Qompendium is an evolving and ever-changing platform for philosophy, art, culture and science, represented by a series of print publications: magazines, books and monographs. Furthermore, it is enriched by a gallery concept, a work shop and a fast-moving online portal.

What is a Time Bank?

Time Bank is a platform where groups and individuals can pool and trade time and skills, bypasing money as a measure of value. It is baded on the premise that everyone in the field of culture has something to contribute and that it is possible to develop and sustain an alternative economy by connecting existing needs with unacknowledged resources.

Sunday, 07.11.2010
17:15 (Cet)

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Time banking is not barter. Barter economies have been in practice throughout history, but the idea of using time as a unit of exchange only appeared shortly after the Industrial Revolution. The origins of time-based currency can be traced both to the American anarchist Josiah Warren, who ran the Cincinnati Time Store from 1827 until 1830, and to the British industrialist and philanthropist Robert Owen, who founded the utopian "New Harmony" community. While both systems are based on the principles of mutualism and the labor theory of value, Josiah Warren's currency was explicitly pegged to time as a measure of specific goods or labor. For example, 3 hours of carpenter's work would be considered equivalent to 3-12 pounds of corn. Meanwhile, Robert Owen's currency simply bore an inscription referring to a number of hours, which presumably could be exchanged for however many pounds of corn a farmer would deem adequate or labor of any kind.

Time/Store - Grand Opening
Time/Bank and e-flux are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Time/Store at 41 Essex Street, New York City.

Opening reception: Saturday, November 6th, 6-8 PM.
Store Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6 PM.

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.

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