Un Magazine 4.2

the Double Coincidence

Andrew Mcqualter



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the Double Coincidence
Studies for an understanding of the economic system

I circulated an invitation asking for people with knowledge of economics to participate in a drawing project. My aim was to have a conversation with these people about their knowledge of the economic system and to document that conversation with a drawing.

Five people responded to the invitation and I arranged to meet with them.

We sat at a table together and talked about the economy and about the drawing project. I provided paper, pencils and an eraser.

It was difficult to find a place to start. ‘The Economy’ means different things to different people; economics is practiced in a variety of contexts, and is understood to apply to a range of situations.

As we talked, I made a drawing, attempting to represent the ideas that we discussed, consulting with the other person, and inviting them draw as well.

Each drawing is a document of a conversation. Each drawing was informed by the conversations and drawings that preceded it.

The drawings that are the result of the process outlined above, this text, and documentation of the meetings are exhibited together as the Double Coincidence.

Participants were (in order of meeting): Hunter Robertson, Mark Jeanes, Eza Al Zein, Conal Thwaite, and Garry Rothman. The drawings are displayed in this order.

— Andrew McQualter, August 2010

Andrew McQualter
the Double Coincidence
Studies for an understanding of the economic system
Collaborative drawings. August 2010 – ongoing

1. A general outline of the macro-economic system from the point of view of someone interested in financial markets. A flow of money follows the sun around the world. The national economy is represented as a self-contained entity, contributing to global exchange. — drawn with with Hunter Robinson

2. The economic system of Australia, in a more detailed view. The idea of an economic system consisting of an interplay between three ‘actors’: Individuals, Corporations, Government. The environment is represented with light green. — drawn with Mark Jeanes

3. An international view. We see the three main participants in the economy: Households, Businesses, and Government. How the market determines the price of commodities, the stock exchange as a direct conduit for capital between individuals and businesses, the circulation of debt in national and international markets. Note the ‘signal star’, signifying the health of the market and affecting the levels of confidence in the market. — drawn with Eza Al Zein

4. Attempting to represent a class view of the economic system. An important difference in this drawing is the placement of government in the centre of the drawing; in the proceeding representations, the role of government has been represented as partially transcendent or outside the exchanges between the other ‘actors’ in an economic system. The economic ‘actors’: Individuals, Government, Firms, are represented as bubbles. — drawn with Conal Thwaite

5. Considering the role of debt. The economy is represented as a pyramid or triangular form. Wealth is concentrated at the apex of the triangle; at its base are the indigenous, refugees, homeless and unemployed. Scales of privilege, access, well-being and representation correspond with the concentration of wealth toward the top of the triangle. — drawn with Garry Rothman