top of page

Kill Your Darlings, Caracas:

Space as Currency and Currency as Space in Venezuela's Capital City

Gabriella's thesis investigated the capital city of Caracas and its systems of exchange, expropriations and exploitations, all in the context of an evolving spatial currency. It asked the question: how can we reveal exchange value as a function of spatial networks, and at shifting scales?

Due to the unrivaled efficiency of digital banking, paper currency is facing obsolescence. Profiles may be permanently etched on the surface of bank notes, coins, and cheques, but the manner in which these vestiges narrate our lapsed human relationships will ultimately contributes to re-defining a nation's identity and the space of its capital city. 

Over the past quarter century, Caracas, Venezuela has been subject to a spectrum of economic trends: politically advantageous oil trades in the 1980s and 1990s. The 1994 Banking Crisis, inflation rates reaching an annual height of 500% from 2015 to 2017, and a series of corrupt administrations which have ignited heinous crimes, ongoing exponential growth in impoverish neighbourhoods and the current extreme shortages of basic living supplies. It has been labeled the world's most violent city. 

This thesis is about basic relations, about how we engaged and interact with each other, with space and with social infrastructures. The city is a web of relationships - ordered, fostered, conducted and organized through space. Caracas is not only a site; it is a system of movements and exchanges, involving oil, words, money, resources, transparency, bodies in space. All the these become spatial currencies, operating at multiple scales.  

Through a series of speculative drawings that are representational, collage, photomontage based, assembly based, the spatial implication of a new paradigm of exchange are explored in a similar fashion as the hacking of the original paper currency, bound together in a manuscript. The manuscript rests on the phenomenologically heuristic desk. The wood has a smell, a texture, the paper mediums sound when the pages are turned. The desk, a metaphor for the immediate architecture program of money, the bank, encourages the person to think much more conceptually about the bank as an archive, as a repository, as a storage place, as a unit, as a memory palace. The transfer of one thing to another within the spaces we exchange, only to become obsolete. 

bottom of page