The Singular Currency

December 1996

To whom it may concern:-  Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Some explanation of the nature of the ‘Kin’ell Bank coinage now or soon to be in your possession.

It is a fragment from a series of works on the relationship between art and money, and the market in them is part of the whole work.

The silver disc is a traditionally traded form.  The singular currency is solid sterling silver, with holes carved to define a figure one inside a zero.

One sculptural piece will consist of a troy pound (373 gms) of these discs spilling from a purse, and entitled “One Pound Sterling”.  To make one of these anyone can collect my pieces until they have enough; if other people make them to the same design it could happen faster.  The piece you already own can be used as a template for a cutting pattern and you or someone you know could be a participant.

Two side products of cutting discs from a sheet are also raw material for two tradeable art works; the pieces from between the discs can be domed and become fuchsia bell earrings, a market tested design;

The pieces sawn from the discs to define the one and zero that give the disc it’s value, can be collected to be fused into a single piece (of 373 gms) to be titled “One Pound of Holes”, a sculptural piece at the same prices as “One Pound Sterling” and to be displayed alongside.

A full workshop manual for these pieces will be included in the exhibition catalogue and published as “Zen and the Art of Making Money…”, and part of the exhibits would be complete workshops to buy or hire.

The singular currency has the potential to be a LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) currency for buying and selling any work by artists and craftspeople; it is possible for instance to trade your coins for an equal weight of my work in any design as full and fair payment – in a sense it’s a “market future token”.  Buy one of my coins for a present to someone else and it gives them a choice to keep it or commission a piece of their own design, a gift token.

Anyone who has tried to get me to make something for them by offering ordinary money will know how slow that can be; payment in “New Sterling” as it could be called would jump the queue over payment by conventional means and give a stronger motivation to get it done at all.

This whole work is designed to raise money to be used to get my other designs realised, and includes using a proportion of any eventual profits to support a trust fund, for any artist short of the readies, using my trade name of ACME expanded to Arts and Crafts Made Easy.

The current fantasy is a place on Upper Street, Islington, as a combined cafe, art gallery, workshop space, lending library for books and tools…; a shop-front, an interface between artists and the market-place whose existence and functionality would be part of the art-work itself.

Meanwhile the silver work can support my other ideas on their way to market – sculpture, T-Shirts, furniture, etc etc.

Another aspect of ownership of this little work of art is it’s function as a “membership token” in the CAmpaign for Real Money Again, which abbreviates to CARMA;  the exact constitution and legal framework are still a matter of speculation.  One proposal is that it should be governed by an AGM to be held on the 1st of April, All Fools Day; another is that not less than 10% of all retained profits should be blown on holding the AGM at an interesting place with your membership token as a boarding pass…

This year shall we say meet in the pub by Highbury and Islington tube and set off at 1 o’clock to look for the perfect pub by the water for next years meeting to start?

So what do you get for 1996 from Pragyan?  There are 32 discs hall-marked with that date on, to be numbered from 25 to 57, or to be more exact from 11001 to 111001, so you get your choice of number for the piece to keep you collection complete – and of course this handsome signed and numbered piece of paper which shall of course be essential for the serious collector at a fancy price some fine day at auction.  And the price it goes for is all part of the work…  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Love, Pragyan

COMING SOON:- Your chance to choose a number from 111010 upwards for 1997.


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