“Money as a medium of the Imagination” in the MoneyLab Reader

The Institute for Network Cultures has just released their collection the MoneyLab Reader: An Intervention in the Digital Economy, edited by Geert Lovink, Nathaniel Tkacz, and Patricia de Vries and based on a very insightful gathering they hosted last Spring in Amsterdam.

I have a chapter titled “Money as a Medium of the Imagination: Art and the Currencies of Cooperation.”

You can read, download and purchase the whole reader here: http://networkcultures.org/blog/publication/moneylab-reader-an-intervention-in-digital-economy/

And you can download my chapter here: https://maxhaiven.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/haiven_moneylab_chapter.pdf

Here’s the abstract:

This chapter explores the work of artists who use various forms of money as media of creative expression and contestation. It advances the idea that we understand money as a medium of imagination: a means to comprehend and act within the webs of cooperation that make up the world. However, today’s particular forms of financialized, capitalist money allow us to do so only within a strict set of constraints that orient the imagination and social action towards the reproduction of capital(ism). This helps explain the sorts of tensions and opportunities for money-art, but also the dangers and pitfalls. Without accompanying material transformations, symbolic and aesthetic strategies fall short.

And here is a video of the talk I gave at the aforementioned gathering.


Earlier this year the Platypus Review published a conversation between me and Marc James Léger titled on art, politics and the imagination.  It can be found here: http://platypus1917.org/2015/01/30/crises-radical-imagination-conversation-max-haiven/

And a longer version of the same interview can be found on Léger’s website here: http://legermj.typepad.com/blog/2015/02/the-radical-imagination-beyond-moralism-and-cynicism-questions-for-max-haiven.html