MoneyLab #5: Matters of Currency 27–28 April 2018 @Buffalo, NY

When: April 9, 2018

MoneyLab #5: Matters of Currency

Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center

27–28 April 2018



It is no longer clear how the axiom “money is power” still holds—if it ever did—in an era of cryptocurrencies, local currencies, free trade zones as financial instruments, “cheap nature” and resource extraction, offshore tax havens, and their leaks in things like the paradise papers. The terms “making” and “money” both mutate with their globally distributed technological, financial and legal frameworks now independent of national regulations.

Common to and between all these mutations, a new relationship to the physicality of money appears: what is the matter and materiality of money? What is the current physicality of value? Currency and matter both resonate with multiple significations today, and invoke the need to examine the “making of money” from multiple disciplinary perspectives. This symposium brings together a range of voices contributing to possible answers for these questions, from fields including Philosophy, Art, Architecture, Computer Science, Community Activism and more. Participants will variously examine different forms of money—objects, life and spaces—for their physicalities, or matters.

Through workshops, talks and panel discussions, “Matters of Currency” will shed new light on money- power relations as mirrored in changing relations to technological and material transformations in the world today.



Friday, April 27


Squeaky Wheel (617 Main Street) &

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Avenue)


  • 9:00–9:30 am | Coffee/Check-in at Squeaky Wheel
  • 9:30–9:45 am | Welcome
  • 9:45–11:15 am | Workshop 1: Cassie Thornton
  • 11:15–11:30 am | Break
  • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Workshop 2: LittleSis
  • 12:30–1:30 pm | Lunch
  • 1:30–2:30 pm | Workshop 3: Paul Kolling/Terra0
  • 2:30–3:00 pm | Change of Venues to Hallwalls + Coffee Break
  • 3:00–4:00 pm | Screening: Love & Labor, Stephanie Andreou & Sarah Keeling, 2017
  • 4:00–5:00 pm | UB Plenary: Jordan Geiger, Chris Lee, Stephanie Rothenberg and UB Faculty
  • 5:00–7:00 pm | Keynote: Jason Moore


Saturday, April 28

Location: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue

  • 9:00–9:30 am | Coffee/Check-in at Hallwalls
  • 9:30–10:00 am | Welcome
  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Panel 1 | Money: Matters of Objects with Fran Ilich & Gabriela Ceja, Max Haiven, and Brett Scott | Moderator: Leigh Claire La Berge
  • 12:00–1:30 pm | Lunch
  • 1:30–3:30 pm | Panel 2 | Money: Matters of Life with Paul Kolling/Terra0, Cassie Thornton, Jaume Franquesa, Yvette Granata
    | Moderator: Jason Moore
  • 3:30–4:00 pm | Coffee Break
  • 4:00–6:00 pm | Panel 3 | Money: Matters of Spaces with Patricia de Vries, Adrian Blackwell, Caitlin Blanchfield, Caroline Woolard | Moderator: Abigail Cooke


Speakers bios:

Jason W. Moore – environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University and author of several books including “Capitalism and the Web of Life.”

Caroline Woolard – artist and organizer who works collaboratively and collectively as a founding member of Trade School, OurGoods, and BFAMFAPhD.

Leigh Claire La Berge – professes at the intersection of arts, literature, visual culture and political economy. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at BMCC CUNY.

Cassie Thornton – artist and founder of Feminist Economics Department

Max Haiven – author of several books including “Cultures of Financialization”

Fran Illich and Gabriela Ceja – artists and founders of the digital material sunflower, alternative currency as well as coffee and film co-ops. Read a review on the Aridoamérica project here.

Patricia de Vries – PhD candidate in algorithmic art and researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures

Paul Kolling from Terra0 – blockchain developers for environmental management and tokenizing of natural resources.

Caitlin Blanchfield – PhD in architectural history and comparative literature and society at Columbia University and a contributing editor to the Avery Review.

Adrian Blackwell – artist, designer and urban theorist whose work focuses on the relation between physical space and political economic forces. He is co-editor of the journal Scapegoat: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy.

LittleSis (Public Accountability Initiative) – Based in Buffalo, creators of free database that power maps influential social networks.


Organizers’ Bios:
Jordan Geiger – Assistant Professor of Architecture, University at Buffalo, Editor of “Entr’acte: Performing Publics, Pervasive Media and Architecture.”

Chris Lee – Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, University at Buffalo, Research Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut (2017/2018), considers graphic design’s entanglements with power through the intersection of typography, money, and the document.

Stephanie Rothenberg – Associate Professor of Art, University at Buffalo, Artist and researcher investigating the intersections between socio-economic systems, technology and non-human ecologies.



Organized by:

Jordan Geiger, Chris Lee and Stephanie Rothenberg of the University at Buffalo Humanities Institute’s Research Workshop “Making Money: Critical Research into Cultures of Exchange.” A project of the Technē Institute for Art and Emerging Technologies in conjunction with the Institute of Network Cultures at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Team Twitterati: Eric Barry Drasin (MFA candidate, UB Department of Art) and Yvette Granata (PhD candidate, UB Department of Media Study)

Contact information: For questions about the event please email the MoneyLab Buffalo team at