Grey Room

Political Constructivism

Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann, Karl Hoffmann


The following text originated in 2014 as part of a correspondence that was informed by the effects of the financial crisis. The exchange concerns the representation of economic crises in a universally comprehensible manner and whether references to the Cologne Progressives and the Isotype method could be helpful in this context. At the time, we wrote that crisis is the rule in capitalism. For those affected by it, crisis nonetheless registers as an exception, a break, a shock, since every crisis is a new instance of primitive accumulation, a further robbing of livelihoods. It is no longer possible to remain detached, hiding behind some beautifully consistent theory of crisis. Due to its speed, scale, and temporal anticipation, the current state of global capitalism is not business as usual; it is not merely another peak of a Kondratiev wave but instead confronts us with the challenge and effort of recognizing what is unprecedented in the present.