARE AFFECTED
IMAGINE A SOCIETY IN WHICH ORDINARY PEOPLE GAIN MORE INFLUENCE AND
GREATER CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVES
IMAGINE AN ECONOMY IN WHICH THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION BELONGS TO EACH COMMUNITY AND IS LEASED TO THE EMPLOYEES OF EACH PRODUCTION UNIT FOR A LONG-TERM CONTRACT
IMAGINE TO GET REMUNERATED FOR EFFORT AND SACRIFICE, NOT FOR PROPERTY OR POWER
IMAGINE A DEMOCRATIZATION OF HOUSING AND A REMOVAL OF HOUSING FROM THE SPECULATIVE MARKET WHICH ONLY WORKS IN FAVOR OF A FEW LANDLORDS
The intervention “Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies” is
curated by Amiel Grumberg and takes place in the framework of the
project “Quicksand in De Pijp” by SKOR and Combiwel. Quicksand is a
program of artistic interventions taking place in De Pijp neighborhood
starting in September 2004. This public art project brings together six
international contemporary artists from a wide range of age groups and
backgrounds: Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil (France, 1968), Mircea Cantor
(Romania, 1977), Jota Castro (Peru, 1965), Jean-Luc Moulène (France,
1955), Oliver Ressler (Austria, 1970), Sebastian Romo (Mexico, 1973).
I dedicate my intervention in De Pijp to Amiel Grumberg, who died last
week in Amsterdam.
The exhibition project “Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies” is
currently or very soon on display at:
Wyspa Progress Foundation, Gdansk (PL), till 03.10.04 (“Health and Safety”)
Itaucultural Institute, Sao Paulo (BR), till 26.09.04 (“Emoção
Art.ficial II”)
Conde Duque Cultural Centre, MediaLabMadrid, Madrid (E), 30.09.04 –
31.10.04 (solo-show)
Forum Stadtark, Graz (A), Steirischer Herbst, 08.10. – 28.11.04 (“There
must be an alternative”)

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