The Fiction of Money
Hayward Gallery & Canary Wharf, London
Film, Talk, Trip, Workshop

The Fiction of Money explored how money has always occupied virtual territories, whether fictional spaces created by the imagination or in new digital realities.

We took participants on a site visit to investment bank J.P.Morgan’s trading floors, and asked them to consider how money flows between different realities on the trading floor, throughout history, and in our daily lives. We used brainstorming, games, group discussion and writing exercises to look at subjects such as Rai Stones, Bit Coins and Dark Pools. We made a new video work based on the participants’ creative writing excercises in the session.

In a separate session, we invited Nigel Dodd, Professor of Sociology at LSE, to talk about his book The Social Life of Money, and how the way we think about money needs to be reformulated. He spoke about money not as a thing, but as a process, how money needs to be “wrested from the domination of banks and governments and restored to its fundamental position as the ‘claim upon society’ as described by George Simmel”. He proposed a utopian consideration of money, for its potential to transform society.

The Fiction of Money was The Alternative School of Economics’ contribution to the exhibition Mirrorcity at Hayward Gallery, London. Mirrorcity brought together art informed by science fiction, the emergence of new speculative philosophies and the effects of the internet on our lives. The exhibition considered questions specific to our time such as: ‘How can we navigate the space between the digital and the physical?’ and ‘What is the effect of advanced technologies on our lives?’

The Fiction of Money film has been screened in the Reubens Gallery at the V&A as part of our project Common Understandings of Moneyspeak for ‘Quids In’, a V&A late event celebrating the launch of the new pound coin, March 2017.


Top photograph by Eva-Maria Gisela