Wealth Beyond Big Brother

Austin Houldsworth (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


In this project the artist envisaged a monetary system designed within the cultural context of George Orwell’s’ ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’, specifically in the ‘disputed territories’ where the people hold a scepticism of institutional control. Meaning the ‘unit of account’ function of money is redundant.
Beyond the paternalistic control of big brother and between the super states of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, lie the disputed territories. Due to the continual change of ruler over these areas, no trusted financial institution has ever been established. Rather the people living within these areas have developed a payment system, which serves as both personal protection and a medium of exchange. This payment method embodies two ideas of value; on the one hand wealth and on the other life. The trader’s greed for gold is often tempered by the penultimate meaning of loss.
Initially presented at the Royal Geographical Society Conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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