— Skills of Economy

Skills of Economy Sessions – Parasites

Theatre Academy of University of Arts in Helsinki
9th of October 2015
from 10am to 4.30 pm.


Skills of Economy Sessions is a series of events organised in the context of the Skills of Economy project in Helsinki during autumn 2015 and spring 2016. Events focuses on ways of building new economic and social agencies through political, curatorial and theoretical discourses, a video programme as well as artistic and performative interventions at three different theatre contexts.

The first session Parasites is organised in collaboration with the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and Theatre Academy. It’s focus is to ask whether the concept of social class can be the basis of artistic practices that produce new agencies towards economic and social change. It has constantly been said that artists and other actors of the art field are model examples of perfect entrepreneurship and self-employment at the current phase of immaterial and cognitive capitalism. Supposedly, artists can efficiently control and capitalise their cultural properties. Are there models of counter-organisation and struggle based on the new understanding of social class? Can artistic and curatorial activities build up classed selves for subjects under the ultimate precarity and flexibility?

Session is facilitated new work Para-Site by artist Karolina Kucia. It forms a setting for bodily production of knowledge as a place for formation of the self, power relations and social divisions.

In her texts, sociologist and professor of Goldsmiths College, University of London Beverley Skeggs addresses the contemporary condition of social class and the ways in which class is currently being constructed. Lecturer in political science at University of Jyväskylä Mikko Jakonen focuses on the development of precarity and the social and political consequences of ultimate flexibility. Researcher and co-funder of ArtLeaks, Corina A. Apostol, opens up questions on artist strikes and the creating of another art world.

The second part of the event is built on a short workshop organised by artist Freja Bäckman. Precarity is here to stay so take a comfortable position and please start.


10.00 – 10.20 orientation to event and work by Karolina Kucia


10.20 – 10.40 reading of the text by Beverley Skeggs

10.40 – 11.30 Talk by Mikko Jakonen + discussion

11.30 – 12.20 Talk by Corina L. Apostol + discussion


12.20 – 13.30 Lunch (vegetarian, served on the spot)


13.30 – 15.30 Confession of an artist and other actors of the art field workshop by Freja Bäckman


15.30 – disorientation

Future Skills of Economy Sessions are organised on the 13th of November 2015 in collaboration with Baltic Circle festival and on the 9thof February 2016 in the Kiasma Theatre. In relation to the events, artist and researcher Georgios Papadopoulos will have artist residency at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme and artist Joakim Pusenius will produce new video work.

Skills of Economy Session is curated by Jussi Koitela

Supported by: Finish Cultural Foundation and Oskar Öflund Stiftelse


Karolina Kucia

She graduated as Master of Arts in 2004 from Poznan Art Academy, and in 2014 again in Performance Art and Theory Studies in the Theater Academy in Helsinki. Between 2004 to 2008 she has been part of Kukkia group (Karolina Kucia and Tero Nauha). From 2007 she is part of the interdisciplinary Mollecular Organization. Between 2011 – 2012 working and co-creating Future Art Base, Art and Economy in Aalto University in Finland and Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative. Currently a fellow of Academie Schloss Solitude. As visual Artist Kucia is mostly working with performance, directing group processes, sculpting, video and animation making. Recently her main interests are lapse, automatism and parasite.

Beverley Skeggs
My research interests consolidate around the issue of value and values. How do we know what value and values are? What do they do? I only realized this was my central concern recently when I was asked to summarise my work and noticed that all my research has been framed around these issues. Hence value/s has led me through issues of respectability in class and gender formation, an exploration of symbolic value through media and cultural formations; using feminist and poststructuralist theory, Pierre Bourdieu and to the economic abstractions of Marx, to help me understand. I’m still working on this topic (it is my life’s work), currently attempting to understand how value moves on, through and with people as they live the imperatives of exchange in capitalism. But, more significantly, what remains beyond exchange? What matters to people? How do they formulate value/s beyond economic perceptions? I have been developing the idea of ‘person value’ through ‘value struggles’ to understand how different forms of de/valued personhood are lived.

Mikko Jakonen 
Mikko Jakonen is a researcher and teacher at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He has been working with questions concerning political philosophy, history of political thought, contemporary French philosophy and questions pertaining to the changes of work and precarization of the society. His Ph.D. (2013) scrutinizes the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, concentrating to the analysis of the concepts of motion and multitude. Jakonen has published several articles on political theory, world politics and sociological theory of precarization. He has also edited books Uuden työn sanakirja (The Dictionary of New Work, co-edited with Jukka Peltokoski and Jouni Tilli) and Yhteinen yliopisto (Common University, co-edited with Jouni Tilli) and most recently Talouden uudet muodot (“New Forms of Economy, co-edited with Tiina Silvasti). Jakonen teaches political theory at the University of Jyväskylä and he has been working as a research fellow at Université de Paris Ouest et Nanterre, Université de Rennes 1 and Goldsmiths College, University of London. Jakonen works also as a columnist, book reviewer and translator.

Corina L. Apostol
Corina L. Apostol is Ph.D candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University. She holds a curatorial research fellowship at the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union. She is a co-founder of ArtLeaks and co-editor of the ArtLeaks Gazette.

Freja Bäckman
Freja Bäckman is born in Espoo and lives in Berlin. Her artistic practice lays on the intersection of art, education and socio-political work. She mainly works in different forms of groups and collaborations, not only as a preferred way of working but also a central topic. Sharing spaces for discussions and activities, through dialogue and negotiations, analysis of power and knowledge production. The formats often being socially engaged, varying from workshops and discussions, to text, sound, performative actions and installational work. She has been part of several groups, as WIR SPIELEN (WE PLAY), Land-Institut and Megafån. She is currently doing a doctorate at the department of Arts at the Aalto University in Helsinki and graduated from the Art in Context programme at the Berlin University of the Arts.