There Is No Money/SOLD
This poster - which was released in Luxembourg in April 2012, - started off with a large $ sign and the slogan - 'There Is No Money' before the slogan was changed to just the word,'SOLD!'
People have been encouraged to attach the posters and stickers to the walls of banks and other financial institutions.
'Occupy London' protestor - April 2012
What is money?
In its simplest terms money is an artificial construct designed to take the place of the barter system.
It began around five thousand years ago when metal coins were created and used to stand in for agreed units of value (e.g. one dollar had the equivalent value of one deerskin in the 18thCentury and this is the origin of the word - 'buck').
Around four hundred years ago paper money was invented as a transferable way to represent coins and/or precious metals stored in bank vaults so we didn't have to carry all of that heavy stuff around.
Most recently we have witnessed a gradual transition from hard money (coins and banknotes) to ‘soft money’ (virtual numbers in online bank accounts).
But what happens if a war or major disaster causes the internet to go down? What happens to our online money then? What will we use to buy a bottle of water or a bag of rice?
Money by Consent?
In the movie – The Matrix – there is a scene in which a boy appears to be bending a spoon using only the power of his mind. He explains he can do this if he wills himself to believe - “There is no spoon.” The implication is that perhaps he can also bend other aspects of his perceived reality to his will? Obviously we don't live in The Matrix(?) but if believe in the relativity of money perhaps we can change its current direction.
Money Machine in Luxembourg - and the doors of the Bank of England in London
In the last five years there has been a global recession. Many countries are on the brink of bankruptcy. People don’t want to spend and the banks don’t want to loan. In many cases there just really is no money.
In July the slogan on the poster and the stickers was changed to the word 'SOLD'. This seemed to be a more direct way of saying that we need to stop our governments pretending that there can be unlimited growth without destroying the environment.
Wellington - New Zealand - September 2012
Photos by Garry Hunter, Doralba Picerno and Toothfish.