What is ‘Weird Economies’?
Weird Economies (W.E), is a journal, programming space and social experimental site that traces economic imaginaries extraordinary to financial arrangements of our time. W.E takes on an expanded chrono-political strategy, wherein past (vindication), present (location), and future (fabrication) are commensurable grounds for the extrapolation of weird—and weirder—economies.
What are the affordances of art in envisioning a life beyond financialization? Art and finance hold a complex relationship. Financialization is a prevalent factor shaping the cultural sector today. The normalization of economic illiquidity in the art world underlies the routine challenges around art workers’ solidarity with one another to formulate an adequate response to their field’s complicity with capitalization of cities and its effects on their own social habitat and environment. At the same time, the generation of speculative value drives both regimes of art and finance. Given this historical synergy, can the art system become a testing ground to examine new methods for cooperation in a financialized life? If art is a primary domain for reputational risk and value, what collective experiments could be made with this prestige economy to gain traction against the atomizing speculative activity of capital? What means are required to liquidate and redistribute the mass of art’s moral and critical value?
The artistic space, characteristically, lends itself to expanded inquiries: What is to be gained from contingent histories of cybernetic socialist planning? And how does it stand with the impulse towards blockchain finance and decentralized autonomous organizations today? In which ways can biological processes and ecological economies change the landscape of capitalism? How to cash in on the backward-moving time of finance where the future arrives before the present, and to take charge of our future commons? How to dissect the economic subject, agent, and instrument, previously compressed into the figure of homo economicus? What can be learned from historical precedents of common-based economies beyond the Global North, and to what magnitude can we scale these scenarios?
Economy—from the combination of the Greek words oikos and nomos—refers to the management of the household. Freud’s concept of the unheimlich is not alien to the economy in this regard if we dispose of its poor english translation—the Uncanny—in favor of the more fitting the Unhomely. Weird Economies intends to designate such unhomely governances of the household. Weirding is the operative modality of art: If our anthropomorphic vision today is skewed towards the interior of these familiar—and familial—edifices, which visualizing organisms and what modes of observation can help us view these unhomely economies externally? This, in order to take the alienating measures required for understanding systemic complexities determining our shared conditions today.
Who are We?
Bassam El Baroni
Chiara Di Leone
Founder & Organizer
Social Media & Communications
How are W.E funded?
Weird Economies is supported by Canada Council for the Arts
Who are the partners?
Our 2021-2022 partner organization was Arts Catalyst
Who are W.E indebted to?
Our project budget is publicly visible here
Reem Shadid, Kasia Wlaszczyk, Erik Bordeleau, Sally Moussawi, Suhail Malik, Luciana Parisi, Matthew Fuller, Harun Morrison, Sam Samiee, Yasaman Owrang, Anna Santomauro, Laura Clarke, Sohrab Mohebbi