The program will consist of presentations, talks, discussions, film screenings, inviting a wide range of economists, artists, and scholars working within the field of economy. A key figure in this program would be feminist geographer Katherine Gibson and her work with the late Julie Graham. In The End of Capitalism (As we knew it): A feminist critique of political economy (2006) they formulate a feminist critique of the political economy. Their central thesis is, that by making multiple forms of economic life viable options for action, it is possible to open the economy to debate and provide a space within which we can explore different economic practices and pathways.

Café The Invisible Heart

Kunsthal Aarhus
Throughout August 2018

Café the invisible heart, in collaboration with  Andrea Creutz, was installed at Kunsthal Aarhus during August 2018.

Shedding light on Hidden Economies is at the core of this project. The project focus on dichotomies such as work/non-work, paid work/unpaid work, cultivation of self-interest/care for others.

Departing in the feminist critique of political economy we counterpose Adam Smith’s famous market economy principle of The Invisible Hand (i.e. the individual who is beneficial to himself also indirectly benefits the community or the public), with the economist Nancy Folbre’s concept of The Invisible Heart. Folbre’s concept shows that care and reproductive work, in the household as well as in the labour market, sustains the whole body of society. The Invisible Heart is a necessary – yet unrecognized or undervalued – condition for The Invisible Hand to even exist!”



community economies and the global perspective on the distribution of cultural values

[Photos by Bob Moyler]

October 25.  Starting at 5 pm

In collaboration with Room for Improved Futures – a rum46 project

A day with presentation, lecture, silk screen t-shirt workshop and food from our very own house-chef Jeanet Tagara

We have invited artist Ailie Rutherford from Scotland and Johanne Løgstrup from Denmark to discuss issues on community economies and the global perspective on the distribution of cultural values. The presentation will be followed by a print making workshop hosted by Ailie Rutherford.

We will start the afternoon with the following talk:

Presentation: For what is is worth w. visual artist Ailie Rutherford
Ailie Rutherford will present her long term project The People’s Bank of Govanhill (since  2015). The project evolved from her residency at Govanhill Baths in Glasgow to become a long term collaborative research project on community currency. In an area frequently described as deprived, the project takes Govanhill’s existing alternative economy as its starting point, considering the diversity and richness of the local community as a form of wealth

Manifesto for Maintenance of The Art Museum
with Johanne Løgstrup, Ph.D. Aarhus University, curator, DK

Johanne Løgstrup’s talk will take its source from a manifesto she has made in order to discuss the future and the possibilities for the art museums today in the west. The manifesto deals with how to make parts of an art collection that has been hidden from view visible in order to shed new light on the past. It proposes a global perspective to understanding the Western values of the museum so they can be expanded, questioned, and decolonized. And it will question the International as a paradigm and instead ask for a local awareness of its base so the museums as such retain the diversity of their history.

We end the afternoon with a silk screen printing workshop. Please bring your own t-shirt.

Everybody is welcome



Ailie Rutherford is a visual artist. Her collaborative practice is grounded in the places she works; inviting people to become co-producers of works that activate local public space and collectively imagine alternatives to the way we live now.

Johanne Løgstrup is a curator and a Ph.D. researcher at Department of Aesthetics and Culture at the University of Aarhus. She is co-founder of the organization publik. In addition, she has run the project space bureau public together with curator Katarina Stenbeck and has worked as a curator at Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen.

Room for Improved Futures is the title of a two year program based on an international network. The project is initiated by rum46 – curated and organised by Agnieska Wolodzko and Grete Aagaard in collaboration with 4 partners: Trade Test Site, Sigrids Stue, The Imaginary Republic and CCS Centre for Contemporary Art Kiev. Supported by Statens Kunstfond, Nordisk Kulturfond and Aarhus Kommune



Trade Test Site
-School for Hidden Economies workshop series present:
Community Economies in Aarhus and Govanhill
- a workshop with Scottish artist Ailie Rutherford

[Photos by Angela Catlin, Bob Doyle and Lise Skou]

Date: October 25 2017

Time: 3 – 5 pm

Place: Trade Test Site – Studsgade 45 – 8000 Aarhus C

The People’s Bank of Govanhill was initiated in 2015 by artist Ailie Rutherford. The project evolved from her residency at Govanhill Baths, Glasgow to become a long term collaborative research project on community currency.

In an area frequently described as deprived, the project takes Govanhill’s existing alternative economy as its starting point, considering the diversity and richness of the local community as a form of wealth. During this research Ailie worked with local groups in Govanhill to chart the community’s alternative economy, to understand the hidden networks of unseen and unpaid labour, swapping, sharing and caring, the love hours that make this place work.


School for Hidden Economies - in collaboration with Christina Jerne - present:
Counter Mapping diverse economies

In collaboration with University of Aarhus – Experience Economy

Workshop presentations | 15:00 – 17:00 By Lise Skou and Christina Jerne

Friday October 13 2017

Trade Test Site and Aarhus Univeristy have collaborated to bring to light the community economies of Aarhus Kommune.
The Experience Economy masters students of 2017 have mapped out over 150 commoning initiatives in the city  in the effort to show the strong presence of diverse economies in the city at both grassroots level and at an institutional level. The mappings counter essentialist views of economy, drawing inspiration from the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham. They also provide a perspective that goes beyond the usual ”technological” euphoria to what sharing economies are and can be.

Discover your own city under new glasses! Join us for the inauguration of the exhibition Friday 13 October 2017 at 15.00-17.00.

The presentation of the mappings will be followed by a debate moderated by Lise Skou artist and trade test site entrepreneur and Christina Jerne external lecturer at the insitute of Communication and Culture.



Lecture at University of Aarhus - Experience Economy
Counter Mapping diverse economies

Lecture | 09:00 – 11:15 By Lise Skou and Christina Jerne

Friday  October 22 2017

Place: University of Aarhus – Experience Economy

Counter-mapping Diverse Economies in Aarhus.
Digging out sharing economies in Aarhus kommune

 The term ”sharing-economy” has gained much traction in the past years. Online platforms like Airbnb and Uber have been praised for their democratic nature and for giving more people access to market transactions. But they have also been criticised for undermining worker’s rights, community values and legal standards.



Ida og LAsse

Kombucha - Adding flavors and suggestions for use of your Kombucha scopi

Workshops – 15 June 2017 

(for English see below)

2 fermentering.

Vi gennemgår mangfoldige muligheder for hvad hvordan man får den smag man foretrækker i sin Kombucha.

Dem, der har lyst må gerne få en svamp med hjem. Tag et eller flere (sylte)glas med.

Workshopholder: Adria Florea
Tilmelding sker via Facebook så vi har en idé om hvor mange deltagende vi skal forberede til.



2. fermentation. We explore various possibilities for adding your favorite flavor to to your Kombucha.

Would you like to take a Kombucha sponge home with you, bring a couple of jars with you.

This workshop is held by Adria Florea
Please sign up on Facebook so we have an idea of how many people to prepare for.


Vild smag1

Vild Smag Festival / Wild Taste Festival

29 april 2017:

(for English see below)

Vild Smag Festival er en mini-festival, der sætter vilde råvarer og vild mad på dagsordenen og inspirerer alle til at komme ud i naturen. I foråret spirer de spiselige grønne urter overalt, og Aarhus Bugten er et helt tag-selv-bord af delikatesser med alt fra urter til tang.

Exchange Library Shop & Café er på med på Vild Smag markedsplads på Bispetorv lørdag d 29 april kl 10-16

Kig forbi den levende markedsplads på Bispetorvet, hvor Exchange Library serverer smagsprøver på hjemmebrygget Kombucha og holder en mini-workshop om produktion af Kombucha og tilsætning af vilde bær og urter som smagsvariant i din Kombucha. Du kan lade dig inspirere, søge viden, være med til at tilberede og smage på Kombucha med vilde urter. Hvis du ønsker at starte din egen Kombucha produktion kan du få en svamp med hjem. Vi kan guide dig på stedet eller du kan deltage i en af vores mange varierede workshops.

Hvis du ønsker at få en flaske med hjem er der mulighed for at bytte dig til en enten på stedet eller ved at komme ned til os i butikken i vores åbningstid som er torsdag og fredag kl 13-18 hvor vi foretrækker at handel med byttehandel eller time banking.

Håber at se dig


Vild Smag (Wild Taste) Festival is a mini festival that sets on the agenda wild herbs, leaves and other food that grow wild in our nature. The Festival wants to inspire everyone to go into the nature and use this wild pantry.

In spring the edible green herbs spout everywhere in the Aarhus Bay and you can find all kinds of  delicacies from herbs to seaweed.

Exchange Library Shop & Café is presents at Wild Taste Market at Bispetorv Saturday d April 29 at 10-16

The Exchange Library present a mini-workshop on production of Kombucha adding wild berries and herbs as a flavor. You can be inspire, seek knowledge, and learn how to brew you very own Kombucha. If you wish to start your own home Kombucha brewing you can get a Scopi and we can guide you how to start. You are also very welcome to join one of our many classes in Kombucha Brewing or related fermented products.

Finally it is possible to purchase a bottle or our own home brewed Kombucha. You can do this by exchange or time banking.



22-23 april 2017:

(for English see below)

Exchange Library var til stede på Godsbanens Forårsmarked i Aarhus med vores byttecafé og butik. Her kunne man handle med 1:1 byttehandel eller Time Banking i såvel café som butikken. Vi omsatte Kombucha, Kimchi, Vand kefir, Ginger beer, Fermenterede rødløg og Saurkraut, og meget andet fra vores netværk af hejmmeproducenter. Man kunne også bytte sig til en pose hjemmekværnet mel eller smør samt en pose hele kaffebønner fra Feral Trade projektet (se mere på:


Exchange Library held an introduction to the monetary system behind Exchange Library at the Spring Marked in the central Aarhus.

Exchange Library was present at Godsbanens Forårsmarked in Aarhus with our exchange cafe and shop. Here you could exchange products 1:1 or trade through Time Banking in the cafe and in the shop. We traded Kombucha, Kimchi, Water Kefir, Ginger Beer, Fermented red onions and Saurkraut, and much more from our network of cottage industries and home producers. You could also exchange to a bag of home grinded flour or butter and a bag of whole coffee beans from the Feral Trade project (see more at:

kombucha corrected

Kombucha og Vand Kefir. for begyndere

Workshops – 9 marts 2017:

(for English see below)

Kombucha er meget mere end bare en probiotisk, sund, sprudlende drik. Kulturen af bakterier og gær, SCOBY’en, eller svampen, som den også kaldes kan bruges til meget mere end bare at brygge Kombucha teen.

Vi gennemgår mangfoldige muligheder for hvad man kan bruge Kombucha væsken og svampen til. Vi gennemgår selvfølgelig vandkefir, og hvis vi kan nå det, også mælkekefir. Dem, der har lyst må gerne få en svamp og kefirgryn med hjem. Tag et eller flere (sylte)glas med.

Vores workshops er gratis og det vil vi gerne holde fast i for at gøre det muligt for alle at deltage.
Skulle du have lyst til at  bidrage med en mindre donation -eller et medlemskab af Exchange Library med tilhørende fordele (læs mere om se medlemsfordele her: vil vi blive meget glade. Ganske få kroner vil have stor betydning for os og understøtte vores videre arbejde og sikre at vi kan fortsætte vores arbejde til gavn for alle borgere.

Exchange Library er non-profit og alle donationer vil gå til afholdelse og udvikling af flere workshops og til aflønning af workshopsholder samt udgifter til materialer og husleje.
Workshopholder: Adria Florea
Tilmelding sker via Facebook så vi har en idé om hvor mange deltagende vi skal forberede til.

Kombucha is much more than a probiotic, healthy, fizzy drink. The SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), aka the sponge has many uses apart from the ability to brew Kombucha.

We explore various possibilities and uses for both the Kombucha sponge and tea.

We’ll also introduce you to water kefir and if time allows, milk kefir.

Would you like to take a Kombucha sponge of Kefir grains home with you, bring a couple of jars with you.

Our workshops are initially free of charge. However, our funding is about to run out and we have therefore opened up for donations to give people a chance to support our work, which is empowering people to take back the power from capitalism by producing more food at home. Why? Because it minimizes food waste, it’s more energy efficient, it’s healthier and it tastes better.

This workshop is held by Adria Florea
Please sign up on Facebook so we have an idea of how many people to prepare for.



Book launch - Your Money or Your Life: Feminist Perspectives on Economy

Book launch:

Your Money or Your Life: Feminist Perspectives on Economy #1-4
Edited by Bonnie Fortune and Lise Skou

We are not a capitalist society on earth. We are mutual aid societies ravaged by capitalism.
– Rebecca Solnit

This series of short essays presents research, ideas, and proposals from four scholars and artists on contemporary life lived in the throes of global capitalism. The four women authors are responsible for creative opinions and approaches as to how we, as a culture, might come to inhabit different economic realities.

We, the editors, have been significantly inspired by the work of feminist geographers, J.K. Gibson-Graham, the pen name of scholars Katherine Gibson and the late Julie Graham. This book series came out of our 2014 project, Hidden Economies: a seminar on economic possibility ( which took Gibson-Graham’s The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) as its starting point. Gibson and Graham proposed that there is always already a place outside capitalism because of what they called “hidden economies,” the everyday exchanges from gift giving to theft, that exist within, behind, and next to the dominant economy. The seminar asked:

Capitalist processes shape our daily experiences but do they define them? How and where are people creating economies that ignore the dominant economic system? How do these economies–shared, exchange based, micro-local, etc.–function and what do they look like? Are they temporary or are they sustainable?

We continue this thinking with this series of publications that poke holes in the fabric of capitalism with ideas, theories, and independent trade based projects.

For the initial publication, we are reprinting Katherine Gibson’s contribution to the exhibition “Trade Show” (2013-2014) curated by Kathrin Böhm and Gavin Wade. “Trade Show” explored culturally based economic experiments and practices and different approaches to the concept of trade. Curator Kathrin Böhm contributes the second book with an essay on her project Company, a community-based economic experiment in creating a sustainable drinks industry on the outskirts of London. Marxist-feminist scholar, Kathi Weeks discusses the precarity of waged labor in the third book in the series, with her article “The Problems with Work.” Artist, Kate Rich’s text on Feral Trade, her ongoing hand-delivered grocery business, which trades goods over social networks concludes the series.

Please enjoy, and if you share your book with a friend be sure you trade her for something else.

Dinner arrangements and food events: Sharing meals and sharing food are an important part of facilitating discussion during this gathering. We have invited artists using food and food politics in their work to present their projects as part of the community meal during the book launch


Fermentation in Food Production: A workshop series on fermentation in small scale businesses

Workshops – fall 2016:


Fermentation in Food Production Workshop is part of our Ecology of Production series, focussing on community economics and food production. This workshop series is about fermenting your surplus into healthy well prepared and tasty products in your own kitchen. It is about how we overthrow over-production and food waste, produce and share good, services, and ultimately our lived realities.


October 6 – Cooking with Bacteria – Kombucha and Kimchi
November 3 – Sourdough and home made butter
December 1 – Fermentation for the Christmas table


December 1 – Fermentation for the Christmas table

With Trashy Bitches / aka Zeenath Hasan and Kat Gordon

Trashy Bitches trash talk you into making zero carbon Xmas gifts. We will make lacto-ferments and preserves with surplus foods rescued in Aarhus. Bring your own jars.

Workshop leader Kat Gordon:
Kat Gordon is a transplant from California fascinated by farming and food systems. She explores food, farming and fermentation in Copenhagen. She recently co-created Trashy Bitches to divert food from the waste stream and into our bellies using creative fermentation, preservation, and compost styles.


November 3 – Sourdough and home made butter
Workshop leaders Adria Florea and Lise Skou


October 6 -Cooking with Bacteria – Kombucha and Kimchi
Workshop leader
Zeenath Hasan:
Zeenath Hasan (SE/DK) prototypes inclusive culinary futures by performative integrations of diverse agencies at Tapori Tiffins, an independent artistic research initiative established by Zeenath to explore the social implications of food systems. Her works can be experienced through pop-ups, workshops, installations, public lectures, publications and ready meals.When she is not initialising social movements, she is educating future designers. Her projects have received numerous grants and awards from public and private institutions supporting education, the arts, and the environment. She previously worked with Trade Test Site on the Hidden Economies Seminar (

Ecology of Production

Ecology of Production: A summer workshop on the community economics of food

The Ecology of Production Summer Workshop focuses on community economics and food production.

This workshop is part of our “Ecology of Production” series about diversifying and expanding how we produce and share good, services, and ultimately our lived realities. For this workshop we ask ourselves: How alternative economic practices are performed in communal food production? How can we better use our natural resources? How can gathering around food create communities of empathy needed to build up other economic realities?

Workshop program and leaders:

We have invited a selection of speakers and food focused activities. Åsa Sonjasdotter (SE) and Marco Clausen (DE) talk about the Neighborhood Academy in Prinzessenstrasse, Berlin. The Neighborhood Academy is in Prinzessinnengarten, is an urban garden and a self-organized open platform for urban and rural knowledge sharing, cultural practice, and activism. The Neighborhood Academy draws on processes that determine our everyday life as well as the coexistence of plants, people and animals. It opens a space for the questions: How can we learn from each other in ways that relate to the world and engage in and with it? Can this be done through methods that are similar to the approach of a gardener – that are caring for and nurturing life processes? How can the work we do in our neighbourhoods also help us understand relations in larger and more complex contexts? How can we cooperate with initiatives in communities, other cities and rural areas in ways that influence these contexts?

Åsa Sonjasdotter will help facilitate discussions throughout the gathering.

Kate Rich (UK) walks us through her project Feral Trade and the products traded in this project will be available in Exchange Library Café open for the public during the summer camp. A Café run on exchange of home produced food such as bread, butter, and jam.

Pieta Hyväninen (FI) is informed by the intersection between feminism and environmentalism. In her research, she is occupied by rethinking economies in small-scale communal food production. Currently, her thesis focuses on a framework of diverse economies to find out how alternative economic practices are performed in communal food production. She is a member of CERN (Community Economics Research Network).

Dinner arrangements and food events: Sharing meals and sharing food preparation are an important of facilitating discussion during this gathering. We have invited artists using food and food politics in their work to present their projects as part of the community meal times during the gathering.

Zeenath Hasan (SE) from Tapori Tiffins ( Zeenath Hasan prototypes inclusive culinary futures by performative integrations of diverse agencies at Tapori Tiffins, an independent artistic research initiative established by Zeenath to explore the social implications of food systems. Her works can be experienced through pop-ups, workshops, installations, public lectures, research publications and ready meals. She previously worked with Trade Test Site on the Hidden Economies Seminar (

Project Cafe (UK) Project Cafe is a Glasgow based platform for creative and social exchange. In Glasgow they make their food from scratch with careful consideration of chosen ingredients. Their cafe hosts an independent poetry bookshop and a creative table. At their heart, they are a social enterprise, which means they aim to provide a community platform via the success and profits of the cafe. More information can be found here:

We are planning a field trip to Friland, a ecological community in Feldballe – Djursland. We will learn about this community’s work establishing small businesses and industries (

Kathrin Bohm

Company - Movement, Deals, and Drinks

Lecture | 16:30 By Kathrin Bohm

Lecture, discussion and dinner

Butter Making Workshop

Butter Making Workshop

Workshop | 15:00-17:00 How to make your own butter

Silvia Federici

Globalization, Social Reproduction, and Violence Against Women

Lecture | 16:00 By Silvia Federici

Silvia Federici is a long time feminist, activist, teacher, and writer. She has been active in the feminist movement, the anti-globalization movement and the anti-death penalty movement. In 1972 she was one of the founders of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the Campaign for Wages For Housework. November 25 is the international day of protest against violence against women. Federici will address this in her talk linking it to questions about ‘Social Reproduction’.

Capitalism As We Live It!

Capitalism As We Live It!

Workshop | 9:00 – 14:00 By Andrea Creutz and Elizabeth Ward

Welcome to Capitalism as we live it!

With this art project we wish to create forms to jointly discuss and reflect on how the structure of capitalism affects our everyday life.

In Capitalism as we live it, we depart from the assumption that everyone in the community participates and is implicated in capitalist structures; therefore having access to knowledge about this on many different levels. We want to deepen this knowledge through the exchange and analysis of our collective and individual experiences. The joint work we invite you to participate in includes theoretical knowledge as well as situations that challenge habits and predominant systems. We will engage our physicality as one important sensory channel for experiences and reactions. This is conducted through a series of formats involving discussion and movement.

In the days leading up to our meeting we ask that you choose one day to write a diary or journal with the idea of recording the day through the lens of capitalism in everyday life. This diary can be anywhere on the spectrum of completely mundane to totally spectacular! There is no right! If the task seems confusing than simply record a day of your life. We will use the journals to collectively discuss and analyze capitalist structures and habits.

During our moment together in Aarhus we will utilize the journals and methodologies taken from different movements and histories as a means to raise awareness on the course of events in the socio-economic system and, through this raised awareness, expand our potential space for action.

Please join us to comb around in the tangled wig that “every day capitalism” is!


Capitalism as we live it is began as a collaboration between artist Andrea Creutz (SE), artist Liv Strand (SE) and choreographer Elizabeth Ward (U.S/AT) initiated autumn 2011 in Athens. It looks for formats to reflect on what capitalistic structures and conditions bring into everyday life. Since it’s inception the trio, and now duo of Creutz and Ward, have shared this work at Konsthalle C/Stockholm, Flutgraben/Berlin, Iaspis/Stockholm, ANA/Copenhagen and as part of the Hidden Economies Seminar organized by Lise Skou, Bonnie Fortune, & Brett Bloom/Copenhagen


Communal Knowledge: Is this working?


Talk | 14:00 Communal Knowledge – is this working? By Louise Shelley

An introduction to and discussion around The Showroom’s Communal Knowledge program, looking specifically at the forms of working and politics that are necessary for collaborative and community practice, and how this is sustained, valued and evaluated.

Coffee and snack| 15:00-16:00


Louise Shelley is Collaborative Projects Curator at The Showroom where she has coordinated the Communal Knowledge programme since 2010. Communal Knowledge is a series of collaborative projects with local and international artists to propose and activate approaches to critical engagement with The Showroom’s social and cultural surroundings. Communal Knowledge is critically engaged with the possibilities for a gallery education program to work in ways that respond to artistic practice and different contexts. This is articulated through producing work, events and alliances that address the role of art operating within and responding to themes including pedagogy, work/labour, feminist legacies, precarity, the dialectic of social re/production, and class and gender. She is also a member of the Cinenova Working Group, a non-profit organisation dedicated to distributing films and videos made by women.

Communal Knowledge: Is this working?

An experiment on the politics of hospitality infrastructure Aarhus


Workshop | 16:00-19:00

An experiment on the politics of hospitality infrastructure Aarhus By Andrea Francke, Ross Jardine and Eva Rowson

Join us for Halloween at an experimental temporary bar where the roles of bar staff and patrons have been blurred and the cleaners have developed anarchic tendencies…

Inspired by the role-playing game DOHL, created by Francis Patrick Brady, players will use cards with prefixes and suffixes along with a simple bar profession to create a unique combination of ideology, specialism and job title. You could be an environmental-communist-barman or a libertarian-amateur-bouncer.

Join artists Eva Rowson, Andrea Francke and Ross Jardine in an exploration of the ideological positions and consequences involved in hospitality settings. What types of political positions are we reproducing or challenging when we create and occupy an institution?

The evening is part of an ongoing discussion about the political, personal and practical implications of owning and operating a radical space for hosting in London. Over the past year research has shifted between embodied and theoretical practices, taking the form of screenings, parties, reading groups and collaborative furniture building.

Drinks and bar | 20:00-23:00

Please contact: liseskou [at] gmail [dot] com to reserve your place in the workshop


Andrea Francke, Ross Jardine and Eva Rowson are artists living and working in London. They have been collaborating together since meeting in 2013 at Open School East, an associate study programme in Hackney, London.

Their collective investigation is centred around the politics and practice of hosting, nurturing and administration. The research has shifted between the embodied and theoretical in the form of screenings, parties, reading groups and collaborative furniture building.

Previous projects include: ‘Sundowners’, CAST, Cornwall; ‘Domestic Festival’, Open School East, London; ‘Bare Plume & Wish you’d been here bar’; Supernormal Festival, Oxfordshire.

Brian Holmes

Aesthetics of Crisis Lecture & Workshop with Brian Holmes

Aesthetics of Crisis Lecture Thursday, January 29, 2015 | 16:00 Kunsthal Aarhus | J.M. Mørks Gade 13 Trade Test Site presents a lecture at Kunsthal Aarhus by the cultural critic Brian Holmes as part of Aarhus University’s Aesthetics Seminar series and the Mediality, Materiality, Aesthetic Meaning research programme. Holmes will give a lecture that builds on his essay “Crisis Theory for Complex Societies”, in Disrupting Business: Art and Activism in Times of Financial Crisis (edited by Geoff Cox & Tatiana Bazzichelli, and published by Autonomedia, 2013). Brian Holmes writes:

Major shifts in the patterns of capital accumulation come once every forty years or so. But they cast long shadows, on aesthetics as well as technology. Since 1968 we’ve lived with just about the same imaginary of revolution. And since the neo-liberal compromise of the 1980s, we’ve lived with the proliferating simulacra of that same revolutionary imaginary.

How will our societies confront the new set of political and ecological challenges brought on by the tremendous accelera-tion of the globalized economy? What will the future be made of? For decades those questions were taboo. But when the financial sector suddenly froze in 2008, they began to take on an intense existential reality. The aesthetics of crisis names a vast, fractured, interlinked process of collective invention. It is the response of human beings to the restructuring of capital.

This lecture deals with the subjective experience of crisis and serves as an introduction to a two-day workshop on the transformations of the contemporary world economic system.

Aesthetics of Crisis Workshop Friday, January 30, 2015 | 10-14 & Saturday, 31. january, 2015 | 12-16 Kunsthal Aarhus | J.M. Mørks Gade 13

BRIAN HOLMES will lead a two-day lecture and discussion workshop on his research into the global economic crisis. The workshop will build on his Aesthetics Seminar lecture as well as previous courses taught at the experimental art center, Mess Hall-Chicago; the Autonomous University of Occupy Berlin; and the Campus Expandido program of the MUAC, the contemporary art museum of Mexico City’s National Autonomous University, among other locations.

On the first day, Holmes will outline a theory of the social and cultural changes provoked by major economic crises, and then describe in detail the neo-liberal order that emerged from the 1960s and 70s. On the second day, he will analyze the global prolongations and consequences of the 2008 crash and examine various scenarios for a resolution of the ongoing crisis. By focusing on the interrelations between specific technologies, organizational forms, political concepts and artistic images, participants can start to grasp the forces that have made us what we are. Most importantly, they can begin envisioning ways to make history in the present.

Info: Brian Holmes biography: Brian Holmes is a cultural critic, social activist and autonomous researcher, currently living in Chicago. Since the late Nineties he has been analyzing the contradictions of neoliberal globalization, while continuously engaging with artistic projects. He is the author of Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society ( Van AbbeMuseum, 2009). His essays are freely available at

Download Press Release as a PDF here. Partners: Aesthetics Seminar at the University of Aarhus & Kunsthal Aarhus