Incongruous Monetary Matters

Austin Houldsworth

Research output: Contribution to conference typesAbstractpeer-review


Money is one of the oldest and most influential technologies in human existence. Unlike many other inventions, the future of money is heavily informed by ideas from its past. Many contemporary financial services preserve old paradigms within new technology. This is most prominent in electronic payment systems. Proponents of these systems often justify their position with notions of social responsibility, whereas proponents of anonymous cash transactions cite freedom and liberty as principles worth protecting. The reductive diagnosis of monetary alternatives is unhelpful in forming and imagining incongruous, alternative approaches to money. It is time to step beyond coeval culture and mitigate the traditional assumptions that (mis) inform our understanding of monetary systems. By severing monetary misconceptions artists and designers can produce radical reconceptions of money for alternative cultural contexts. Two examples of this are alternative currency systems: the first is designed within George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four and the second in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. The motivation behind creating these incongruous currency systems is to both bring some much-needed imagination to this historically dry subject and also to gain a perspective on the systems in use today.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventMoneyLab #3 - Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Dec 20162 Dec 2016


ConferenceMoneyLab #3
Internet address


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