Neoliberalism is a placeholder here and stands for the development that took place under Ronald Reagan in the US (Reaganomics) and under Margaret Thatcher in the UK (Thatcherism). This development began in the 1980s with the deregulation of the financial markets and reached its interim highpoint in the global economic and financial crisis of 2008. Neoliberalism, in the sense of market fundamentalism, stands for political concepts that are economically constricted and aggravate social and ecological problems instead of seeking solutions. Nevertheless, economic policies based on concepts such as the reduction of government spending, the privatization of former state responsibilities and the deregulation of capital flow have generally prevailed in Western democracies. The consequences are now becoming visible in many different forms: collaborative state budgets, an increasing group of people (‘precariat’) that has been uncoupled from prosperity by insecure employment, climatic change, environmental problems or multinational concerns with enormous political influence.
Zita Cobb (*1958) was CFO at the US company Uniphase until 2002. In 2008 she began the Fogo Island Arts initiative, a residency-based venue for artists, writers, musicians, curators, designers, and thinkers from around the world.
Liam Gillick (*1964) is an artist. He lives and works in New York. Gillick was selected to represent Germany for the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Gillick has taught at Columbia University in New York, and the Centre for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.