East Contemporary

transmediale: Stefan Heidenreich & Rachel O’Dwyer “Stop Making Money: Valuation and Non-Monetary Utopias”

Berlin, 12:30, Feb 04, 2018, https://transmediale.de

A freeform conversation between Heidenreich (art theory lecturer) and O’Dwyer (digital/blockchain researcher).

Heidenreich’s main thesis was to abolish money and think about other forms of “matching” supply and demand. Nevertheless in his examples he kept falling back on some systems of ranking and recording that again used numeric form, not that different from monetary measurements. I got his idea of thinking “beyond” money and towards other unquantified ways of exchanging value, as for example social attention economics. At the same time, he kept using “digital” examples, which were really an antithesis of what I think he was after, if he indeed was after anything at all.

O’Dwyer arrived from another planet, planet block chain. She spoke out of her own universe of digital currencies and quasi-currencies, unable to think beyond the digital. However, maybe that is indeed an honest position in our current situation. Her examples came from the commercial and technological realm, and she would fit in well at some digital start up conference, where she probably can usually be found. Compared to Heidenreich (“talker”), she came across as a practical “problem solver” with both its advantages (able to formulate points well, pointing out problems) and disadvantages (unable to lift oneself by one’s hair out of the digital swamp).

There was hardly any conclusion to the discussion. Especially Heidenreich decided to postpone anything discussed for later, because it seemed he had no answers to anything except talking about talking about it later. In this situation O’Dwyer could not conclude either, even though her way of expressing ideas would probably her allow to do so. Overall it appeared that the main purpose of the “show” was to fill up 90 minutes of time.

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