Lise Skou


HIDDEN ECONOMIES (or a way out)
– economic possibilities from a feminist perspective

In my work I try to raise a discussion about hidden economies–existing within, next to, beside, and around capitalism. I am inspired by the work of feminist, economic geographers JK Gibson-Graham (Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson), who worked on several publications and projects that sought to destabilize the “monster” of a capitalist economy. Today, Katherine Gibson continues the work she and the late Julie Graham began with projects like Community Economies (co-founded in 2009) and the publication of Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities (2013, University of Minnesota Press).

Capitalist processes shape our daily experiences but do they define them? How and where are people creating economies that ignore the dominant economic system? How do these economies–shared, exchange based, micro-local, etc.–function and what do they look like? Are they temporary or are they sustainable?

My work and research focuses on how cultural work may contribute to shedding light on economic difference and articulating new economic realities. Central for this project is the idea that economies are always diverse and in the making.


– Initiated by Lise Skou (DK) with support from Bonnie Fortune (US/DK).

Trade Test Site focuses on cultural initiatives and responses to current economic structures in light of the global financial crisis. By exploring collaborative economic models through presentations, discussions, video screenings, performances, and workshops, Trade Test Site seeks to raise a discussion about possible future economic models and forms.

Trade Test Site brings a selection of initiatives focused on critical, creative, and alternative responses to economic issues to Aarhus, Denmark via a comprehensive public program.

In addition to the public program, Trade Test Site launches a series of publications in Danish and English with a mix of republished earlier texts and newly commissioned essays. These publications will focus on the work of different critical thinkers and their thoughts on different aspects of the subject of economy.

Short bio:

I am an artist and researcher from Denmark, informed by post-capitalistic politics and capitalist globalization particularly by the work of J.K. Gibson Graham. My work can be seen as an ongoing investigation into various connections between practical rethinking of economic structures; production and circulation of materials and ideas surrounding contemporary political, economic and social debate; the subject of revolution; people’s movements and individual empowerment within collective experiences. Through my collective practise, I envision non-capitalistic economies and tries to show a landscape of economic diversity – one that is not exclusively or predominantly capitalistic – and examines the challenges of alternative economic interventions.

My practice engages with multiple mediums and strategies including video, performative strategies, interventions, distribution of knowledge and activism.

I studied at the Whitney Museum of American Art – Independent Study Program (2002-2003) and Funen Art Academy (1998-2004). I also hold a BA in Art History from Aarhus University. My work has been shown internationally for the past 10-15 years including Systemics#3 at Kunsthal Århus, 2014, It’s the political economy, stupid (2013-2014) curated by Oliver Ressler and Gregory Sholette, shown at museums and institutions around the world for the past 2 years.

In 2014 I published the free papaer Hidden Economies as part of the seminar Hidden Economies co-organized with Bronnie Fortune (US/DK) and Brett Bloom (US/DK). 2010, I co-wrote and edited the book Swop Projects, discussing the possibilities for producing and communicating economic practices outside of capitalist discourse.

See more details about my work at:







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