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art and economies

Social Archive Two: Fluctuating Economies in Shoreditch

Iniva are pleased to be working with Undocumentary (artists Jessica Harrington and Shiraz Bayjoo) for Social archive Two.  Here are a few images we captured whilst documenting their first recording with Noah from Maiden shop, 188 Shoreditch High Street.

Organised by Iniva as part of Art at the Intersection: Art and Economics, a three year initiative exploring critical and creative approaches to economics. Social Archive Two is a film project where members of the general public are invited to adopt the role of socio-economic historians, recording people working and living in Shoreditch and their reflections on their economic futures. 


We had a delightful time at Maiden with Noah who gave us an insightful stream of consciousness into what an independent businesses in the East End is confronted by.

We’ll be sure to upload the film in due time.

Art & Economies book recommendation – Imaginary Economics:

Imaginary Economics: Contemporary Artists and the Big World of Money

A British artist who destroys all of his belongings, a Dutch artist’s initiative that charts organization cultures, a Swiss artist who sells his right to participate in an exhibition via an online auction, an American artist who prints his own money and then succeeds in spending it . . . 

This book examines the ways in which contemporary artists represent economic processes. They no longer merely express their ideas about the market or subsidy systems through the media, but analyse and offer parodies of economic mechanisms in their work. (Information from Amazon).

Artists included in the book include:  Joseph Beuys, Christine Janowski, Meschac Gaba, Mark Lombardi to Santiago Sierra, Michael Landy, Maria Eichorn and others.

The book was published in 2005, however it resonates even more with today’s implications of the financial economy and economies we experience in our everyday lives.  Art historian and Economist Olav Velthius provides a good starting point in understanding how artists engage with the subjects of economies and translate them into visual formats and for physical experiences.

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Art & Economies: Feral Trade project by Kate Rich

The Feral Trade Route

The Feral Trade Courier is a live shipping database for a freight network running outside commercial systems. It is a public experiment trading goods over social networks. Its aim is to open up routes for the passage of goods between diverse social settings, along which other information, techniques or individuals can potentially travel. New products are chosen for their portability, shelf-life and capacity for sociability. Feral Trade goods in current circulation include the coffee from El Salvador plus grappa from Croatia, tea from Bangladesh and fresh sweets from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Kate Rich is an Australian-born artist & trader. At the turn of the century, she  took up the post of Bar Manager at the Cube Microplex, Bristol UK where she launched Feral Trade. She is currently moving deeper into the infrastructure of cultural economy,  developing protocols to define and manage amenities of hospitality, catering, sports and  survival in the cultural realm.

Meaning of Labour: Performance (artist Kate Gilmore)

Kate Gilmore: Walk the Line

Performance at Exchange Square in the financial district of the City of London. The structure is in keeping with the measurements of typical office cubicles and corridors in the neighbouring modern office blocks, where countless women work, perhaps without ever having noticed or reflected upon the effect their daily activities have on their body and stamina. The women who participate in Kate Gilmore’s project will resemble typical office workers and come from different backgrounds. With this art work Kate Gilmore comments on the meaning of labour and life in everyday conditions, and skilfully turns a mundane phenomenon into a dramatic visual spectacle.

Catch it between 6-10 June 2011

Find out more about this Parasol Unit project.

Alternative Economies: Local Currencies

The Bijlmer Euro Project with artist Christian Nold

The project explores how a local currency can make a local economy more resilient to outside corporations.  The currency is a Euro note with an RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tag stuck to it, which is removable. This RFID tagged Euro allows it to be exchanged locally providing discounts in local stores as opposed to large supermarkets. The RFID tags make it possible to trace the movement of that specific euro, making it apparent how money moves in one area.