Market of Ideas

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What has economics got to do with culture?

We have a working title 'What has economics got to do with culture?' though Isobel rightly points out that Niccolo's question was more like........

What is cultural about economics?

The question may be for answering on the day. It may simply be a matter of cultural possibilities. Read our cultural interpretation of Bruno Latour's Traceability.

Markets are good at convening and distributing resources. Based on the model of the ancient bazaar, Critical Practice will convene a Market of Ideas in which 'stalls' staffed by artists, anthropologists, economists and others exchange their knowledge with the milling crowd.

A wish list of particpants and draft letter of invitation

• Person from nef's 'Centre for Global Interdependence' that has ideas about food waste - MA has contacted / will chase

• Evan Davis (BBC Economics Editor)

• Stephanie Flanders (Newsnight's Economics Editor)

• Tim Jackson - Professor of Sustainability, University of Surrey

• Ask our economists contacts on Monday 11th for suggestions

• an Actor Network Theorist (on the connection between economics and cultural producer)

• Someone from LETS

• Someone from the Treasury!

• A Green Party representative

• Someone from a Time Bank scheme

Areas of Interest

  • Basic Income - 'A basic income promises to provide the life-long economic security that helps safeguard other democratic rights. Normative reasons supporting the fundamental right to a basic income include: Increased Citizen Autonomy, Gender Equality, Political Inclusion, Social Stability & Cohesion, Economic Efficiency, Preventing Poverty' - [1],, Basic Income Earth Network,
  • Well-being/Happiness - 'Top tips for happiness' perhaps. In response to the thesis that economics is measuring the wrong thing - beyond abject poverty wealth does not make people happier - so what is our economy for? Related to several NEF projects: Are You Happy?, Well-being Manifesto for a Flourishing Society, European Happy Planet Index and the work of Richard Layard: Well-being programme.
  • 0% Growth
  • Black Markets and Counterfeits - Lots of people, comfortable seating and a critique of the market
  • Inter-generational conflict
  • Deterritorialized corporations and nomadic capital
  • The Gift Economy or Potlach.
  • Money, food markets and supermarkets – a performative space with a produce
  • Drop-lifting
  • The bespoke
  • Cakewalk and baking
  • Value - with [David Graeber]
  • Economic Anthropology
  • Economy of emotions
  • Currency, green barter and exchange
  • Permaculture, permacouture ([TED])

Some useful texts

Ideology and Economic Development by Michael A. Lebowitz is great overview of neoclassical economics and begins to describe some of opportunities to work against capital.

Resistance Is Surrender - Slavoj Žižek debates how and why the individual might take up these opportunities.

Both inform the Congress agenda to theorise a new cultural 'avant-garde'.

Critical Practice's Workshop (The Market of Ideas)

This section is to clarify the specifics of the market and how it might work. This will help us to approach and engage any 'experts'.

Date: Sunday 16th March 2008
Time: for 2 hours, sometime between 1 and 5pm (tbc)
Location: The Banqueting Hall, Chelsea College (tbc)
Format: Like a flea market (around the perimeter of the hall?)
Introduction: Someone will preface the market with a rationale and invite participation.
Discussion: We are keen to avoid any one (limiting) summary. Instead we are interested in a mechanism to encourage individuals to extend their experience of the Market and share. Suggestions: …………

Guidelines for 'stalls' Each stall has an outline budget of £200. ‘Stallholders’ are responsible for the needs and prospects of their own stall e.g. staff, experts, props, literature, equipment (AV requests to be collected by Trevor and forwarded to Isobel/Chelsea by… date tbc). The market is convened as vehicle for peer-2-peer exchange and distribution of knowledge. By all means invite 'experts'. 'Presentations' are not necessarily discouraged but they will exist in the context of a bazaar.
Each 'stall' must accessible as some form of 'copyleft' resource (in keeping with our Aims).

What do we see as our responsibility to the crowd?
Are we in danger of leaving people hanging - so 'what do I do with this knowledge?'

What constitutes a 'stall' - the nature of the stalls/concessions?
Can each offering be devised in such a way to become a resource i.e. experienced remotely. This means the market is freeer - there is limited exclusion from the Ideas e.g those manning the stalls, negative choices, absentees. Also, provided material is available in advance, 'experts' involved in the stalls would have knowledge of the other arguments for discussion. Suggestions are coagulating here

What about costs e.g. travel?
Niccolo says they have some funds left to pay people to come

Niccolo says there will be a publication and documentation but perhaps we can consider our own needs (for institutional output and 'open source' resources e.g. publication).

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