Open Call Renewable Futures 2017 - Economia

Country: Netherlands

City: Natlab

Abstr. due: 30.09.2016

Dates: 20.01.17 — 22.01.17

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Baltan Laboratories


Renewable Futures aims to invent new avenues for more sustainable and imagi- native future developments. The rst conference took place in Riga (LV) explor- ing the transformative potential of art. The second Renewables Futures confer- ence will take place in Eindhoven, aiming to push the boundaries of our thinking about economy. The conference will be a part of Economia festival organized by Baltan Laboratories in Natlab, former physics lab of Philips. Economia is a three- day festival in which we collectively explore new ideas and thinking about our economy. The event is a laboratory for ideas, a place where we can step out of the existing frame. We will use unexpected and playful approaches looking at the essentials of economy, thus establishing a fresh point of view on the economic system and our society.

About Economia

In the eighties economics transformed more and more into a so called hard science. Economics reduced its various approaches of our complex and unpredictable economic behavior, to one comprehensive theory known as the neoclassical or neoliberal model. This model captured economic behavior in mathematical formulas. It had the beauty of simplicity, the predictability of a formula and sounded too logical not to be true. Economics has influenced the world of our ideas, how we see ourselves, and how we organize our society. Just as the discovery of DNA forced us to look differently at life, and the developments in ICT made our world smaller in unprecedented ways, the neoliberal model caused a huge shift from common interest to individual interest, and from a long term view to a short term view.

It is striking how little imagination this hard economic approach generates. Economics has no equivalent of multiple universes, singularity or space-travelling. Economics is astoundingly prosaic and, rather than to explore and push the boundaries of its own domain, it seems to move inward, in precisely the opposite direction. Since the financial crises in 2007/2008, uncertainty about the effectiveness and validity of the neoliberal model has grown considerably. Economics, as a social technology in its present form, provides no solution to issues of climate change and social inequality. It cannot help us organize social alliances, public interests or develop long-term prospects. Its results no longer appeal. The added value of effciency and productivity are outweighed by the numerous disadvantages of reducing all values to market value.

Although critique on the neo-liberal model grows, no new answers or alternatives have been proposed yet. In the search for new economic insights and alternatives to the current model, why not start by treating economics like any other technology? Playing with it, hacking it, using input from other disciplines, unleashing sciencefiction on it, approach it in an artistic manner. In short, taking ownership so that we can reshape and rework economics as we see it. Because however meaningful, criticizing the current model won’t rid us of it. And we aim to do precisely that. The aim of the festival and conference is to approach economics in new ways and look at our economic system and society with the detached view of the visitor, researcher, gamer, alien and artist. We want to reclaim economy as a social/cultural structure that we created, ridding us of the idea of economics as an inevitable law of nature.

We welcome presentations by academic researchers, designers, artists, scientists, students, social entrepreneurs, visionaries and other creative thinkers and practitioners to submit proposals with regards to the following themes:

Economy as evolution: Economics is about development and evolution. Societies develop and the direction they take is determined partly by the type of economic relationships they develop. Parallels are often drawn between these developments in culture and those in nature.

Economics as a game: Economics is about rules and laws. Just like other types of relationships, an existing system of economic relationships adheres to certain laws and regulations. Gaming is about learning the laws and rules of a game so that you can win.

Economics as a fiction: Economics is about ideas and faith. Credit has existed right from the start of societies, in the form of trust that A would pay B. Every form of economic relationship is an idea, or to put it better perhaps a prejudice. Which means it can change.

Economics as a market: Economics is about supply and demand. The greatest and most misunderstood cliché. Demand and supply is a way to describe life. Each influences the other in an unpredictable and complex way.

Economics as magic: Economy is both tangible and invisible. We know to forms of trade: the one that you can handle and the other that exists only in the form of ones and zeros. The latter seems like pure magic. It is with good reason that some of these ‘ nancial wizards’ call themselves ‘Master of the universe’.

Conference Web-Site: