We were invited to contribute to an evening discussion of William Morris’ text ‘Useful Work V’s Useless Toil’. This event is part of Bank Job – a documentary film project by Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell. Part of this project includes the setting up of Hoe Street Central Bank where Hilary and Dan are hosting a series of ‘Money Talks’ and printing 50,000 Bank Job currency notes to be sold at face value or as artworks – with the money raised to go to local initiatives and the HSCB Debt abolition fund. More info here.
At the event we were joined by Sophie Hope and Mark Hooper.
“…worthy work carries with it the hope of pleasure in rest, the hope of pleasure in what it makes, the hope of pleasure in our daily creative skill. All other work but this is worthless. It is slave’s work – mere toiling to live so that we may live to toil.” William Morris. 1885.
How do Morris’ writing on economy, society and the meaning of work resonate today? On the site of HSCB’s collective money printing action we hear from the man himself prompting a conversation around the realities of useful work versus useless toil today. We look for ways out of wasted time and lives of debt servitude be it through refusal, co-operation or universal basic income seeking out purpose, meaning, participation and community in the idea of work.
As part of the Beveridge 2.0 Festival at LSE, The Alternative School of Economics was asked to be on a panel to debate the question – Is Richness a social problem? And to discuss the idea that richness needs to be challenged because it is interconnected with poverty.
The event was organised and introduced by Katharina Hecht, and the panel included Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, Tania Burchardt, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Sam Friedman, and urban anthropologist based in LSE’s International Inequalities Institute, Luna Glucksberg. The event was chaired by Martin White Professor of Sociology at LSE and co-Director of the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute Mike Savage.
To listen to the discussion visit here.
The Alternative School of Economics has been commissioned by Firstsite Gallery as part of The Britishness Project, an ambitious programme of exhibitions, events and workshops for young people of school age regarding cultural identity reflecting on the EU Referendum.
We are working students from the Gilberd School in Colchester to devise artworks around their identity, thinking about punk, fashion, performance, youth cultures.. and Brexit.
The culmination of our module with BA Graphic Design, Camberwell College of Arts students, Nation 283 is a new country set up in the centre of Peckham. With its roots in visual communication Nation 283 challenges us to think about design in relation to twenty-first century ideas around work, collectivity and social purpose.
Friday 19 May, 11am – 5pm
We have been asked by Arts Catalyst to lead a workshop which convenes local activists, academics and creative practitioners, to reflect on what role we as active citizens can play regarding the local ecology and its transformations. The project aims to collectively imagine the future of Poole Harbour by exchanging tools, strategies and knowledge.
Test Sites is a three-year programme by Arts Catalyst investigating elements of environmental concern – such as flooding, pollution, and species loss – within specific locations impacted by ecological change. At Poole Harbour, the project primarily focuses on the health and wellbeing of our ecosystems and of ourselves.
11.30am–5.30pm, Sat 8 July 2017, Lighthouse, 21 Kingland Road, Poole BH15 1UG
We are running a module for BA Graphic Design Students at Camberwell College of Art. We are working with designers Europa, who run the 2nd Year programme, using William Morris’ Useful Work Vs Useless Toil as a starting point to think about useful, political design.
The Alternative School of Economics is taking over the Reubens gallery at the V&A Friday Late on 31 March, to present a new installation for the screening of the film The Fiction of Money, and an activity to gather ‘Common Understandings of Money Speak’. This Friday Late, ‘Quids in’, is themed around money to celebrate the launch of the new one pound coin.
6.30-10pm, 31 March 2017, Friday Late, Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Ruth Beale is speaking at an event at Somerset House, London, on 21 January 2017, exploring ways to change the economy for the better. She will give a 5 minute ‘rant’ about how transforming education and childcare could transform the economy. Other speakers are Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian Economics Editor, and Ann Pettifor, founder of Jubilee Debt.
Image: Jeremy Deller, Utopia 2016
Shami Chakrabarti CBE, barrister and human rights campaigner, will give the inaugural annual Lantern Lecture at Rabbits Road Institute. Previously Director of Liberty, an advocacy organisation promoting civil liberties and human rights, Shami Chakrabarti is now a Labour politician and the Shadow Attorney General. Her lecture will address her convictions about the importance of libraries and their relationship to freedom and understanding.
Set up by artists The Alternative School of Economics, and inspired by talks at the library by the same name in the early 20th century, the Lantern Lecture is to be an annual event at Rabbits Road Institute.
12 January 2017 6:30-8:30pm, Rabbits Road Institute, Old Manor Park Library, 835 Romford Road, London E12 5JY
The Alternative School of Economics was invited to take part in Resist, Festival of Ideas and Actions at the LSE, organised by writer and academic Lisa McKenzie. We screened the documentary film we made from our project The Rich as a Minority Group – ‘Fieldwork: finding out about the rich’ and had a discussion and Q&A with curator, writer and academic Sophie Hope. The event was chaired by Katharina Hecht.
We will be launching the permanent Library at Rabbits Road Institute, with an afternoon event of screenings, discussions, readings and refreshments by Company Drinks. The Library is a new artwork by The Alternative School of Economics: a permanent collection of books nominated by collaborators, friends and participants.
22 October 2016, 12.30-6pm, Rabbits Road Institute, Old Manor Park Library, 835 Romford Road, London E12 5JY
On 14 July join us for food and conversation, to mark the launch of our publication made with members of Conversation Club.
14 July 2016, 3-5pm, Rabbits Road Institute, Old Manor Park Library, 835 Romford Road, London E12 5JY
We are contributing to a discussion event on the closing weekend of Artspace’s 40th anniversary exhibition, addressing the question ‘What would a city without artists look like?’. Ruth Beale will talk about The Alternative School of Economics and its role in the development of Rabbits Road Institute as a education, community and creative space in a former library.
18 June 2016, 3-5pm, Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6UX
In the degree show of the final year of the Design Interactions course at RCA, the graduates will be joined by the Ladies Art Group to reflect on alternative art schools and other ideas of education. Amy Feneck will take part in an open discussion reflecting on The Alternative School of Economics and Ted Hunt’s The School Of…
28 June 2016, Design Interactions Show, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU
We are speaking about the Rabbits Road Institute project with MA students at the Institute of Education, as part of the module Alternative Models for Art Education. Amy Feneck will give a presentation and lead a discussion around self education, inspired by writings about the Plebs League.
15 June 2016, Institute of Education, London
We are leading a reading group for TEXT2SPEECH, an event organised by the members Valerio Del Baglivo and Jenn Pavlick from the ICA Student Forum. Ivan Illich’s essay The Right to Useful Unemployment calls for the right to useful unemployment as a way to relocate our own existences outside the market rules. We will expecially look at chapter 1, Disabling Market Intensity, which starts with a passage on ‘crises’, and Chapter 6, The Post-Professional Ethos., and how our artistic practice relates to counter-productivity, alternative education and economic strategies.
26 February 2016, 6-8pm, Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London
We have been invited by One of My Kind (OOMK) to take part in an evening of talks and panel discussion about the future of libraries, with Leila Kassir (Librarian at LCC) and Nicholas Brown (Library Manager at Iniva). The event is part of OOMK’s ‘Future Library’ residency at Open School East, in partnership with Bookworks.
21 January 2016, Open School East, The Rose Lipman Building 43 De Beauvoir Rd N1 5SQ