Cedar, Stainless Steel, Oil 1800 x 1600 x 100mm 2022
A Counting Frame for Circular Economies begins with the question of how to values what is immeasurable. Do we calculate the dollar value of mangrove forests and pollinators for their thankless contributions to life and economic systems? Is the attempt to do so possible or just absurd?
Wanda Gillespie's abacus gestures to literal methods of counting, implying a slow, tactile labour that offers and alternative to the fast-paced and self-effacing (under)world of stocks, bonds and synthetic debt, inequality indexes and interest rates. It's interior steel frame, along with the individual hand-carved timber beads slide, is wrought to recall patterns in nature like the golden ratio and fibonacci spiral, and the innumerable systems that play a role in the continued cycling forth of life.
While these systems might be beyond remuneration (a living wage for bees would be an absurd proposal). the work might make us think of other measures, such as a universal basic income, or a toxicity tax for polluting corporations, that remain well within the limits of the doable, and the new metrics of value they entail.