With a particular focus on money, capital and value, this symposium will examine the political, economic and psychological fictions that lie behind the decimation of the artist and community spaces in London.
Marx understood finance as ‘fictitious capital’ – an unruly, peripheral category, opposed to the ‘actual’ capital embedded in the means of production. Today, as non-productive capital circles the world at unfathomable speeds in the form of hedge funds and derivatives it would seem that so-called fictitious capital has superseded the ‘actual.’
Through Lacan we can conceive of money as the new Symbolic Order and the neoliberal new world order as the Name of the Father.
Deleuze: money has resumed its originative form as both the mechanism for extraction of rent and tribute and the exquisite potential for exchange.
This symposium will use these and other figures to ask a series of interrelated questions: How can the value of art and community be protected from the ideological and material threats of finance? Is there something about art that allows it to retain its ‘exceptional’ status as an expression of life beyond capitalist modes of production. Can capital be used differently, as ‘social capital’ in a transformative life-enhancing way, can we find new ecologies for living where money is reconfigured and issued differently. Money is the mediator between the intersections of the Imaginary Symbolic and Real, surely this intersection is where freedom might also be found and fiction might become a method?
The impacts of such fluctuating fictions are devastatingly real. The no.w.here project space, film production studio and gallery in Bethnal Green is but one cultural institution to face the threat of losing their space due to massive fluctuations in real estate prices. After its owners placed a (fictitous) price of £3.5m on the building they rent, the directors successfully attained Asset Of Community Value (ACV) status, as part of an ongoing battle to retain their right to remain in the space.
Dave Beech is an artist and writer and a member of the Freee Art Collective. Dave is Professor of Art at Valad Academy in Gothenburg and his works have been exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale and Liverpool Biennale and his books include Art and Value (Brill, 2015) and Beauty (MIT Whitechapel 2007).
Anca Carrington is a trained economist and having worked at the Treasury is now a practicing psychoanalyst and editor of the book Money as Emotional Currency which assembled a wide ranging psychoanalytical critique of money and how it functions.
Andrew Conio is a writer and video artist who has written on a range of topics including language the moving image, architecture, philosophy, economics, creativity and painting.
His diagrammatic practice was shown at the ICA in 2015 and his book Occupy: A People Yet to Come was published by the Open Humanities Press in 2015.
Emily Rosamond is a Canadian artist, writer and educator. Rosamond has exhibited across Canada, as well as in the UK and Europe. Rosamond regularly contributes essays and experimental art writing to academic journals, exhibition catalogues and magazines.