What is ‘Weird Economies’?

Weird Economies (WE), is an online art platform that traces economic imaginaries extraordinary to financial arrangements of our time. WE 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?

Core Team

Bahar Noorizadeh
Bassam El Baroni
Chiara Di Leone
Erica Love
Hallie Frost
João Enxuto
Luiza Crosman

Online Editor

Hallie Frost

Visual Editor

Laura Cugusi

Website

Chi-Binh Trieu

Podcast Music

Mhamad Safa

Social Media & Communications

Batool Desouky

How are we funded?

Weird Economies is supported by Canada Council for the Arts

Who are the partners?

Our partner is Arts Catalyst

Credits

2021 summer program
Commissioned by Tankstation Cultureel Vulpunt
Supported by Mondriaan Fonds

Our finances

Our project budget is publicly visible here

Special thanks

Reem Shadid, Kasia Wlaszczyk, Erik Bordeleau, Sally Moussawi, Suhail Malik, Luciana Parisi, Matthew Fuller, Harun Morrison, Sam Samiee, Anna Santomauro, Laura Clarke, Sohrab Mohebbi