Mr. Money

Tanit Plana


I turn on the computer. I access my bank account. I have a look at my bank statements from the last month. I realise that my money does not exist. It´s part of an invisible network, a species of supreme virtual power: in exchange for my work, those who I work for increase the figures in my bank account. These numbers are a representation of my wealth which, together with everyone else’s, is a representation of the state treasury.

I look stubbornly at money. Money doesn´t exist. I get worried.

I consult the texts of Zizek.

I contact him and ask him how much I should pay him to use a fragment of one of his texts.

Almost angry he responds that texts are there to be used, so that they circulate.

This is:

“With the prospect of electronic money, money loses its material presence and turns into a purely virtual entity (accessible by means of a bank card or even an immaterial computer code); this dematerialization, however, only strengthens its hold: money (the intricate network of financial transactions) thus turns into an invisible, and for that very reason all-powerful, spectral frame which dominates our lives. One can now see in what precise sense production itself can serve as a fetish: the postmodern transparency of the process of production is false in so far as it obfuscates the immaterial virtual order which effectively runs the show … This shift towards electronic money also affects the opposition between capital and money. Capital functions as the sublime irrepresentable Thing, present only in its effects, in contrast to a commodity, a particular material object which miraculously ‘comes to life’, starts to move as if endowed with an invisible spirit In one case, we have the excess of materiality (social relations appearing as the property of a pseudo-concrete material object); in the other, the excess of invisible speciality (social relations dominated by the invisible spectre of Capital) Today, with the advent of electronic money, the two dimensions seem to collapse: money itself increasingly acquires the features of an invisible spectral Thing discernible only through its effects

Again, the paradox is that with this specialization of the fetish, with the progressive disintegration of its positive materiality, its presence becomes even more oppressive and all-pervasive, as if there is no way the subjea can escape its hold.”

I can think through the action: I take pictures while asking.

Photography is my way of dealing with reality, giving light to things I don´t understand, so I start immediately in order to calm my anxiety.

– Go to the bank, ask for your money, take it out, touch your money. – Take pictures of the whole process. – Repeat with a minimum of three friends to create a hypnotizing effect.

“ACTION 1: TAKE OUT YOUR MONEY” is the first of 100 actions that form Mr. Money: Philosophy in action, taking photographs to think, shooting against the establishment. An encyclopaedia of fears, doubts and taboos around money, currency movements, gold, commerce, price and value, armoured vans and invisible structures.

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