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Currency

[Expanded exhibition and publication]

2018

An expanded curatorial platform and publication that stages provocations and propositions for how we might reimagine economy.

  1. The laundry as an instrument for keeping things clean, smooth and removed, and aligned with the invisible hand of the market and its relationship to money laundering and informal economies.
  2. The fe/male/trans body as washing machine – as a circulatory vascular system accumulating toxins and flushing, cleansing, passing through – as threshold, as change agent, as behind the scenes mess hall, as front of house box office hygienist
  3. The laundromat’s historical relationship with migrant populations, foreign bodies, immigrant and illegal labour, and the transmutations and porosity of unclean and dirty bodies.
  4. The rise of alternative currencies bit coin etc and its correlation with speculative finance capitalism and affective labour/creative labour.
  5. The emergence of the share­-economy and the commodification of neighbourhood and the phenomena of place­-making, urban renewal and artist led gentrification.
  6. The rise of the creative worker as the ultimate poster child for neoliberalism marked by its characteristic flexible, precarious, and ephemeral labour to produce intangible capital.
  7. The laundromat as a trojan vessel to mimic existing economic models in order to occupy from the inside out in a viral form, and following permaculture theory, to reintroduce a species that disrupts a toxic cycle and brings equilibrium to the ecosystem; to re-­absorb/re-cycle the surplus/excess.
  8. Exploration of the excess of economy, following philosopher Georges Bataille and to extend his philosophy of General Economy into a making of new “economy” that preferences useless or excessive labour and production.

This exhibition is in development.

Projects

Diagram of a Washing Machine

[Poster Print and Lecture]

An instructive lecture with diagram to explain creative economy using the deceptively humble washing machine.

This lecture takes as its starting point the figurative image of the washing machine to map the capital flows of the creative economy and the various ways that intangible goods and affective labour irrigate the broader economy. Conventionally a space of gendered domestic labour, the laundry is rendered invisible, private and marked by bodily functions and social hygiene. In this refiguring, the circulation of goods and services through the washing machine will be subject to a remaking and repurposing to imagine a future where value, surplus, and exchange are presented in radically different ways.

This lecture is accompanied by a diagrammatic poster of a washing machine which charts the capital flows and unique exchange values of the local creative economy.

This project is a collaboration with Upacita (Jakarta)

Projects

Iron Lady

[Performative encounter and installation]

The Iron Lady is an artisanal business shirt ironing salon for temporary installation in close proximity to the finance district of a city. This artistic operation will seek to generate trade and exchange in a pop-off salon, using conversation and a unique shirt ironing service for the location’s finance workers. Simultaneously it will extract useful data related to how the world of finance ‘works’, and seek fugitive alliances with the art of economy and the economics of art.

The Iron Lady is one tough lady. She is not afraid of the big end of town. She knows what she is worth, and she can iron a mean business shirt in 7 minutes flat.

Creative Development: 30 Oct – 6 Nov

Presentation: 11 – 25 November

This work is a commision by PADA and presented by VitalStatistix (Adelaide)

Collaborators: Emma and Lucky Price.

http://vitalstatistix.com.au/projects/iron-lady/

 

Projects

Money Laundering

[Experimental Economic Outfit]

2016 – 2018

Money Laundering is an experimental business incubator which will form the basis to a fully operational artist run laundromat in 2017. This part of the project-machine is magical in thinking and pragmatic in form, carefully plotting all the necessary thoughts, designs, connections, practices, ideas and people who will contribute to manifesting the Laundromat.

The focus of laundromat is to provide flexible paid employment for a creative worker during the in between times of the feast and famine of creative economy. This project is a response to the precarity of the artist labouring body, and as an experiment in ‘companion planting’ that enables the ordinary and extraordinary to cross fertilise.

The core business of the laundromat is to generate income for artists working in the gig-economy to be redistributed back into local economy and the pockets of artists . Only artists will be employed in its service. Its secondary concern is providing a washing and ironing service for the local community in which it is located. This work is not considered in contra-distinction, but as coextensive with much of creative labour that is necessary, ordinary, and physical. It is also an opportunity to practice mindfulness and to interact with community. Naturally, it also has plans to house a library and function as a gathering event-space for artists and their community.

Over the next 24 months the following things will take place in slow marination:

  1. The development and design of the artist led laundromat to be based in Sydney Australia.
  2. Meeting with owners of laundromats in Sydney to research the basic mechanics of managing a laundromat
  3. Location scouting for the right premises to establish the laundromat and appropriate building compliance research to ensue viability.
  4. Development of a business model and app that would enable the employment of artists based on a ‘feast and famine’ gig economy, which places the dynamic of creative labouring at the centre of the business plan.
  5. Exploring options for a residency for artists within a laundromat.
  6. Develop partnership strategies for an incubator economic model to develop the “business” as an open source prototype.

This project is being developed with three awesome ladiez in the bizz.

SANDY SAXON 

Sandy is an experienced administrator, grants manager, researcher and curator, with Masters degrees in fine arts and arts administration. For more than a decade, Sandy has worked with national arts organisations such as the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) within public programs, Performance Space, managing partnerships and fundraising, and at the Australia Council for the Arts,managing and evaluating grants programs. Currently Sandy is pursuing studies inSocial Impact at Swinburne University whilst working for the Multicultural Affairs & Social Cohesion division within the State Government’s Department of Premier & Cabinet. Sandy’s key area of expertise for Money Laundering is: research into philanthropic support; program and stakeholder management; and a deep working knowledge of the arts sector and the employment opportunities for arts practitioners.

SARAH CHISHOLM (Bird)

Sarah has worked in arts based community development and social enterprise for over 15 years. From working alongside newly arrived refugees in Wollongong on micro-enterprise fashion projects to managing Resource Recovery Australia, an award-winning national social enterprise creating work in the waste management industry for people with barriers to employment, she has learnt some things. The reason Bird is attracted to this project is ironic. While increasingly creating her living out of managing social enterprises, which create work for over 140 people, Bird continues to struggle to fulfil her personal dream of devoting serious time to making upcycled sculptures (think wearable xylophone and tonal bar art-fashion pieces), creating experimental music and slowly studying a range of skills to create beautiful things well, that may or may not say profound things. But these pursuits are not monetarily rewarded. And so the next “issue” Bird wants to crack is…. how do we create a more equitable environment for artists in our economy. Other roles include co-founding Green Connect Illawarra, a social enterprise that creates employment for newly arrived refugees in the resource recovery industries, and being a board member of The Social Outfit, a social enterprise that creates employment and training for new migrant communities, refugees and asylum seekers through the operation of an ethical and awesome fashion store. Sarah studied Fine Art, and has post graduate qualifications in social science and policy from UNSW, and social enterprise from the University of Sydney Business School.

JULIEANNE CAMPBELL (JC)

Julieanne is stimulated by strategy, community and better ways to do business. She has worked in media, the arts and NFP sector for over 25 years in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia. Alongside business partner Brian Keogh, Julieanne is one half of Cobalt59, a consultancy company that develops business systems and strategy for businesses, government and NFPs. She is General Manager at Urban Theatre Projects, Western Sydney’s most intrepid arts company, and Chair of Theatre Network NSW.

Project website here: http://moneylaunderingladiez.tumblr.com/