CURRENCIES OF WELLNESS
When I imagine my personal economy of wellness, I gauge it in terms of energy. How much energy do I have? How much energy can I receive from a particular endeavor? How can I share energy with others? Energy plays a critical role in many economic theories yet is rarely the goal of wealth accumulation and circulation. For example, Marx’s theory of labor which states that the value of a good or service is determined by the amount of necessary labor needed to produce it. However, this treats energy as a means to an end, rather than a form of value itself.
Which leads me to question: if a form of currency was created that represented the transference of energy in various categories, would it serve as a tool for actual usage? Would it, at the least, lead us to question whether or not energetic experiences and efforts could be used as valid payment? Could we push out of ideology and orient our minds to think of real actions to take to
redefine our economy and its associated currencies?
They are beautiful objects. Intricate, symbolically laden and deeply focused visual collages. I was quite shocked to realize how much attention goes into the design of money. I hadn’t really been looking so closely before. They resembled certificates of achievement, talismans, historical records, cultural mappings, and much more. These positive aesthetic associations with various currencies inspired me to get to work on my own bills. I would spend as much time as I could working on them, reaching only a fraction of the intricacy that “official” bills carry. The process became the dollar as a devotional. I used the time spent illustrating them to meditate on the various resources that have given me energy and
support throughout my life.
Each of the six currencies below represent major areas in my life that provide me with a return on energy. Each are related, yet distinct. They represent communities that I have been a part of in the past, as well as ones I wish to seek in the future. They also represent aspects of myself. Ultimately, they represent an energetic system, one which thrives through connectivity and movement through these channels