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The Economy is Spinning

Onomatopee 132

16 July 3PM - finissage with performances by Monique Hendriksen, Hanne Lippard and a reading by Nick Thurston

With Mercedes Azpilicueta, Zachary Formwalt, Monique Hendriksen, Jan Hoeft, Hanne Lippard, Toril Johannessen, Robertas Narkus, Antonis Pittas and Nick Thurston


How does the economy speak to us? Does it speak through us? Sometimes its voice trembles with fear, and at other times it whispers with hope and sings in excitement about better days to come.

Economic jargon settles in to make things sound correct by making them sound familiar; it comes to our aid when troubles arise and comforts us with its reasonable-sounding justifications. Like religion, it gives hope and solace, soothes worry and anguish. The doctrine is everywhere, oozing out of academic studies and financial newspapers; ’efficiency’ has become the measure of the everyday, as ’cost-benefit analyses’ guide us to make decisions in the interests of the greatest possible returns.

This logic promises freedom in exchange for leaving things to take their own course: laissez faire, laissez passer. The ’invisible hand’ of the market should ensure that needs and wants are met without any outside intervention or regulation. Yet needs and wants are not governed by rational rules: the desire to have it all, to have it now and without limits, is a notion without end, with irrationality as its command.

The Economy is Spinning looks into various manifestations of the language of economics and finance, a language that permeates our vocabularies and builds the boundaries of our imaginations.  The exhibition considers the economy as a ‘performing body’ that reveals its state of mind in its language. With contributions by nine artists, the exhibition accentuates and exaggerates the absurdity of this language and of its underlying mechanisms.

An accompanying publication will be launched in September 2016.

Download the exhibition guide HERE.


The Economy is Spinning – online

Between 11 June and 31 July a chapter of The Economy is Spinning will be hosted on the Unfold online platform.

Unfold is a curatorial experimentation on the digital folder to trigger anti-authorial agency, movement of thoughts and untimely collaborations. It grew out of VOLUME- a research and artistic project on the concept and agency of the library. Periodically guest curators, invited by Sara Giannini, define the folders content and structure.




Onomatopee 132, Kris Dittel, 2017

The Economy is Spinning

€ 22

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How does the economy speak to us? Does it speak through us?

This book brings together contributions from visual artists, writers and theorists to rethink the way that the language of economics and finance influences our thought and modes of expression. Through artistic contributions, image essays and texts this book aims to manifest, across both art and theory, a poetic counter-language.

“When this combination of subjects works at its best, it creates both better economists and more economically aware non-economists.” – Latest in Books, Financial Times

“Essential reading.” – Book Review, The Economist

Edited by Kris Dittel
With contributions by Mercedes Azpilicueta, Kris Dittel, Zachary Formwalt, Sara Giannini, Monique Hendriksen, Jan Hoeft, Sami Khatib, Hanne LippardToril JohannessenRobertas NarkusAntonis PittasNick Thurston and McKenzie Wark.
Graphic design: Rafaela Dražić


230 x 160 mm / 9 x6 inch portrait
Kris Dittel
Rafaela Dražić
threat-sewn and glued
62 full color images 
Kris Dittel
more specs
Onomatopee 132.1, Nick Thurston, 2016

Van de Onderaannemingsovereenkomst, Of Beginselen van Poëtische Recht

€ 20

Out of stock

The publication was exclusively available as print-on-demand during The Economy is Spinning, June 5 - July 17, 2016. Last print copies available through Onomatopee: email directly

Format: 148pp softback; black-only interior; full-colour covers; unlimited edition.

Van de Onderaannemingsovereenkomst, Of Beginselen van Poëtische Recht is a collection of poems about computational capitalism, each of which was written by an underpaid worker subcontracted through’s Mechanical Turk service.

This collection was first published in English as Of the Subcontract, Or Principles of Poetic Right by Information As Material (York, UK) in 2013, and was re-published as a multi-format ebook by Coach House Books (Toronto, CA) in May 2016. Van de Onderaannemingsovereenkomst, Of Beginselen van Poëtische Recht is a complete Dutch-language edition published for ’The Economy is Spinning’.

All of the content was translated using Google, left uncorrected, poured back into the design files for the first edition.

With a foreword by McKenzie Wark and afterword by Darren Wershler.

Nick Thurston
Nick Thurston
Nick Thurston