Grand Opening of Time/Store in New York City

Grand Opening of Time/Store in New York City

Time/Bank at e-Flux, New York City, currency design by Lawrence Weiner, November 6, 2010. Photo by Julieta Aranda.

Grand Opening of Time/Store in New York City
November 6, 2010

Time/Store on Essex Street follows the historic Cincinnati Time Store, opened by the American anarchist Josiah Warren in 1827 as a three-year experiment in alternative economics. Warren’s idea was to develop an exchange system where the value assigned to commodities would come as close as possible to the amount of human labor necessary to produce them. For example: 8 hours of a carpenter’s labor could be exchanged for eight to twelve pounds of corn. This system eventually led to the creation of time currency, and to contemporary time banking—an international movement of alternative economics.

Time/Store on Essex Street is an extension of Time/Bank—a platform where groups and individuals in the art community can trade time and skills, bypassing money as the measure of value. Every Time/Bank transaction allows individuals to request, offer, and pay for services in “Hour Notes.” When a task is performed, the credit hours earned may be saved and used at a later date, given to another person, or contributed towards developing larger communal projects. For example, if you happen to be in Beijing or Hamburg and need someone to help you shop for materials or translate a press release, you can draw on resources from Time/Bank and get things done without cash changing hands.

Time/Store will offer a wide selection of commodities—from books to food, art, electronics, tools, clothing, and much, much more—all of which will be available for purchase with your time or time currency: Hour Notes, the official currency of Time Bank. Hour Notes can be obtained by opening an account at the Time/Bank and earning hour credits by helping others. The Hour Notes are designed by Lawrence Weiner, and come in numbered denominations of half-hour, one hour, six, twelve and twenty-four hour bills.

Time/Store will also purchase commodities that you may want to trade for time. Every Saturday, from 2-6PM, we will review and selectively acquire some useful items you may want to sell for Hour Notes, which could then be used by you to purchase other items, or to get some help or service from members of the Time/Bank.

Time/Bank is initiated by artists Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle.

For more information and to open an account, please visit

Use Value & Exchange Value

Julieta Aranda is an artist and an editor of e-flux journal.

Anton Vidokle is an editor of e-flux journal and chief curator of the 14th Shanghai Biennale: Cosmos Cinema.

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