Joseph Beuys,Ulrich Rosch

What is Money

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The world of finance exerts a huge influence over our lives, being responsible for economic turmoil and seemingly interminable peaks and crashes. Whereas money was once a simple means of exchange, today it is a commodity in itself and as ‘capital’ exerts power over individuals, degrading work to tradable labour. Can we find a new way of understanding money today, so that we can begin to overcome its destructive aspects?
In November 1984 a remarkable discussion took place at the Meeting House in Ulm, Germany. It featured the radical artist Joseph Beuys, two professors (of Financial Sciences and Political Economics) and a banker. Beuys would appear to be out of place among these heavyweight academics, professionals and authors. But rather than being intimidated by his fellow panellists, Beuys — also a social and political activist — demonstrates his groundbreaking thinking on the subject, and his ability to bring fresh perspectives. Here for the first time is a transcript of this debate, together with analysis by Ulrich Rösch, which will be of equal interest to artists, economists and spiritual seekers.
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    A. Xmembuat kutipan2 tahun yang lalu
    ‘An intimate dialogue with Joseph Beuys, arguably the most important and radical artist of the late twentieth century, which takes us into the deeper motivations and understandings underlying ‘social sculpture’ and his expanded conception of art.’
    – Shelley Sacks, Artist and Director of the Social Sculpture Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University
    Joseph Beuys’s work continues to influence and inspire practitioners and thinkers all over the world, in areas from organizational learning, direct democracy and new money forms to new art pedagogies and ecological art practices. Here, in dialogue with Volker Harlan – a close colleague, whose own work also revolves around understandings of substance and sacrament that are central to Beuys – the deeper motivations and insights underlying ‘social sculpture’, Beuys’s expanded conception of art, are illuminated. His profound reflections, complemented with insightful essays by Volker Harlan, give a sense of the interconnectedness between all life forms, and the foundations of a path towards an ecologically sustainable future.
    A. Xmembuat kutipan2 tahun yang lalu
    n the diagram ‘Art = Capital’, one sees the money circuit in a broader context. Under this title, Beuys has drawn an arrow from art to economy and below another arrow which runs counter to the first, representing mutual dependence. Above this, he clarifies by writing ‘Art – Shaping – Creativity = Work’. This explains Beuys’s concept of work. Work originates in people’s creative potential. It becomes active in enterprises which transform nature into a consumable product.
    A. Xmembuat kutipan2 tahun yang lalu
    euys’s concept of money can be clearly understood, in outline, through his blackboard sketches. What strikes one most forcefully in these drawings is his depiction of the circulation of money, above which is written ‘Check this again after five years!’
    The blackboard is divided by a horizontal line into the production side (‘Prod. Seite’) and the consumption side (‘Rons.’). This in itself signals an important polarity. On the production side, Beuys has written ‘Capital = skills’. People’s skills form the capital of a national economy. As such, economic activity is restricted only by the limitations in people’s skills. Money, when issued for useful production, can be created in an unrestricted manner. This process of creating money currently takes place in the central banks of all modern societies. Money issued for productive purposes by the independent initiative of central banks flows into business enterprises. From there, it is distributed to workers as income. At the bottom of the page Beuys remarks ‘Separation of work and income.’ By this he means that the distribution of income is a fundamental process of rights and should by no means be dealt with as an economic process. Products can be assessed according to economic viewpoints. Work, however, belongs to the rights area, which invokes human dignity. The circuit is interrupted by a clearly marked threshold (Schwelle) (top/centre). This threshold indicates the market (capital M). Here the goods produced meet the consumer and money is exchanged. The consumer uses and eliminates the goods, or in other words they disappear from the economic circuit. The money used as payment flows back to the entrepreneur but it has lost all connection with the value of the goods. Beuys, therefore, writes ‘Money in reflux without value connection’ (top left). Yet, today, this ‘value-less’ money is often used to represent claims to ownership of the means of production, sunk into land ownership, etc. Beuys makes it clear that this money has an accounting consequence but no real relationship with value
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