Project: Time/Bank

Time/Bank at Portikus
7 May–26 June 2011

Opening:
6 May 2011, 8 pm

Press preview:
6 May 2011, 11 am

Portikus
Alte Brücke 2 / Maininsel
60594 Frankfurt am Main
http://www.portikus.de
e-flux.com/timebank

On May 6, 2011, Portikus will become a bank. Initiated by artists Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle in 2009, Time/Bank is a platform that enables people to trade goods and services without using money. With a growing pool of more than a thousand participants around the world, Time/Bank allows groups and individuals to collectively exchange their time and skills through the use of credits earned through the bank, as an intermediary and guarantor. Time/Bank aims to create an immaterial currency and a parallel micro-economy for the cultural community, one that will create a sense of worth for many of the exchanges that already take place within the art field.

At Portikus, the Time/Bank will be comprised of four main components: an exhibition of artist-designed prototypes for a time-based currency; a currency mint that will print and circulate four hundred Hour Notes—one for each hour of the exhibition; an archive of notgeld notes—the legendary German alternative currency popular during the hyperinflation of the 1920s; a branch of Time/Store offering a range of commodities, groceries, and articles of daily use, as well as a selection of artist’s editions and books produced by Portikus.

Time/Bank at Portikus will host a series of public seminars and talks by the theorist and activist Franco Berardi (Bifo); Paul Glover, founder of Ithaca Hours local currency system; anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli, professor at Columbia University; and artists Raqs Media Collective.

The Frankfurt branch of Time/Bank will include a network of local art institutions and organizations, such as the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Jewish Museum, amongst others, where the currency of the Time/Bank—Hour Notes, designed by the American artist Lawrence Weiner—can be used for admission, and to make purchases in cafeterias and books stores.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Portikus will publish a book dealing with qualities of time, gift economies, alternative currencies, and other related topics. The book will include commissioned essays and illustrations, as well as contributions by members of Time/Bank.

TIme/Bank Frankfurt Lecture:

Franco Berardi (Bifo)
Tuesday, 10. May 2011, 19:00, Portikus

The main cultural transformation of modern capitalism has been the creation of refrains of temporal perception that pervade and discipline society: the refrain of factory work, the refrain of the salary, the refrain of production line. The digital transition has brought along with it new refrains: electronic fragmentation, information overload, acceleration of the semiotic exchange. Fractalization of time, competition. The essential feature of refrain is the rhythm. Rhythm is the relation of a subjective flow of signs (musical, poetic, gestual signs) with the environment: cosmic environment, earthly environment, social environment. Rhythm is singular and collective. It is singularizing the sound of the world in a special modeling of the environmental sound. But it is able to trigger a process of agglutination, of sensitive and sensible communality. Sometime people start to sing the same song, and to dance the same dance. It can be dangerous, and on this kind of homogeneous subjectivation is based fascism, and modern totalitarianism in general. But it can happen in ironic and nomadic ways. People start to create a new song, and they do it together. That’s a movement.

Franco Berardi, aka “Bifo,” founder of the famous “Radio Alice” in Bologna and an important figure of the Italian Autonomia Movement, is a writer, media theorist, and media activist. He currently teaches Social History of the Media at the Accademia di Brera, Milan.

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