Economics Anonymous is a multimedia installation according to the formula of an AA meeting.
In the last 200 years, under the influence of industrialization, people have increasingly become more dependent on growth and innovation in a way that it has taken the form of a serious addiction. As with the majority of addictions also addicts to growth and consumerism are in adamant denial and because of that everyone who does not participate in it will place themselves outside the group / society.
And as with so many addictions, addicts and dealers are condemned to each other in a kind of cruel dance, in which the dealers, in this case reputable companies, create demand for a new product through advertising, and then bind their customers by giving the product a very short lifespan, which means that a customer has to come back again and again for the same product, and the customers themselves ask for new, nicer, better versions of a product they actually already have. However, through sophisticated marketing, the same customer has the idea that he is always buying something new and necessary. By means of a strong lobby, the business community also ensures that growth and innovation are also seen as the most important part of government policy, and that matters such as health, happiness, housing, education, nature, sustainability will always remain subordinate to this.
When you’re an addict, you often don’t see the seriousness of the addiction until it gets you into trouble, or break the addiction for some other reason and can look at it from a distance.
In EA a number of people report their addiction according to the formula of an AA or an NA meeting. “I am Wilhelmus Vlug and I am addicted to growth”, addicted to new, addicted to shopping, addicted to more, addicted to fashion etc etc.
The multimedia installation has the classic arrangement of an AA meeting in the form of a circle of chairs. On the chairs are sculpted people with screens in place of heads. The screens show the faces of people taking turns reporting their addiction to growth. Because a number of seats have also been left free, it is possible for the visitor to take a seat in the installation and to be part of the installation. In this way, visitors are stimulated to think about their own place in the story.
For the people who report their addiction to growth, a number of people from different backgrounds will be filmed, an economist, an entrepreneur, someone who has consciously left the consumer society, someone who has gotten into trouble due to a shopping addiction, etc.
For the elaboration of the installation I will use 2nd hand or discarded materials.