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t. joseph surjan

t. joseph surjan

Chicago, IL, US

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Museum of Capitalism_02
Museum of Capitalism_02
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Moneta’s Museum

Money has no memory.
Without memory, can money still be linked to a place or local of origin?
There was a goddess by the name of Juno Moneta who protected the temple in Rome on the hill named Capitoline. This temple was the mint for the Roman Empire for over four centuries. Juno Moneta severed as the warder and was rewarded with her latter name being translated into both the terms for money and mint, which are still used today. The history of Juno Moneta serves as the memory of money chronologically and is therefore acting as the precedents for this proposal for the Museum of Capitalism. The site of the Museum of Capitalism will re-establish itself on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Revisiting and rebuilding a museum in the same location as the Romans will physically construct the history of what is now the modern day monetary system. With all the above said, this proposal for the Museum of Capitalism will not be a classical temple, but instead shall construct an edifice, which is uninhabitable. Only mentally will the condition of capitalism be allowed to occupy the structure.
As citizens of Spaceship Earth we were not born into a system of capitalism, it was constructed in an unnatural way to establish a logic of power. This proposal for the Museum of Capitalism represents the opposite of a hierarchical system and demonstrates a non-centralized ideal. This ideal is an architecture in continuous change just as any natural system reacts to its environment. The goddess of Juno Moneta will be reborn in her native city of Rome, but with the ability to adapt to exterior conditions and remain timeless. Remaining timeless will remove her need of capital, but it will physically remind the citizens of the irrelevance of money. She, as the Museum of Capitalism will come to be known, shall be cherished not as a temple, but as a fellow citizen of the city of Rome. She will be built in stone and yet remain forever incomplete. The ideal of her presence in the city will reflect the meaningless system she once protected.
A museum without an interior, without a vault for the storage of artifacts, without inhabitants is a museum for a new age. The coins, the artifacts, the bills, the deposits once made will seem ridiculous in a society based on total communication. The language of total communication will become the currency of exchange and Juno Moneta’s voice shall be first to speak this dialect.
There is a secret to hearing the voice of Juno Moneta, as she stands seemingly silent in the city. The secret is one of trust, a trust in the fellow citizens of Spaceship Earth and their inherit morality. Juno Moneta was entrusted to protect the mint of Rome, now the favor needs to be repaid. By constructing the Museum of Capitalism, the citizens of Spaceship Earth will build a memory money never had. The citizen’s collective memory is the only new currency needed in the city of Rome, and the Museum of Capitalism will act as its optical unconscious. 

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Rome, Italy
My Role: design scientist & writer
Additional Credits: S. Hjelte Fumanelli - project architect & digital modeling

 
Museum of Capitalism_01
Museum of Capitalism_01
Capitoline Hill in Rome
Capitoline Hill in Rome
Roman coins with Juno Moneta’s portrait circa 46 B.C.
Roman coins with Juno Moneta’s portrait circa 46 B.C.
Roman coins with Juno Moneta’s figure circa 46 B.C.
Roman coins with Juno Moneta’s figure circa 46 B.C.