In the 1930s, the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay, “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren”, in which he predicted that the economic problem of subsistence for his grandchildren’s generation, that is us, would be solved. We wouldn’t have to work because the world would be seven times richer. We are indeed seven times richer, yet we still work. Keynes failed to predict that as our wealth increases, so too do our desires.
Voodoo Economics is a rotational moulding machine running on tracks, which is used to produce little hollow plastic figurines on pedestals. Each pedestal has a phrase embossed on its pedestal, associated with some fundamental concepts from economics: participants in the economy are “led as if by an invisible hand” to provide goods for society, “a rising tide lifts all boats” including those represented by the homeless figurine, we (including our city traders) are rational animals, “Homo Economicus”.
The pedestals on the statues become muddled. The homeless man becomes “Homo Economicus”. The city trader is led to enrich himself. The invisible hand becomes drowned. The figurines are relics of a faith that is passing.
The project was commissioned for the Saint Etienne Design Biennale 2017.