I have been working on projects that take the notion of ‘making money’ literally. The old English word ‘wealth’ links to well-being. In every culture, it seems, at the core, is an understanding forgotten by most, of a full, abundant form of wealth. Food access and justice, water access, health, flourishing, growth, livelihood, security, freedom, home. How far have we, as society, removed ourselves from wealth in our quest for riches?
In my strange tangle of experiences I have met those looking at economic, environmental and social bottom lines from within multi-national corporations; CSR, corporate citizenship, business opp-orating in conflict zones, papers on peace. I have a connection who has lived without his own money for years, sharing and exchanging skills etc, instead. I have become inspired by an economist who, amongst other things helps encourage peace and human development work through showing the powers that be the benefits in coinage. In all cases is the counting, the rethinking and the awareness of what we must measure and do not, what we can never accurately measure (who can measure the value of access to water or clean air?), and our mutual, collaborative responsibility. I have been involved in time banks and a participant in a symposium on art and money with Kunst-Perle-Fläming and the Circle of Friends of the Alte Schule, Fläming, Germany.
Inspired by the recreation of money or the idea of it I filled bags full of assorted seeds, herbs, crystals. I made designs of money out of destroyed cheques, painted a tree around a coin no longer in currency and created a dance entitled ‘body currency’. Our understanding was once in part physical and with that comes a sense of value and ownership. Zero is a circle, which in turn is as much everything as nothing. The number 8 is a symbol of eternity too. Two is partnership whilst 1 is self reliance. It was also a great excuse for us all to dance, inspired by the poem, creating movements from the template of the words in a combination of belly-dance, circle dance and laughter.
There is also a notebook filled with life-audits, asking people to measure the worth of a healthy child, a tree in the garden, a coffee with a friend, a water supply, a good teacher, freedom of choice, a home using a tape measure, a measuring jug and a set of scales.
There is more art to come on the subject of ‘making money’ , but, for now, that’s all folks. We create.