1. Hi, I am uncertain whether I am real or counterfeit.

1.1. Over time, my values changed. So did my weight, like those cowrie shells that tricked a British tax collector in India more than a century ago as he was wondering how to count them. He first chose weight. [i] I confused everyone regarding what I stood for. I moved from one hand to the next, from one country to the next. Someone thought to mark me and to track my circulation. I deceived them. I lived outside somewhere as a reserve, outside money. Someone said I was memory. [1]

2. I was melted and reshaped. In a book, as a counterfeit gold coin, I had a voice. [2] (Well, I guess Pamuk must have read both Baudelaire’s and Derrida’s La Fausse Monnaie. [3] Or perhaps he once had some sort of anachronic conversation with them about gift exchange, with Marcel Mauss hosting the dinner.) I promise not to name-drop but would love to speak to you about debt instead of capital. [ii] Do I owe you some space?

2.1. Keep me as shells, paper or metal; real or counterfeit, it doesn’t matter. Let me embrace the tactile intensity of materials: the warm fabrics of a pocket or a purse, or the touching sweat of hands. Could one find in these material spaces ‘affective intensities’? [4]

2.2. And perhaps the so-called clash of civilisations is summarised or neutralised in these old sentences:

Now let me draw your attention to something quite bizarre: When these Venetian infidels paint, it’s as if they’re not making a painting but actually creating the object they’re painting. When it comes to money, however, rather than making the real thing, they make its counterfeit. [5]

3. To the above multiple binaries I am an outsider.


[i]Bin Yang gives an account on the difficulty of counting shells in Bengal in the 18th century. See Bin Yang, Cowrie Shells and Cowrie Money: A Global History, Routledge, London and New York, 2019, Kindle edition, pp. 62–65.


[ii]An interesting discussion on the difference between debt and capital can be found in David Graeber and Thomas Piketty, ‘Soak the Rich’, The Baffler, July 2014, Donald Nicholson-Smith (trans.),; accessed 10 July 2019.


[1] Narayana R. Kocherlakota, ‘Money Is Memory’, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Research Department Staff Report, no. 218, 1996.


[2] Orhan Pamuk, ‘I Am a Gold Coin’, in My Name is Red, Erdağ M. Göknar (trans.), Random House, New York, 2002, pp. 102–106.

[3] Charles Baudelaire, ‘La Fausse Monnaie’, cited in Jacques Derrida, Given Time: I. Counterfeit Money, Peggy Kamuf (trans.), University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1992, pp. 31–32.

[4] See ‘T43, Scholium c.’, on the conceptual relation between affect and intensity, and ‘T94, Speculative Strategy K’, on the use of the term ‘affective intensities’ in relation to the gift and surplus-value of care. Brian Massumi, 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto, University of Minnesota Press, 2018, Kindle edition , Loc 662–682 and Loc 1765–1785.

[5] Pamuk, p. 104.

Air Jordan 1

Azza Zein is a Beirut-born, Melbourne-based artist currently pursuing an MFA at VCA. Her research explores how artworks can comment on the dematerialization of the economy and invisibility of labour. She has had solo and group exhibitions in artist-run spaces around Melbourne and participated in art residencies in Argentina and India.

秋コーデ メンズ【2020/2021年最新】 , メンズファッションメディア