The Moneychanger was commissioned for Design Destinations, an exhibition curated by Domitilla Dardi at MAXXI, the Museum of XXI century Arts, Rome.
During their educational and professional -but mainly geographical - roaming in the field of design, Tal and Giovanni have realized that, when you attend a design school populated by international students and teachers, it is as if you went in a country of its own. RCA, ECAL, IDII, DAE... are all acronyms that indicate unique, yet very similar contexts. There, you build a similar attitude, use a similar language and share similar experiences. In this non-geographic country, everyone brings his or her capital of expertise and culture, to convert it into a new currency. This is a sort of design currency.
It is difficult to give a value to the currency minted in these schools. Indeed, those who completed their studies there, then make huge efforts to estimate the value of their new capital and find contexts where to spend or invest it. Exchanging currency after a long trip is a little bit like a gamble, when you return home you always hope to gain something in this trade.
For the exhibition Design Destinations curated by Domitilla Dardi (MAXXI, Rome), Tal and Giovanni have designed a new currency and - most importantly - a currency exchange counter. A simple inkjet printer can print on Euro banknotes. During the opening of the exhibition, visitors will be able to enter their banknotes into the Moneychanger and receive them back converted into a new currency. The new banknotes celebrate the value of exploration. They illustrate the passage into a new territory, interacting with the architectures that characterize Euro banknotes.
This new currency is both priceless and worthless. Or maybe, it simply has the same value as the original one.
Fundamentally, the Moneychanger raises a doubt: how much is the education received in the above-mentioned contexts worth?
A project with Giovanni Innella