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September 2009

I wrote a short text, commissioned by katya Sander for Circulation, a special issue of Printed Projects.

I assembled some of the research I did around art auctions........

Markets are a brilliant bundle of technologies, assembled to circulate things. All kinds of things. The most visible form of market, is the competitive market. A neo-classical economic model of a competitive market, pictures rational individuals pursuing their own self-interest - without regard for others - as the motive force for markets. The laws of supply and demand at play amongst these rational individuals, extrudes the values - often represented by a financial price – exchanged, in any transaction. These fundamental elements; rational agents, supply and demand and price mechanisms function in all markets everywhere; like natural laws.

Except of course competitive markets don’t actually work like this. Or at least, only in ideological models.

 

Cultures of Resilience IndustrialTownFuturism: The Return of Meshwork Markets

In 2006, as part of a group of artists, researchers and academics, I was invited to research and imagine the future centenary of two industrial towns. The project was curated by Jakub Szreder and Martin Kaltwaser.

Both towns evolved from the middle of the last century, and both were planned around the image and function of the factory. Since 1939 Wolfsburg has been the home and global headquarters of the Volkswagen Group, and since 1947 Nowa Huta developed around the formerly Lenin and now Sendzimira steelworks.

The Fordist-factory has dominated these towns.

 

Cultures of Resilience IndustrialTownFuturism: The Return of Meshwork Markets

In 2006, as part of a group of artists, researchers and academics, I was invited to research and imagine the future centenary of two industrial towns. The project was curated by Jakub Szreder and Martin Kaltwaser.

Both towns evolved from the middle of the last century, and both were planned around the image and function of the factory. Since 1939 Wolfsburg has been the home and global headquarters of the Volkswagen Group, and since 1947 Nowa Huta developed around the formerly Lenin and now Sendzimira steelworks.

The Fordist-factory has dominated these towns.

This is a short text that accompanied an exhibition at Chelsea Space in London, January 24th - March 3rd 2007

The ice trade, that is the trade in huge cubes of ice hewn from the frozen lakes of North America or Scandinavia and shipped to warmer climes, exists somewhere between brute fact and fairytale.

The trade existed, flourished even, throughout the later part of the 19th century. Grainy photographs depicting sawn meter square cubes of ice, cut from the frozen crusts of freshwater lakes are waiting, stored as documents in relevant archives. You can visit luxury loft apartments inserted into the hollow remnants of bunker-like Ice houses – warehouses for frozen water - found in many former ports of Britain, especially in Bristol, Liverpool, and London. There is also compulsive testimony from the American author, naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau writing one of the foundational texts of the environmental movement, Walden (published in 1854). Thoreau records the cold winter of 46/7 when from the window of his forest cabin he sees the frozen skin of Walden pond being stripped by a hundred Irish labourers, and carted away.

‘[….] in a good day they could get out a thousand tons, which was the yield of about one acre.’

Museums and Archives always exist in the present, yet their endless ‘waiting without forgetting’ locates them in our imagined past.

Our own recent past has been marked by an increasing number of new museums, mushrooming around the globe.  The museum, or the idea of the museum - like a parable from the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges - has become the space to preserve our culture; the museum is the ideal destination of everything. Re-found objects from the distant, and not so distant past are restored and preserved there, new technologies compete for inclusion in museums of design and industry.

To enter the museum is to enter the past of the present, and participate in the value of things.

In the summer of 2009 I walked for a month as a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. I walked the Rutal del Norte which was used by pilgrims when the Muslim pressence - until the 15th century - made travel along the Camino Francés too difficult and dangerous.  Much of the route follows the line of the old Roman road, the Via Agrippa which threads its way along a ribbon of land between the mountains of the Picos de Europa to the south, and the sea to the north.

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Villa Arson, NiceIglesia del Santa SepulchroCollaborative mappingBoadilla babesAbandoned houseDaniel expert 1