- “Art After Money, Money After Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization”
- “Never mind the bitcoins: What art can teach us about organizing to transform money and abolish capitalism”
- “Four feminist money artists: Reimagining the economy”
- “Proletarian currencies: A hidden history of popular money subversions”
- “From wampum to weapon: Some colonial roots and legacies of capitalist money”
- Rebellious currencies: Designing money to coin the commons
- Artistic strategies for bankrupting financialization: Within/against/beyond
- Unpayable debts: Colonial debts, extractive nostalgias, imperial insolvencies
Description of the book
Short (100w): We imagine that art and money are old enemies, but this myth actually helps to reproduce a violent system of global capitalism and prevents us from imagining and building alternatives. By exploring the way over 50 radical contemporary artists engage with cash, debt and credit, Art After Money, Money After Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization identifies and assesses a range of creative strategies for mocking, sabotaging, exiting, decrypting and hacking capitalism today. Written for artists, activists and scholars, this book makes an urgent call to unleash the power of the radical imagination by any media necessary.
Long (250w): (coming soon)
- A readable but rigorous examination of the strategies radical artists use to challenge financialization and capitalism
- Shares and analyzes the work of over 50 artists with dozens of full-colour illustrations
- One of the few books to systematically explore the connection between art and money from an explicitly critical standpoint
- Argues for the abolition of both art and money as we know them today
- Written for artists, activists, academics and wider audiences
Endorsements and reviews
“Perhaps the most theoretically creative radical thinker of the moment”
David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years
“Daring, brilliant, provocative. At last a radical critique of the crypto-approach and an abolitionist approach to the problem of money and art”
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Philosopher, author of Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility
Max Haiven is Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University in Northwest Ontario and director of the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL). His previous books include Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons, The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (with Alex Khasnabish) and Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life.
Click on the images below to download hi-resultion images. All images appear courtesy of the Berliner Gazette and the credit for the individual photographer can be found in the information embedded in the image data.
Talk titles and descriptions
Each of these talks can be presented in 30-45 minutes.
1. “Art After Money, Money After Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization”
Are art and money are the best of enemies or the worst of friends? This overview of Max Haiven’s new book warns us against the temptation to assume that the art and artists are immune from the way financialized, neoliberal capitalism has transformed the imagination, and society at large. Rather, he argues, by examining the remarkable work of radical artists who have mobilized money (coins, bills, credit cards, forms of debt, financial instruments) in their work, we can learn about the potentials and perils of abolishing capitalism in our age. Illustrated with dozens of examples, this talk makes an urgent call to unleash the power of the radical imagination by any media necessary.
This book talk can be customized to fit any time span over 15minutes and for any audience, ranging from undergraduate students to artists to academics to the general public.
2. “Never mind the bitcoins: What art can teach us about organizing to transform money and abolish capitalism”
Enthusiasts, evangelists and investors sing the praises of BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies, promising that they will revolutionize our lives and our economy. But in this talk Max Haiven argues that all too often this enthusiasm is based on a misplaced understanding of money’s relationship to society. Rather than building solidarity, common power and mutual aid, new technological payments and transaction platforms may in fact be providing a means by which capitalism can reproduce itself. Counter intuitively, it may actually be art, especially the work of radical artists, that has the most to teach us about money and our potential to transform or transcend it.
3. “Four feminist money artists: Reimagining the economy”
One used an arts grant to set up a tax haven and funnel money to subversive activists. Another imported a community bank from the developing world into the heart of a German city. A third sent hexed paintings to bad bankers and organized children into a demolition squad to attack adults’ financialized imaginations. The fourth performatively dated economists to reveal the crisis of labour and ideology at the root of neoliberalism. This presentation explores the ways feminists who are also artists and feminist artists are taking aim at financialized capitalism and demanding a reimagining of the economy.
4. “Proletarian currencies: A hidden history of popular money subversions”
Popular responses to financialization and neoliberalism, both progressive and reactionary, tend to imagine that if only we could “fix” the financial and monetary system, the economy would function better and more fairly and many artists working with money make this same error. But there is also a secret history of proletarian subversions and challenges to money’s oppressive, exploitative and alienating power that offer another kind of utopian vision. Examining phenomena like Hobo Nickels and Convict Love Tokens, as well as artistic efforts to seize money as a canvas for radical ideas, this presentations asks us to think again about how we think about money’s transformative powers.
5. “From wampum to weapon: Some colonial roots and legacies of capitalist money”
Before colonists mistook it for money, Wampum (small shell beads) was used for centuries by numerous Indigenous nations in what is presently Northeastern “North America” for a wide range of diplomatic, spiritual, economic and cultural purposes. The weaponization of wampum into a method of colonial exploitation and expropriation has a lot to teach us about the nature of money and its place in a capitalist system defined by racialized extraction and disposession. Rejecting myths of (capitalist) money’s neutrality and peaceful intentions, this presentation approaches its haunted and haunting legacies. Through an examination of the work of contemporary artists and activists using money to challenge (neo)colonial capitalism we can ask better questions about how to coordinate human and more-than-human cooperation in the future.
Workshop titles and descriptions
Workshops are designed to take between 60 and 120 minutes.
a. Rebellious currencies: Designing money to coin the commons
(presentation and interactive workshop designing currency games – for anyone)
Throughout the history of capitalism, artists and other workers have appropriated, subverted, hijacked and creatively misused currencies as a means to reveal, challenge and reimagine power. This hands-on workshop explores this history and gets participants to think strategically about how to hack, reinvent or mess with money to create activist spectacles, build solidarity and awaken the radical imagination.
b. Artistic strategies for bankrupting financialization: Within/against/beyond
(mainly for artists and arts professionals)
Artists have a rough time surviving and thriving in an increasingly competitive and austere moment of financialized neoliberal capitalism… but then again so does everyone else! This workshop takes the form of a presentation, conversation and brainstorming about the possibilities of struggles within, against and beyond the “cultural and creative industries.” How can those whose vocation is the expansion of the imagination build solidarity and collective power not only to sustain themselves, but also to challenge and perhaps even overcome the systems and structures that transform us all into human resources to be extracted?
This workshop aims to help us unpack the financialized history of our present moment of racial capitalism. Through games, stories, films and conversations, we explore the concept of unpayable debts. On the one hand, unpayable debts speaks to the way empire past and present forces punitive and domineering debts on subjugated, often racialized populations. On the other, it names the silenced debts owed to the survivors of these systems of power: the restitution of land, reparations for slavery and other crimes and, more generally, the affordance of a world in which our (literal and figurative) children can thrive and contribute.
Poster and images
At the following link you can find an editable DOCX template of a poster: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1A0s3m9Vpkfl2mR8tihd9-E-C_7ecVA51
Book front/back cover
- PDF version without printing marks: AaMMaA postcard May2018 no marks
- PDF version without printing marks: AaMMaA postcard May2018 marks
Several artists whose work is featured in the book have graciously agreed to allow these images to be used in promotional activities under certain conditions. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss their use and attribution.