After the loss of a countermodel
for capitalism - which socialism, in its real, existing
form had presented until its collapse - alternative
concepts for economic and social development are facing
difficulties at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
In the industrial nations, "alternatives"
are only broadly discussed when they do not question
the existing power relations of the capitalist system
and representative democracies. Other socio-economic
approaches are, on the other hand, labeled utopian,
devalued, and excluded from serious discussion if even
considered at all.
In the framework of the theme-specific installation,
"Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies,"
the focus is on diverse concepts and models for alternative
economies and societies which all share a rejection
by the capitalist system of rule. For each concept,
an interview was carried out from which an English video
was produced. In the exhibition, these single-channel
20 to 37 minute videos are each shown on a separate
monitor thus forming the central element of the artistic
The project presents alternative social and economic
models such as "Inclusive Democracy" from
Takis Fotopoulos (GB/GR), "Participatory Economy"
from Michael Albert (U.S.A.), and "Free Cooperation"
from Christoph Spehr (G). Nancy Folbre (U.S.A.) speaks
about her concept of "Caring Labor," Marge
Piercy (U.S.A.) discusses the feminist-anarchist utopias
of her social fantasies, p.m. (CH) discusses "bolo'bolo,"
and John Holloway (MEX/GB) talks about his ideas of
how to "Change the World Without Taking Power."
As interesting historical models, the workers' self-management
in Yugoslavia in the sixties and seventies are thematized
in the exhibition by Todor Kuljic (SCG), the workers'
collectives during the Spanish Civil War (1936-38) by
Salomé Moltó (E), and the Paris Commune
of 1871 by Alain Dalotel (F).
Chosen for each video is one quotation significant
for the alternative model that it presents. The quote
is placed directly on the floor of the exhibition room
as a several meter long text piece. This floor lettering,
made from adhesive film, leads exhibition visitors directly
to the corresponding videos, yet the quotes also overlap
one another and subdivide the room into different sections.
The exhibition project will be continually expanded
in the coming years through further economic and social
concepts. These form a non-hierarchically arranged pool,
which offers stimulus and suggestions for contemplation
of social alternatives and possibilities for action.
The installation "Alternative Economics, Alternative
Societies" has been/will be realized within the
Galerija Skuc, Ljubljana (SI), 30.10. - 23.11.03
Espace Forde, Genève (CH), 06. - 19.12.03
("There is no Alternative")
Kunstraum der Universität Lüneburg
(G), 08. - 16.01.04 ("Alternative Economics,...")
Transmediale.04, Berlin (G), 31.01. - 15.02.04
O.K - Center for Contemporary Art, Linz (A),
11.03. - 02.05.04 ("Open House")
Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (A), 16.06. - 24.07.04
Itaucultural Institute, Sao Paulo (BR), 01.07.
- 26.09.04 ("Emoção Art.ficial II
- Divergências Tecnológicas")
Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand (N), 06.07.
- 15.08.04 ("Detox 04. Crossover Jam Culture")
Wyspa Progress Foundation, Gdansk (PL), 03.09.
- 03.10.04 ("Health and Safety")
Centro Cultural Conde Duque, MediaLabMadrid, Madrid
(E), 30.09.04 - 31.10.04 ("Economía alternativa,
Forum Stadtpark, Graz (A), Steirischer Herbst,
08.10. - 28.11.04 ("There must be an alternative")
Main Trend Gallery, Taipei (RC), 21.01. - 26.02.05
Mali Salon / Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art,
Rijeka (HR), 04. - 12.03.05 ("Alternative Economics,...")
Galerija SKC, Belgrade (SCG), May 05 ("Alternative
Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (G), June to
November 05 ("Kritische Gesellschaften")
Galería ICPNA - Instituto Cultural Peruano
Norteamericano, Lima (PE), 11. - 28.08.05 ("9th
international Festival of Video/Arte/Electrónica")
"Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies"
received an initial support from republicart (www.republicart.net)
and the BKA section for the arts.