(Un)usual Business

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(Un)usual Business ,

In Spring 2013, Casco and the critical post-graduate students group Kritische Studenten Utrecht started the long-term collective research project (Un)usual Business. (Un)usual Business explores so-called “community economies”, a term coined by feminist economic geographers Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham. The core idea is that the economy is much broader and more diverse than what we normally think as economy takes place in everyday exchanges and relations. These types of unrecognized economies propel values and agencies that are very different from the capitalist spirit of profit making and financial accumulation, looking instead to well-being, friendship, and belonging or non-belonging. While making visible and facilitating these non-capitalist economic forms, it is here we see that contemporary art can play a vital role.

The (Un)usual Business research to date has been built up from the first Conversation Market at Utrecht shopping mall Hoog Catharijne last summer and through bi-weekly co-researcher meetings at the Casco Storefront. This phase has been consolidated in an online reader, which you may find here. (Un)usual Business has now entered a phase of action research. From February until May 2014, we will conduct interviews, research, and join self-organized groups in Utrecht who cooperatively organize care work, education, knowledge production and circulation, and environmental practices, under the motto: “The economy is something we do, not just something that does things to us.” Imagining and Enacting Noncapitalist Futures (2001), Julie Graham for the Community Economies Collective.