Now That Ain't Workin', That's The Way You Do It
October 15, 2006 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Art Money is an alternative, worldwide currency in the form of original works of art. The Bank of International Art Money is an independent organization directed by artists and free from any form of government financing.
posted by fandango_matt (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
BIAM is an Internet based art project, where artists from around the world can issue “original art money bills” as a global alternative currency. Art money measure 12x18 cm and is an original work of art by the artist hand. It has a purchasing power equal to 20 Euro when first introduced and increase in value by five Euro p.a. for 7 years after which it settles and holds 50 Euro purchasing power forever.

These people don't have the faintest idea what "money" or "currency" or "purchasing power" are, do they? Which is fine, if they did they probably wouldn't be artists, but it's kind of cute and funny when they try to play in the wrong pool. (But wait, you say, they don't really mean "money"—it's conceptual art! Well, in that case, it's not so cute or funny, just more boring conceptual art, another way for artists to squeeze some real money out of the same old shtick.)

Nice post!
posted by languagehat at 2:02 PM on October 15, 2006

Having read their "what is art money?" page, I'm still a bit confused--does the artist have to make art specifically to be used as art money, or is it possible to apply it to pre-existing works? If it only comes in 50-euro denominations, does that mean that the work of art that a bill represents must be worth exactly 50 euros? Or does this money make it possible to (symbolically) own only part of a work of art? How can one cash in the art money for the art?

I could probably read further into this and find out, but their menu doesn't make it entirely obvious where to look.

I really admire the idea, though. Money is a distinctly human concept, so it should be backed by something as distinctly human, not gold or whatever.
posted by LogicalDash at 2:07 PM on October 15, 2006

languagehat: they seem to have an index of stores (mostly in Denmark) that actually accept art money. It sounded like the 50-euro thing was an arbitrary exchange rate, and calling it "purchasing power" was bad writing on the part of the webmaster.

Correct me if I'm wrong, it's not like I know anything about this stuff ;-)
posted by LogicalDash at 2:09 PM on October 15, 2006

I don't have the attention span to find the appropriate links, but there's some guy out there that's been making spendable "art money" for years.

No, it's not "currency" or a "numismatic device" in the traditional sense.

But he goes into a store and basically convinces whatever salesperson or cashier to allow him to "pay" for something with a piece of his handcrafted "currency", and we're not just talking about a pack of gum or something - he's purchased some pretty big ticket items with his "money".

Shortly thereafter an art collector mysteriously shows up at the store and buys the "art currency" from the cashier at a markup that's usually a significant percentage above and beyond the "cash" value of the original exchange.

He's been doing this for years, apparently.
posted by loquacious at 2:16 PM on October 15, 2006

This is good. It's time to take back control of the money supply from the bankers, and give it to the artists. Art shouldn't be just another commodity, it should be a currency. I wonder how we're supposed to detect counterfeit art money.
posted by sfenders at 2:47 PM on October 15, 2006

I don't have the attention span to find the appropriate links, but there's some guy out there that's been making spendable "art money" for years.

JSG Boggs.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:54 PM on October 15, 2006

Most recently, he was arrested in September 2006 while wearing female attire and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and weapons violations.

Was the weapon his self defense from the meth dealer who just realized he got paid $100 in bills scrawled with crayola, or does he only use real money for drugs?
posted by prostyle at 7:12 AM on October 16, 2006

« Older Third in line   |   A Poetry Slam, Indeed. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments