Projects > WordBank

Can a word currency actually exist?

The artwork illustrates a new, invented term: Verbal Economics, which, to use Ferdinand de Saussure's terminology, has been created by attributing to the signifier “word” the signified “money”. This semantic switch helps to open up a space for questioning the value of every single letter and word. Moreover, it calls for the magical powers and the sacredness of the word (as understood by the Cabbala) to be restored.
The term Verbal Economics serves as an axis along which all the other fictitious terms of WordBank terminology are being placed: silence as the savings account; the spoken, written and consciousness accounts; the six socio-linguistic-register accounts etc. These terms are being translated into an aesthetic experience by means of video presentations in different languages and with the help of a website, a street campaign, commercial ads in video and animation, fliers and postcards.
Ironically though, it isn't possible to become a costumer of the bank. Despite the appearances generated by her self-presentation, the bank cannot live up to what the viewer may expect of her. The resulting gap between the potential customer's expectations and what the bank actually has to offer invites to reflect on the real meaning of the term virtuality.
For here, virtuality is being dispossessed of its ‘traditional’ status as a substitute for the real thing. On the contrary, virtuality is rather being re-defined as a target and destination in itself, leading up to real virtuality instead of virtual reality. For his part, the viewer comes to the realization that he is his own autonomous bank of words.
At this point, the individual has become his own corporation.