The installation ‘The black Money Decoy’ (2016) replicates semi professional laboratory settings that are used for the cleaning process of defaced money. In a internet scam spread through spam e-mails and supported by fraudulent websites, money has supposedly been dyed black. According to the story this is done to avoid detection by authorities, to avoid toll fees and to safely transport a large amount of cash out of war conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq. The lab set up is based on a research in progress of several websites and e-mails that promote and sell needed equipment such as solutions, powders and oxidants used in the cleaning process. The hocus-pocus chemicals come along with youtube tutorials of how the money is cleaned, both the aesthetics and the script from several of these videos are combined and re-enacted in two video performances. In addition to this the installation includes a money trunk and forms such as; “Anti-drug trade form”, “UN – ANTI TERRORIST CERTIFICATE” or “Money Laundering / Drug free clearance certificates”, which are made up bureaucratics the scammer can cash on. Often victims are asked to travel to countries in Africa or to cities like London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam or New York, to help in retrieving the funds. In this stage of the scam the criminal and the victim often meet face to face – which can lead to dangerous propositions.
Storytelling, misinformation, ‘fake news’ and propaganda circulating online are produced with the intention to shape our beliefs. Monetary systems such as gold and cryptocurrency are ultimately based on the belief of its value. By examining a relatively obvious fraud story we can start to question; in which narratives do we believe and invest in? Which loopholes are used in different trading systems? What remains when the fraud is uncovered?
Exhibitions: Lange nacht der museen at Freies Theater Innsbruck (Innsbruck/Austria).
2016: Lange Nacht der Museen, Freies Theater Innsbruck (Austria)