The speculative currency
What is value and what would it look like in an apocalyptic future?
The story we picked was Nadine’s story: Taking back the stars. It’s a story where light
pollution is battled, resulting in a very different society that’s darker, better for wildlife 1 and more focussed on the stars. Stars have become one of the most important factors in our life. They are proving that our plans to tackle light pollution is working, because
how many stars you see equals less light and air pollution. It’s a symbol for hope. “The earth is healing and so are we.”
We started to develop a currency where the stars would be the main focus. The whole world is coming together to battle this problem. Important people or landmarks are usually on currency, but what if everyone had the same important goal?: The stars. On our currency you can see the stars in real time. It has information of the actual stars you see on your continent.
The cards are glow in the dark, so you can see the money in a less illuminated soctiety.
“Solarpunk is a literary movement, a hashtag, a flag, and a statement of intent about the future we hope to create.”
“Awareness of planetary-scale environmental destruction is precisely where it derives a sense of urgency. In the face of perceived crisis, Solarpunk demands constructive, instructive fictions. Fictions that are not shy about their intended feasibility.”
Our story is connected to this theoretical angle. It’s a possitive story. A story of hope, not distopian. Our currency is fighting for a better and darker future where awareness for stars is the main goal.
“Along with others, like David Graeber, Stephenson believes the current paucity of long-promised techno-miracles that could revolutionize society is not for lack of technological capability, but for lack of collective imagination and organizati- on. The collective ability to envision better futures has been dulled by the structu- ral inhibitions of the only institutions with the resources to make big things hap- pen. Science fiction, Stephenson says, can help.”
Name currency: STARS
Material: strong paper
“The most important currency for an interstellar civilization is astronomical data. Telescopes out past the ice moons of every star will gather images of the heavens, and relay that data to all of their neighbors. Together, triangulated, those observations act as a telescope as large as the space that they span — an eye light years across.” (Medium, Repetto)
How do people have trust in the money?
This is the only physical way of paying, because paper money is gone and digital money has come. People tend to trust more in the physical alternative.
The majority of the worlds population is supporting this money.
It creates trust because of the generated codes that are on the side of the card. The money is made with a clear and common goal.
It creates trust because the whole world is using the money. “Whether we actually acknowledge it to ourselves or not, money then is a belief system.
One that accepts specific aspects of the world order and the authority of the state in all its manifestations.”
So people will participate and trust the money if not a small state or city uses it, but the whole world.
Children learn this value in school everywhere. So they get trust ealry in their childhood.
If children grow up with a
certain money, trust is created.
The cards are an alternative currency. Existing next to the digital one. You are a help against the light pollution when you buy and sell with this.
All cards have a number or value. So we came up with a system, how much is a number or a letter?
Also every number has it’s own
constellation. It’s an informational card as well as just currency, because stars and darkness are so highly valued.
Children learn about this currency in school to get to know their money system and the stars at the same time.
All continents have different currency. They did this because the new currency spread everywhere and every country has their own design. We had a period of only digital money, and people wanted something physical again.
But not the same as the money we first had, so they came with the idea of a card (like a card game). A deck of cards is one of the best examples of a non-digital game which is incredibly old. Some scholars believe it may have been invented during the Tang dynasty around the 9th century AD. The playing cards already have a value system, this is to play a game.
The speculative aspect of the currency:
The currency is helping the environment, because we are not supporting the digital money system. The card has a holographic screen where you can see the light pollution and the amount of stars. That way it’s also informational. You know if we are doing good, or if we aren’t, and you learn about your own continent’s solar system. And the money is also glow in the dark, which is speculative as well.
Is there a role for aesthetic graphic design in the currency which creates trust and value?
Yes, the numbers and the letters are clear in their value. The numbers on the side are unique codes which is scanned and is hard to replicate.
The holographic centre is very difficult to make yourself.
Stars are also aesthetical.
You can’t find the font we use online. We have a specific and designed one.
We have star formation from the continents. So you know where it’s coming from.
Why do people believe in the money?
-They believe in it, because it’s born out of a belief. A protest and anger against the digital. They believe physical money is the right way to go.
-They also believe in it because it helps to fight the light pollution. By using the money people can help. People see this as participating for a darker world.
What can the money do?:
–The money can show how many stars you can see with the naked eye. And if there is light pollution you see less stars. This way it’s a currency which is informa- tional 24/7.
Every beginning has an end;
The destruction of the currency
Destroying the currency was a part of the project. If something truely has value, how do we strip this value?
The power of creating a physical currency, other than our peers who all opted for a digital currency, is that we were able to physically destroy it any way we want. This didn’t include a ‘delete all’ button or a button which actually said ‘destroy’. We wanted it to be rebellious, done in our own ways as the currencies represented different parts of the world.
With the playing card design and the story of a never ending night, we wanted our currency to be visible in the dark. Why not make it glow?
The cards are glow in the dark and whenever the visibility of the money is gone, so is the value.
Thus we all thought of a method to get rid of the reflectiveness would that be scratching with a butter knife, cutting with a box cutter or wear and tear using sanding paper, at the end of the project, the currency was destroyed and stripped of its value.