Speculative Materialism
Lou Mouw
30 November 2019 - 21 February 2020

From Kockumskranen to the Turning Torso

The Nordic Welfare State Model, based on social-democratic ideals and a progressive model of citizenship has been under attack for some time now by politicians on the right and left (influenced by neoliberalism), and by finance and other forms of capital looking to realise greater profits through participation in varied forms of primitive accumulation and accumulation by dispossession.

The Nordic countries changed the concept of a welfare state to the more market-oriented phase of post-welfare in recent years. This goes in hand with neoliberalism that entangles strategies of financialisation and privatisation. One effects of these processes in Sweden is the shift from the right of housing to the financialisation of built environments, where housing is more seen as a product to be consumed rather than a citizen’s right.

Västra Hamnen could be seen as a perfect mirror of recent economical and societal developments. By its shift from an industrial area with the Kockums Kranen as the symbol of the city’s blue collars roots, to the most exclusive neighbourhood of the city, and with it the Turning Torso skyscraper as the new symbol of this change of identity and economy of the city. Hereby the main question is what the shift of these two landmarks tells about the urban, socio-political and economical shift in a post-welfare state environment. How to detect aesthetics of neo-liberalism? How does the shift from a product-based, industrial economy to a service- and financial driven economy change the urban landscape?

This research will evolve into a science fiction photo novel. It takes the inspiration from Chris Markers classic “La Jetée” dystopian post-catastrophe science fiction to be able to talk about the invisible but palpable changes of our time.

Learn more about Lou Mouw – www.loumouw.net

Lou Mouw