Fresh Art International

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The Art of Breaking the Bank

October 8th, 2018

In the world today, many consider capitalism a fraught economic system. Some believe that capitalism is the cause current international trade wars, accelerating student debt, the bankruptcy of entire countries, the growth of virtual currencies and the reason for coded security systems.

Artist Hilary Powell and filmmaker Dan Edelstyn, an inventive couple based in London, have decided to wreak a bit of havoc with the capitalist system in their home country by opening their own bank. Hoe Street Central Bank, AKA HSCB, is open in the former Co-Op Bank on Hoe Street in the London suburb of Walthamstow.

Powell and Edelstyn have been printing their own bank notes and selling them to buy up debt in their community. This fall, they begin producing and selling bonds—a new initiative in the orchestration of their collectively owned and distributed debt explosion. The Optimistic Foundation demonstrates what Powell refers to as pessimism of the intellect, but optimism of the will. In the collective act of abolishing local debt, they're staging a timely intervention in the name of economic justice.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Sound: Bank Job/Optimistic Foundation

Related Episodes: The Art of CapitalismOccupy Museums on Artists and Debt

Related Links: Bank JobOptimistic Foundation