In addition to her role as (artistic) director and curator of Future of Work, Olga holds the position of Head of the Interdisciplinary Arts (iArts) program at The Maastricht Institute of Arts (ZUYD), and takes part in the research group 'Economy in Common' at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Olga has published several books, including 'Co-emerging Economies: Radical perspectives on post-anthropocentric economies,' together with Reon Brand, which explores economic perspectives in a more-than-human world. Olga's interest lies in art that unveils trans-contextual relationships between objects, people, and systems. Occasionally, she creates artworks, such as 'Gaslighting', a giant neon installation permanently installed on the rooftop of Restaurant Het Ketelhuis in Eindhoven, in collaboration with Munne.
Who owns the economy? The major corporations? The wealthy and powerful? The financial system? The banks? Does it all really boil down to 'money' when we talk about 'the economy'? In this neon art piece, we see the words ECONOMY and MONEY alternating. A combination that prompts the viewer to contemplate the original meaning of the word 'economy' and its evolution throughout history.
The word ECONOMY has its roots in ancient Greek, derived from the word OIKOS, meaning the managing and organizing of the resources and tasks within a household, with balance, justice and equality playing a crucial role. However, the meaning of the concept of economy has shifted predominantly to a focus on "the distribution of our money". Money today has become a means to buy virtually anything we want, but its current distribution is far from fair, transparent and equitable. And even though the economy is not a zero-sum game, we witness a growing inequality with more and more money flowing to the richest 1%, while others have to make do with less.
The question is whether we can decouple the definition of today's economy from this dominant focus on money and the (unequal) distribution of wealth? With this artwork, the artist argue for a broader meaning for the concept of economy, in which we strive for a fairer distribution of resources. This is not only about pursuing an economy as a means of equal (profit) distribution, but also about paying attention to the well-being of all life on our planet. Only then can we create an economy that represents and respects the needs of people and planet.
Collaboration project with Munne