« projects The Exchange

In the bank created by Arnhem artist Rob Voerman, different rules apply. You pay using a new potential currency, based on ecological resources on earth.  There’s no safe with banknotes or gold. The part of the building covering the waterfall functions symbolically  as a safe. No gold is kept here, but the 19th.century representation of nature that symbolically backs the value of the money.

Half of it is made of aluminium, coloured glass and dark plexiglas, while the other has a natural backdrop along the water. In this aluminum pavilion, you can hear the clatter of one of the Netherlands’ largest waterfalls, as the scent of the soil comes towards you.

This structure, which embraces two very different worlds, symbolizes Rob’s mission: to connect economy and ecology. According to him, this is the only way to save the natural resources of the world, and the world itself.

At age 15, Rob sent a letter to the UN asking when they would start taking serious action about the destruction of the rainforest. Now, 35 years later, the destruction still continues. In voerman mind, the only thing that could stop this developement is directly linking a financial system to ecology. The only language te be understood by capitalism. That explains Rob’s plan to introduce this money-system.
One of the largest Dutch waterfalls becomes a metaphor for an almost-lost paradise.
In the safe/aluminium dôme (which can be locked with steel doors) of Voerman's bank, there is no gold for backing the money's value, but a waterfall as a (19th. century) symbol of nature.

The new currency Voerman introduces is directly related to the surface od the earth. Each individual note (called Square's) is related to a square meter somewhere on eath. The current value of that particular note is based om the condition od that square-meter. The value goes from 1 to 100. !00 Means totally clean and untouched. 1 Is simular to a chemical toilet. The data for which the value is estimated, derives from existing data-bases, which can be found online about polution, logging, etcetra. Each QR-code on the note can be scanned and tells you what the value is and where the square-meter is positioned. Over time the value could change depending on the developements in these areas. In further projects this concept could be further developed, for example a faculty of a university.