How can we re-think money, capitalism and the way we live?
Crystals of this Social Substance is a new sound work by the artist Jay Bernard, commissioned by Serpentine Education for Listening to the City and presented in the 2021 Pavilion designed by Counterspace. The work features the voices of young people as they find the language to articulate their personal relationships to money and grapple with how and why it is unevenly distributed across the city.
To make the work, Bernard staged a series of intimate workshops with young people where they played the ubiquitous capitalist board game Monopoly, and the cult 1978 socialist board game Class Struggle, in order to reflect on and question the world views the games propose.
23 July, 7:30pm, Serpentine Pavilion & livestream, join artist Jay Bernard in conversation with participants from the fields of games design, economics, philosophy and writing for a playful and engaging group conversation about our relationships to money.
Each of the participants have been invited to present a proposition for a game about money in the 21st century, as a way to open up an imaginative discussion about our present economic reality and possible alternative futures. Contributors include Jay Bernard, Lola Olufemi, Marijam Didžgalvytė and Mijke van der Drift. Following the conversation, Crystals of this Social Substance will be premiered inside the Serpentine Pavilion, presented in L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound.
Tickets are free, but booking is essential via Eventbrite. This event will be live-streamed with closed-captions. BSL interpretation will be made available after the event.
About the participants
Jay Bernard is an artist from London whose work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archives. As well as being a film programmer at BFI Flare, they were named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2020 and winner of the 2017 Ted Hughes Award for Surge: Side A, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981. Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festival (where it won best experimental and best queer short respectively), Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica. Recent work includes My Name is My Own, a physical performance piece in response to June Jordan, which premiered at Southbank Centre’s Poetry International.
Mijke van der Drift, PhD. is a philosopher and educator working on ethics, trans studies, technology and performance. Mijke is Senior Lecturer at KABK, the Hague, Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London, and contributes to the Revolutionary Papers Project at the University of Cambridge. Mijke’s work has appeared in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, in various independent publications as well as chapters in The Emergence of Trans (Routledge 2020), and The New Feminist Literary Studies Reader (Cambridge UP 2020). Van der Drift is currently working on a collective performance project in Kyiv titled Sambatas Stagings, and a project titled Extractivism, Datafication, and Transformative Justice.
Marijam Didžgalvytė is a Lithuanian-Tatar London-based games industry critic and content creator dissecting the intersection between videogames and IRL politics. Her work has been published by the Guardian, VICE, GamesIndustry.biz, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and many others. Marijam is currently a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a Community Manager for a AAA videogames studio. In the past, Marijam served as the Chair Of Communications Committee for Game Workers Unite International – an organisation assisting in unionising the global videogames industry, she also co-founded GWU UK – the first legal trade union that has come out of the movement. Didžgalvytė’s expertise lies in researching the radical political history and cultural output of the 20th century and applying them to the development of politics in the gaming sphere. In 2019, Marijam was nominated for GamesIndustry.biz’s 100 Women in Games as well as Campaigner of The Year at MCV UK Awards.
Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and CREAM/Stuart Hall foundation researcher from London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relationship to cultural production, political demands and futurity. She is author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (2020), Experiments in Imagining Otherwise, forthcoming from Hajar Press in 2021 and a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective.
Alex Thorp, Curator, Education