Speaking of alternative currencies, Philip Mernick submitted this item relating to cooperative organization tokens of the past (and an interesting new token of today). Philip writes:
Artist Minerva Cuevas has created a project for The Whitechapel Gallery in London and I helped her out by providing some of the tokens used in the displays. Another part of the project involved striking 2000 special tokens which Minerva had made in a nickel alloy at the Mexico City Mint, their mint mark being visible to the right of the figure 1. In case it isn't obvious the 1 S.COOP value is a play on co-op(erative) and scoop (of ice cream).
While I'm very happy to be back home with my family, when I learn of interesting numismatic exhibits I wish I could just pop into the tube and visit as I did when spending my summer in London. Many thanks to Phillip for his work on the exhibit and for keeping us informed. The token is an interesting first.
Below is more information on the event from the Whitechapel web site. -Editor
Thursday 5 March, 6.30-9pm
Monochrome, 26-28 Toynbee Street
Join us this Thursday for the launch of Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas’ new commission, S•COOP, for the Whitechapel Gallery.
Located both inside and outside of the Gallery, this project explores the formal and historic links between Petticoat Lane Market, the Whitechapel Gallery archive, and English cooperative movements of the 1900s.
Cuevas assumes the role of political and artistic agent; her works often propose cultural experiments that shadow existing structures and systems, and are realised in spaces that range from the public realm to museums and the internet.
The S•COOP project refers to an economic system that dates back to the 1900s, premised not on state-sanctioned tender, but on tokens offered by English co-operative societies for food and fuel. Designed by Cuevas, the S•COOP coin has been produced by the Mexican Mint to be circulated by east London market traders, in exchange for purchases made on Petticoat Lane Market. Through this alternative economic model, Cuevas explores the constructs of capital, value and commercialism.
S•COOP coins will be in circulation on Petticoat Lane Market until 7 June. They can be redeemed at Monochrome, a specially designed ice cream parlour (26-28 Toynbee Street, Wed-Sun, 11am-5pm) until 26 April.
To read the complete article, see: Minerva Cuevas Private View
At my request Philip provided the following images of some of the cooperative society tokens which inspired Cuevas' new token. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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