Friday, January 11, 2013

Goodbye, Hello

About a year has passed since I have done anything professional on the currency / new economy front.  I know, in the past, there have been a few of you out there who have followed and supported my work, so I feel I owe you explanation both about why I have turned away from new economics and about the work I am turning to now.

First, to close an old chapter.  Eight years ago I unwittingly opened a massive can of worms when I decided to make a film about money.  At the time I didn’t realize this work would consume my every waking thought for the next seven years.  In the beginning it took a while to find the central message of the film, but once I did I could never unring the proverbial bell.  I became convinced (and still am) that while saving the world is, of course, a complex tapestry of diverse efforts, these efforts will ultimately be fruitless without confronting head on how currencies are designed.  

I took on the persona of a tireless change-maker, relentlessly pushing people to consider this largely overlooked piece of the puzzle.  In this I believe I had some success.  The Money Fix premiered at the prestigious Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and was subsequently aired on television stations in many large cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Fransisco, Paris, Madrid, and Helsinki.  It was also posted many times on vimeo, youtube, and other online video platforms, as well as being translated into more than twenty languages.  When all the online views were added up, the figure was in excess of four million.  I, unequivocally, consider that a success.  

However, numeric success in views does not equal monetary success.  I tried a few times to make a follow-up film that would go even deeper and explore the ideas promulgated by the good folks at The MetaCurrency Project.  While I still find myself most closely aligned with Eric and Art, making this film eluded me.  The difficulty came down to the fact that however insightful these ideas may be, most are abstract and many are speculative.  Unfortunately, this makes the task of engaging a broad audience with them feel sisyphean even on a good day. 

I found myself increasingly in the cognitively dissonant position of spending my time advocating for a future without money as we know it, while at the same time being consistently in need of it.  The Kickstarter Jay and I did two years ago definitely provided a boost, but $10,000 for two people to make a professional-quality feature-length film doesn’t even have the right number of zeroes.  At the time, I assumed that as the project got rolling, further resources would manifest, but I misjudged the level of commitment Jay and I had towards each other and towards the work.  For this miscalculation I take responsibility.  For any shortcomings Jay may have had, I give forgiveness and compassion.  I do consider myself fortunate to be still on good terms with him. 

Unfortunately, as that effort receded, I realized that my heart just wasn’t in the change-making game any more.  It has taken me a further year to realize that this state is unlikely to change any time soon.  I want to thank all those whose efforts were in alignment with mine and whose help enabled me to make it this far.  Of course I still want to support the efforts of all those I have met along the way, but it must be said that, while I have met many true visionaries, I have met many more false prophets.  I can only leave you all to self place, as I now must step out of the fray.  

Closing one chapter usually means opening another, and I believe I have found my next calling.  I realized that the main thing that originally drew me to currency work was the fact that, as Bernard Lietaer put it, “Money is an expression of the collective unconscious.”  For whatever reason, I am drawn to dragging into the light manifestations of our unconscious minds and making people confront them directly.  Money is clearly one such manifestation.  And there are countless others better explored through the medium of narrative cinema. 

From here forward (or at least until I need to change course again), I am dedicating my professional life to making works of art that explore the hidden recesses of the human psyche.  So without further ado, I give you my first foray into this new territory: Anitpodes.

I sincerely hope you will come along for the ride, as I have another script waiting in the wings, and a third in its early stages.

Alan the currency guy signing off, and Alan the art film maker signing on.

Antipodes from alan rosenblith on Vimeo.