Bank Job: Artists relaunch their own money supply amidst financial crisis

As the economic shockwaves of the coronavirus crisis deepens in the UK, millions are relying on food banks – and universal credit to get by. Artists are among the worst affected, as many of them have fallen through the cracks. Artist and filmmaker duo, Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell are responding in their own way through their project, Bank Job.

Before Covid-19 artist and filmmaker Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell created their own 'bank'; printing their own cash and selling it as art, before using the proceeds to buy up and abolish £1.2m of high interest debt. Their movie about the project is poised to come out in October 2020 but noticing the deepening crisis among their community they have relaunched their banknote artworks and set up a monthly bank job membership scheme.

BANKJOB membership is intended to educate audiences about money creation and build up a base around the UK of people hungry for change and willing to be disobedient in the pursuit of this objective.

Bank Job has recently submitted an application to the Financial Conduct Authority for approval to buy up debt directly and the team are actively seeking proposals from other UK communities willing to stand up and stick it to the man behind the curtain, abolishing millions of pounds worth of illegitimate personal debt from across Britain.

Like with their re-released Bank notes, all proceeds from the website are split into two, with half helping to pay for the FCA approval, and the other half going to four local causes (a beleaguered school, food bank, youth project and homeless kitchen). The membership site has a free option as well as various paid ones. The higher levels come with various additional perks.

You can find out more about and join the project here. You can also buy limited edition banknotes and bonds here.

​Image credit: Peter Searle 

CuratorSpace are currently featuring articles by artists, curators and organisations who want to share their experiences of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that is artists using their practice as a way of exploring new boundaries of isolation, or as a way to connect more broadly with their communities. We are also interested in hearing from curators and organisations who are offering support to artists and audiences during this time.

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