by Catalina Restrepo Leongómez
It's ironic that this issue should be about capitalism while at the same time we are going through, like many publications in México, a budget crisis. This reality has led us to contemplate whether we should call it quits, which makes this editorial perhaps the most difficult, and at the same time the most challenging. On the other hand, capitalism forces us to rethink things; review business plans and strategies. Ask ourselves what we need and how could it improve; listen to the consumer so we can deliver a better product, design a strategy that makes the project viable. Will it be a blessing in disguise? Well, I don't know, but let's see what happens.
Several months ago, I found on my Facebook wall a term that caused me a lot of curiosity: Anarcho-Capitalism. At the moment, I could not help but think of it as a bizarre blend of words since anarchy and capitalism are like water and oil. What is it about? It's not that I now declare myself an anarcho-capitalist per se; there is still a lot I need to learn. But I suddenly felt as if a blindfold had been removed and I began to contemplate that perhaps the problem is not capitalism itself, but the government, as the economic philosophy suggests. I came to realize that capitalism has always been painted as a solid block, an entity, a big problem, the origin of humanitarian, environmental, political crises, etc. But also, generally, it is often confused with Neoliberalism or Corporatism, which are not the same. There are thousands of systems associated with capitalism that come from very different currents and ideals.
I set out to test the terms: Every time I saw a meme that criticized capitalism, I would try to replace the word “capitalism” with “government.” And it is not that I now defend capitalism with a cape and a sword, but playing the devil's advocate turned out to be, without a doubt, fascinating.
Our intention with this issue is to propose that capitalism is not just one thing as we also try to gather several stances on the subject. In the Portfolios section, we present the work of Eugenio Merino, Steve Lambert, Banksy, Guillaume Bijl, Danh Vō, Thomas Hirschhorn, Máximo González, and Christian Jankowski. We include valuable articles such as Sociocritical Art: Is it Really a Commodity Like Any Other? The Short Answer is No, but How Can it Function Beyond Commodification? by Subash Thebe; Post-Internet and the Value of Digital Formats by Doreen A. Ríos and interviews by our editor Dominique Suberville to Eugenio Merino and by Gloria Cárdenas to Guillaume Bijl. Also, as a list, we include a series of definitions of some types of capitalism that we have found.
We also present in our Recommended Exhibition section Apariencia desnuda: El deseo y el objeto en la obra de Marcel Duchamp y Jeff Koons at Museo Jumex, and Anna Ridler: Criptobloom at Gallery Weekend CDMX, both at México City.
And finally, in the last edition of Sílex: tianguis especulativo del Internet (an Internet black market) carried out at the Center of Digital Culture in México City, we put up for sale pixel property certificates for a page within this issue. An interesting exercise that leads us to think that capitalism today cannot be observed in the same way as it once was. Consumption patterns, capital goods, and the internet of things have upsetting ideas and concepts linked to popular economic philosophies that govern today and that many, sometimes go unnoticed.
We hope you like this issue and that it enriches you as much as we were when putting it together.