choreography as a system of movement – finances as a system of (social?) mobility
reality check your world wealth status by clicking here
“I just don’t know… I know that I don’t know if meritocracy is real and functions, and I know that I don’t know if I could ever actually be homeless or if theres just too many safety nets around me, and I also don’t know if I ever could know if I could be fabulously wealthy, and in some ways i’m already living the way I would want to live if I was fabulously wealthy but I understand the system well enough, in how i project that it operates, to know what i’m trading in to live this way now is possibilities in the future, like superannuation benefits and accruing asset ownership and things like that, and that those things compound and that the $10 that I spend today is worth $30 or $40 or $50 when i’m an old man if I spent it in a better way. But I also know that it’s not guaranteed that I’ll ever get there, but i also know that I should work as if it is.. so… that’s why it’s fun for me to remember that you can’t know and it throws us all.” – excerpt from interview of Matt Cornell about the project from Ju Row Fa.
Also this song from Jay Z – The Story of OJ that is dealing directly with class mobility in relationship to race and celebrity and and and so much that I can’t fully comprehend it just yet. It’s a masterpiece. My favorite line in relationship to this project
“Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for nine ninety-nine”
referencing financial literacy and the stigma around it.
and this fun line from Cardi B song –
“Say I don’t gotta dance, I make money moves…I’m a boss, you a worker bitch, I make bloody moves.”
The question arises, must we break society into classes? Perhaps not, but still ones relationship with money (instead of how much of it they have) seems to be a gravity-well for people to form communities around and those communities over time build a tribal psychology and become ingrained in ones identity (especially across generations) regardless of the changing reality of their means/options.
Instead of “poor, working poor, working class, upper/lower/middle class, rich” generalisations i’m thinking about mobility between these..
- self employed
- business owner/investor
And this is not a hierarchy of values, simply of the range/amount/variety of options available to you depending on the means/capital/assets at your disposal.
fun movies on this topic
Trading Places -A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.
Dark Days -A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.
The Big Short -In 2006-7 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.
Sullivan’s Travels -A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.
- Go Big –
How do you know where you are? I think there could be a need for
definition description but of course that is grey, blurry and messy AF.
It’s not lost on me the problematics of privilege in this project. Not only race and sex and gender (and how they impact ones capacity for mobility) but that an artist must be of a certain level of financial privilege to be dealing with these things as abstractions, questions, curiosities, rather than immutable economic imperative. I suppose that privilege is wrapped up in class with one leveraging the other… and maybe that’s why this clip resonates with me so much
As global trade continues to internationalise the division of labour. And if cosmopolitanism becomes the norm/end point of globalisation, one day classism replaces racism. I think that is ground that has already been tread in the past with genetically isolated/homogenous populations dividing themselves into serfdom structures.
I also have questions around the need for naivety in artistic approach. Ray Dalio says “if you’re not getting the results you want, your idea of how the world works is not aligned with the world as it really is”. But artists are busy with questioning the way things must be exactly by pushing at it with unrealistic expectations… And perhaps that is also the price/opportunity cost they pay through diverting effort away from capitol accrual.
Also this song from Jay Z – The Story of OJ that is dealing directly with class mobility in relationship to race and celebrity and and and so much that I can’t fully comprehend it just yet. It’s a masterpiece. My favorite line in relationship to this project “Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for nine ninety-nine” referencing financial literacy and the stigma around it.
“I told him, “Please don’t die over the neighborhood
That your momma rentin’
Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood
That’s how you rinse it”
I bought every V12 engine
Wish I could take it back to the beginnin’
I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo
For like two million
That same building today is worth twenty-five million
Guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo
You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it
Financial freedom my only hope
Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke
I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that shit worth two million
Few years later, that shit worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children
Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for nine ninety-nine
I turned that two to a four, four to an eight
I turned my life into a nice first week release date, mm
Y’all out here still takin’ advances, huh?
Me and my niggas takin’ real chances, uh
Y’all on the ‘gram holdin’ money to your ear
There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here, yeah”
thoughts so far:
Thinking about the individual within systems of class and wealth as having mobility, and to live under the promise of movement between classes based on only desire and merit (though that has been thoroughly denounced), and to think of this movement between classes as something that may be choreographed.
Regardless of if you operate within the promise of social mobility in Australia (and other neo-liberal democracies) or understand that the inherent privileged/underprivileged status of individuals based on attributes that have nothing to do with their merit or other factors they have control to meaningfully change, we think we know, until we try to do.
“the danger of the artist is that they talk with the beggar and they talk with the king”
in discussions about diversity and inclusion and representation, financial class is often overlooked. Inclusivity of those with less means may be considered, inclusivity of those with more means may be neglected (unless you aim to access their means in which case you engage them as gateway to). Sci-Fi dystopias as depicted in film are almost always a class war, social instability fuelled by the feeling from the oppressed that they have no mobility within this system so better to burn it down.
Are the systemic funnels towards asset accrual upheld or undermined when we decide not to participate in this approach to the world, its resources and its people?