Tuesday July 05, Queens NY.
There’s been a lot of excitement about the beautifully crafted Tlacatlaolli, a new coin that was just released last Thursday in Queens. The beaver, an animal that inhabited the lands of the Yamecha, the indigenous people that once lived is Jamaica is now revived as an anti-colonial and labor symbol in the shinny-reddish coin.
The Diego de la Vega members, who conspired the creation of this alternative currency, spoke about this powerful tool of community engagement:
“We thought about creating a special currency that neighbors could use to exchange knowledge, time, labor and invent interactions that never occur through the paths that corporations set, which are mainly utilitarian roles of production and consumption that happen in designated spaces… it was also important that people actively participated in the design, thinking about new codes and values for this trading instrument” said artist Gabriela Ceja.
The process for the design of the Tlacatlaolli went through several collective stages that included artistic and pedagogical excercises in which neighbors thought about economy; the Diego de la Vega economies and finance research group invited artists, curators and members to propose ideas and discuss about value, price, world currencies and stock exchange.
The mexica word “Tlacatlaolli” refers to agriculture and the production of corn, which implies hard work, patience and care, it is the human sweat that is given to nurture the members of the community.
Fran Ilich, creator of spacebank said that one important aspect of the Tlacatlaolli is “the possibility of experimenting with a coin that is worth an honest and well done job and that it offers the opportunity of using it within the nano.macro economy of the DMS, this feature implies the growth of its circulating currency”.
The price of the tlacatlaolli has been stablished as one day of the Mexican minimum wage which is 73.04 pesos; it has a dual value of 5000 DMS, today 2.14 dlls in the apple currency converter ($3.71 when it was launched).
Tlacatlaollis can be earned at Jameco Exchange by playing patolli, joining the community labor network and visiting the exhibition that closes on July 17.