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One Currency For North America? An Artist Busts Borders, Issuing The ‘Amero’ At A Former Texas Bank

At the former First National Bank of Galveston, on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Anthony Thompson Shumate is minting the next mint of the kingdom. Intended to circulate across the continent from Canada to Mexico, the amero may become the north american counterpart to the more-established euro. Visitors to the bank building – now the Galveston Arts Center – can freely exchange their dollars for ameros of Shumate ‘s make .

Anthony Thompson Shumate. Five dollar Amero Bill Proof, 2012. courtesy of the artist and the … [ + ] Galveston Arts Center.

Anthony Thompson Shumate

Shumate ‘s amero dodge, more formally titled Novus Ordo Seclorum, is merely one of several monetary provocations presently on view at the Galveston Arts Center. Although they have little in common at first glance, ranging in medium from collage to electronics, the most interest works in the exhibition challenge economic abstractions with tangible speculations .

cipher does this more immediately than Kevin Curry, who literally makes money by cutting 1/8-inch squares from dollar bills. The squares from 1,029 bills are glued together to produce a newly dollar. The meek trim of the old currency barely attracts comment when he puts it back in circulation .

Curry ‘s gambit might attract copycats were it not for the fact that a single dollar can take hours to assemble. The electric potential earnings are below minimum engage. But while Curry presents his workplace as a comment on the respect of parturiency – ignoring how the numbers would work out were his ruse applied to Benjamins – the project is most insurgent for the ways in which it questions the origins of value .

A dollar is worth a dollar on explanation of common agreement, which may be reinforced by institutions including banks and the US politics, but which would collapse without popular consensus. Curry ‘s project evokes how precarious this consensus is, how vulnerable to the calamity of the commons. What would happen if his process were replicated by everyone ? He reveals money to be our coarse property and our collective province .

Kevin Curry. Value Added ( Washington ), 2011. Close-up view. courtesy of the artist and the Galveston … [ + ] Arts Center .
Kevin Curry

Of course corporate self-governance brings problems of its own, as many have experienced directly through the trials and tribulations of Bitcoin. A project by Mike Beradino is mired in these troubles. back in 2012, Beradino built a mine fishing gear dubbed Load Runner, which was intended to earn bitcoins and to invest them in gold ingots smelted from disused electronics. But Beradino made the mistake of placing his trust in the Mt. Gox central, which filed for bankruptcy following what appears to be rampant larceny. unable to buy ingots with the 27 bitcoins he mined, he was left with a rig already disused in its own right. The swindle is now exhibited as an initiation that might be considered an object moral in the follies of cryptocurrency .
Beradino sought to deposit his earnings in the by-product of their own gain : the gold from electronics driven to obsolescence by the economics of mining. It was a kind of electronic arbitrage that could n’t compete with the technological pace of cybercrime. Money generated out of nothing vanished even more cursorily than it was made. Did it ever exist in the foremost place ?
The amero does not exist, not officially at least, though there have been rumors for a long prison term. What began as an academic practice in the recently ’90s swiftly became fodder for conspiracy theories peddled by right-wingers wanting to spread fear of a borderless celibate. To Anthony Thompson Shumate, the alleged North American Union did n’t seem like such a bad theme. To give people a feel for a future in which the US formed a monetary alliance with Canada and Mexico, he began preemptively publish currency and coins back in 2009.

He is n’t the first base to have done it. The US coin designer Daniel Carr created a private-issue fantasy convention back in 2007. But the pointedly political iconography Shumate choose, and his ongoing avocation of the project in the stream political context, give it a plangency that Carr never achieved or intended. In 2019, the euro is threatened by the European right wing, and the Trump administration plans to build a wall on the mexican bound. The fear-mongers appear to have had their way with public impression, rendering the amero conspiracy adenine disused as an old bitcoin trailer truck. Shumate ‘s work stands out for his brave attack to reframe the amero as a sociopolitical opportunity .
Can we overcome bigotry and create a new commons with partake currency ? The situation in Europe remains undecided. But Shumate is not out lobbying heads of state of matter. His currentness is art. The respect of his coinage, freed from the everyday duties of cash, is to be found in the exchange of ideas .

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Category : Economy

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