At the height of the financial crisis, the Our Economies workshop project sought alternative visualizations of the crisis as a way of finding a personal visual language for describing and understanding the crisis and how it could possibly transform, in both utopian and dystopian ways, our lives on a number of scales. These visualizations drew upon personal or local knowledge, rather than that of economists and political strategists whose voices were almost often heard in discussing the crisis.
During a residency at Casco, the Netherlands, people participated in drawing workshops to answer the question “what does the global economic crisis look like?” Of the 136 of drawings collected, some images stood out: a barely-bandaged wound, a tornado, a vial of poison, a bank on fire. Bubbles deflating and popping—money, property, and value disappearing into thin air (questioning whether it was just made of air in the first place). Half-houses and half-sandwiches. And some optimism— a rotten apple sprouting anew from its core; a dead fish fertilizing a flower. I distilled some of this imagery into logos which were exhibited as wallpaper and in publications.
> An Atlas/Our Economies | 3.15.09-3.22.09 | Casco, Utrecht, Netherlands (workshops/ participant drawings)
>...in a most dangerous manner | 1.29.10-3.26.10 | SPACES Gallery, Cleveland OH (crisis logos)
> The Global Polis: Interactive Infrastructures | 5.15.09-8.28.09 |Center for Architecture, NYC (chalkboard drawing)
+ Casco, Utrecht
+ Basecamp, Philadelphia
+ Bard College, NY
+ Good Old Lower East Side, NY