Installation View at Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, 2015
The exchange rate is calculated with the following equation:
TOTAL MIR ÷ MIR AVAILABLE = EXCHANGE RATE
Make It Rain (∄MIR) is a social practice art project that aims to ask questions about our monetary system while alleviating poverty through microcredit lending. 50% of each ∄MIR sold will be used as microloans to help entrepreneurs in developing countries through the non-profit Kiva.org.
Inspired by complementary currencies like Bangla-Pesa, alternative currencies like BerkShares and decentralized monetary system like BitCoin, Make It Rain (∄MIR) consists of a limited circulation of 100,000 custom designed and printed currency called ∄MIR, short for “Make It Rain”- the action of throwing stacks of money up in the air. The choice of the name ∄MIR also stems from the Russian word “Мир” meaning “World”, “Peace” and “Society”.
The ∄MIR currency is strapped in 50 counts with a total quantity of 2,000 bundles available for purchase. The general public are provided an “investment opportunity” to trade U.S. dollars in exchange for this new currency. The initial exchange rate is $1 USD to ∄1 MIR.
Because of the opacity of the ∄MIR currency system, the more the ∄MIR currency is sold, the more its values increases. Similar to the decentralized digital currency Bitcoin, ∄MIR will not devalue due to a set limit in circulation. Patrons can check the latest exchange rate online.
Make It Rain (∄MIR) investigates the relationship between capitalism and our fiduciary monetary system. In 1971 during the Nixon Shock, the United States unilaterally terminated the convertibility of the US dollar to gold and rendered the US dollar a Fiat Money. The money we used nowadays is not convertible into gold, silver or any other commodity and has no intrinsic value. It is backed only by faith that it is an accepted medium of exchange.
By creating a currency that combines both Fiat Money (in this case the faith to the artist’s career) and Commodity Money (artist’s work as valuable commodity), the project examines the possibilities of the democratization of money by playing with the three functions of money- as the medium of exchange, the unit of account and the store of value.
Kiva.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income / underserved entrepreneurs in 83 countries. Kiva’s mission is “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, Kiva has crowd-funded more than 900,000 loans, totaling more than $774 Million dollars, at a repayment rate of 99 percent.
On the “HUMAN” side:
With the oil barrel spilling out a world map symbolizing the Petrodollar as the background, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is positioned as the dominant figure while a MQ-9 Reaper drone is flying over her head and bombing money signs to North America. An appropriation of Bob Marley’s song “One Love” with changed lyrics to “One World, One Love, Let’$ Get Together and $pend All night.” is juxtaposed to several Latin phrases including “Pecuniae Obediunt Omnia” (Money Masters All Things), “Absque Argento Omnia Vana” (Without Money All is in Vain), “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day) and “Veni Vidi Vici” (I came; I saw; I conquered).
On the “NATURE” side:
Cecil the Lion next to a earth that resembles a bomb. The Methuselah, one of the world’s oldest tree, is being chopped down by a human because of the money fruits it bears. Other elements include the phrase “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” from New York Hip-Hop group Wu-Tang Clan’s song “C.R.E.A.M.” and the phrase “No Money No Honey” originated from prostitution.
Following the global trends of switching to Polymer banknote, the Make It Rain (∄MIR) currency is printed on synthetic paper. To the touch, this synthetic paper has a very high quality soft finished coating that resembles the Polymer banknotes adopted by Australia, Canada, U.K. and more than 20 other countries around the world.
The ∄MIR currency notes are:
Below is a list of ∄MIR collectors. When the loan got re-payed the money will be re-loaned to help another entrepreneur in the developing countries. ∄MIR collectors will be able to see a list of every loans they generated.
stolen (bundles serial NO.23)
Stolen (bundles serial NO.40)
Tamas Banovich & Magda Sawon (bundles serial NO.54) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Dec 1, 2016)
Amy Tang & Anthony Wong (bundles serial NO.55) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Nov 1, 2016)
Gregory Galligan (bundles serial NO.56) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Dec 1, 2016)
Liane Collins (bundles serial NO.57) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Oct 1, 2016)
Liane Collins (bundles serial NO.58) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Dec 1, 2016)
Liane Collins (bundles serial NO.59) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Nov 1, 2016)
Liane Collins (bundles serial NO.60) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Jan 1, 2017)
Jocelyn Silver (bundles serial NO.61) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Jan 1, 2017)
Rene Yanez (bundles serial NO.62) Loan #1 (re-loan date: Jan 1, 2017)
Stolen (bundles serial NO.68)
Make It Rain (∄MIR) is a limited edition art project that gives back.
Only 2000 Bundles of ∄MIR currency are available.
Each bundle consists of 50 pieces of ∄MIR currency notes.
The total number of ∄MIR currency notes printed is limited to 100,000 pieces.
The Make It Rain (∄MIR) currency symbol ∄ is a mathematical symbol used in predicate calculus meaning “THERE DOES NOT EXIST“.
The choice of appropriating this specific symbol is inspired by the following quote:
When all the ∄MIR are sold out, according to the exchange rate equation, the value of the ∄MIR will be “NaN (not a number)“.
∄100,000 MIR ÷ ∄0 MIR = $Invalid Operation USD
Alternative, Complementary & Social Currency System:
UNRISD Complementary Research Papers:
Alternative Currencies Legal Resources and Tools:
Books About Money and Monetary Policies:
US and International Monetary Systems:
Greed is Good:
Historical Currency Forms & Commodity Money:
Tags: Installation, Interactive, Performance, Prints, Web, YR 2011-2015