This alternative Bank was first presented in September 2012 at the “Be the change” in the frame work of the “Common Reflections 2”, in ARTos foundation which was organized for the second year by Evi Tselika and Maria Papacharalambous. 1000 cheques were printed and distributed to the people interacted with the performance which they could use it the way they wished. Also presented in Istanbul as a video and in May 2013 another performance took place in the framework of ART ATHINA in the Platform Project. 1000 more cheques were printed and distributed to the visitors.
BANK OF COMMONS
“The essential nature of every human being is perfect and flawless. Yet if we remain too long enmeshed in the world, it then becomes too easy to forget where we come from, as well as to assume an ungenuine nature.”
– Lao Tzu
The Bank of Commons is a socio-artistic intervention in times of crisis. It concerns the creation of a virtual bank whose aim is to energize that part of ourselves that has to do with experiences of critical, creative and complex thought, as well as concern and compassion for our fellow human beings, the environment and nature.
Its purpose is to invite people to improve the world by themselves, discerning within them, as Noam Chomsky asserts, their true driving forces. It is an interactive work which encourages us to remember certain truths and to restore forgotten values by casting doubt on current ones.
“Faced with a world that seems to have dissipated its creative energies, it becomes clear that was is needed is a new, genuine humanism, one that struggles to give meaning to human life. It is necessary for humanity to tread new paths of the spirit, of ethos and praxis, paths profoundly different from all those that have existed until now. This is challenging and fascinating for our spirit, and it presupposes the capability of an ontological “evolution” of consciousness“.
– Dimitris Mpourantas (Economist/Writer)
“Without doubt, if we would only take a look within we would discover the abundance of surprise. A childlike surprise which would freshen up the world, making it young again like the first day of creation“.
By completing the check of the Bank of Commons, you make a personal commitment with your inner self. You can cash it in whenever and howsoever you wish. Also, you get a badge made of steel-wool symbolizing the cleaning of our soul.
In 2013 the new economic facts in Cyprus, leaded young theorists of art take the initiative to revive the Bank of Commons. From a “utopian” bank as artwork, it becomes a bank of knowledge and experimentation. A bank of different approaches of self-organization efforts to address the crisis. It combined alternative transaction techniques between the citizens and broadened its actions. It evolved and gained hundreds of new members, mostly young people who are trying to renegotiate the future.
The worsening economic crisis creates immediate needs for the Cypriot society The project now, escapes from the hands of the two artists and continues its journey into society, enriched by dozens of other youthful hands and acting like a window of opportunity for action, independence and self-organization. The aim is to guarantee basic human needs under the existing conditions. An open source to anyone who wishes to participate in the development by bringing together existing networks and allowing the creation of ‘new’ so as to develop mechanisms and initiatives in various fields. In a very short period of 3 weeks it lists around 300 members, with an important impact on society and experiencing continual growth. Meetings held at ARTos and Point Centre for Contemporary Art.