Installation Imagery

A barter brings up these questions: What is possible, between us, when we determine what our work is worth?

"Like so many artists in the United States, where home ownership is linked so directly to race, class, and access to education, I am interested in the home as a symbol and also the home as an active site of struggle politically, to ensure that housing is a human right and that we can see development without displacement of long term residents.

Think of Mel Chin’sSafe-house, the house as a giant vault, his 2008 sculptural icon of Operation Paydirt in New Orleans, or David Hammons’ House Of The Future & America Street, his 2007- 2017 collaboration with a local builder, a 6'×20'-foot teaching model of Charleston, South Carolina’s signature style, or think of Alan Wexler's 1990 Crate House, where all tools slide in and out of the house, or Gordon Matt-Clark's interventions in the 1970s, when his brother had committed suicide and his parents got divorced, or think of J. Morgan Puett's living-housing-workstyling at Mildred's Lane since the 1990s."

— Caroline Woolard, interview with Larissa Harris at the Queens Museum, 2020

fig. 3-2 Artist Andrea Liu teaches a class about Jean Baudrillard at TradeSchool in 2009.
fig. 3-3 Artist Huong Ngô teaches a weaving class at TradeSchool in 2009.
fig. 3-4 Artist and entrepreneur Perry Chen teaches a class about fundraising at TradeSchool in 2009
fig. 3-8 How it Works, 2009, designed by Louise Ma, dimensions variable. Courtesy of OurGoods.org.
fig. 3-6 The Work Dress, 2007-2013, cordura, canvas, cotton-denim blend, size Tall/Medium. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Martyna Szczęsna.

Woolard’s Work Dress, hanging on a ladder, was available for barter only from 2008–2013 and led to the creation of OurGoods.org. The photograph documenting the dress was taken by Martyna Szczęsna as a barter, in exchange for a dress.

fig. 3-7 Erased Washington, 2008, legal tender, Purple Power concentrated industrial cleaning fluid, rubber band, performance. Courtesy of the artist.

Barter, time banking, and community currency reveal that national money is only one medium of exchange; only one store of value. There are so many ways to encourage flows of value to circulate in communities. Legal tender is simply ink on cotton. It can be erased with car cleaner.