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Carlijn Kingma
Carlijn Kingma

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The Waterworks of Money — Future Money Progress Grant Report #1

Drawing The Waterworks of Money for 2300 hours

Project Update

The project is taking a flight. After a year in which we exhibited the animations and future scenarios that we made with the support of ILF at the Venice Biennial in the Dutch Pavilion and at the Kunstmuseum The Hague, the work will now travel to the Boijmans Depot in May 2024.

In October 2023, the project was awarded two prizes: The Dutch Design Awards (category Design Research) and the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts.

Also, last month a documentary has come out about the making-of The Waterworks of Money at the IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam) and has ended up in the top ten (out of 102 movies screened). This documentary will now appear in multiple theaters throughout the Netherlands and will screen on national television in June '24, hopefully propelling this important subject.

Progress on Objectives (KPI’s)

Reflecting on the original proposal, we are well underway to meet all our self-proposed objectives, and even a little more.

Before the ILF, in 2022, our team made a map, unraveling the money system and how it propels inequality in multiple ways. This map "The Waterworks of Money" was accompanied with a dutch animation.

In the beginning of 2023 we applied for funding at the ILF to translate and expand the animation through this map and create three future scenarios in order to internationalise our project. And so we did. We added a crucial part of research to the first map and animation resonating amongst others upon the CBDC and the problem of unequal access to the money system. We translated this animation to English and launched it on our brand new website, also made with the support of the ILF.

Next, we developed three possible alternative money systems in collaboration with various experts:

  1. The Valley of Debt-Free Money (2023) Made in collaboration with Miguel Ordonez, former president of the central bank of Spain and the International Movement for Monetary Reform. Inspired by the Chicago Plan. A plate in front reads: Until Debt do us Part. In memory of the Ill-fated marriage between money and debt.
  2. The Republic of a Thousand Coins (2023) Made in collaboration with various free banking advocates and community coins initiatives. Inspired by Friedrich Hayek’s ‘Denationalization of Money’ and the works of Bernard Lietaer. A plate in front reads: Treasured Memories. In commemoration of the monolithic money system that took us hostage. The dependence ons a single currency let to monopoly power that was too-big-to-fail and too-complex-to-handle. Public subsidies for private oligopolies destroyed our competitive markets and crunch monetary innovation. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
  3. The Agora of Democratic Money (2023) Made in collaboration with economist and politician Yanis Varoufakis. A plate in front reads: rest in pieces, in honour of the dissolution of corporate power. The era of crony capitalism and growing inequality came to an end with the dismantlement of the mega-banks and the mega corporation. Remember to never let private power trump democracy: One person, one share, one vote.

The maps are finished, the stories are written and partly recorded. The videos still need to be construed or edited.

Describing the process and the conceptual thought around the process.

The process is one of continuous reiteration. The main sources of input for creating the future scenarios are reading and conversions with a broad variety of people. This is what we experienced during the period of the grant and as well at the ILF Summit, the conversations that we had influenced the focus of the storylines. In the first scenario for instance, the focus shifted to access to liquidity.

Explain how your current view of the world is represented in your artwork and if this has changed.
The research of the artwork starts with the assumption that the money system enlarges inequality. This assumption was confirmed by the research and in that sense, my world view has not changed. However, there were many new insights that came with the research, too many to list.

What’s Next?

We need the coming six weeks to finalise the videos through the utopian scenarios. The process is delayed since we decided to alter the stories after the ILF Summit in Costa Rica. Last month we rewrote the script, currently we are finalising these scripts and next weeks we will re-record parts of the videos. Afterwards, we need to edit the videos.

Relevant Links/Resources

Top comments (1)

chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence

I love the update. Could you say more about how the experience at the ILF Summit had you revisit the scripts?