A currency that answers the only truly relevant question regarding banknotes: How much?

And not: Do you like the Renaissance style (€50)? The Baroque/ Rococo style (€ 100)? The Art Nouveau style (€ 200)? Do you like George Washington ($1)? Or do you prefer Benjamin Franklin ($100)?

How much? The question is eluded by currencies that constantly attempt to create a distraction*, to pose as a series of little paintings, mini Old Masters, little architectural lessons, small more or less tear-resistant paper icons. The confu- sion is such that a good many people will come to the logical conclusion that they should frame these little pictures and display them as miniature portraits and landscapes**.

The currency conceived by the BVB contents itself with the beauty of figures and numbers, and offers this beauty to us. Born from the reversal of this situation, banknotes are both money and works of art.

And so money is used for more than just making transactions, buying currency or works of art (c.f. the BVB contemporary art collection), it is a work of art in itself.

Each issued series bears a number: 1, 5, 8, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 800, for the first edition (in 2006), then 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 22, 55, 99, 111, 222, 555 and 999 for the second edition (in 2013), as well as the bank’s name, although this informa- tion is not strictly necessary (cf. Painting and DIY work). The name of the currency will be determined according to its usage.

The ostentation of BVB banknotes and cards is (just like other banknotes and maybe also works of art — the question is worth asking) perceived as a vulgar or puerile act by those who have possessed them for a long time, and necessary by those who haven’t, or who have so only recently, or else in a temporary manner; cf. the receipt porn of superrich kids.

Every transaction made by the BVB, with the exception of secret operations, is documented by a photograph along with a complete list of the people present and the works of art that make up the transactions.

1) The nominal/face value indicated on the single printed side, for which it can be exchanged and remains theoretically exchangeable4, in euros, dollars or sterling pounds, whatever they may be.

2) The exchange value on the secondary market, which varies as everyone knows according to various factors. Comment: It is amusing to remark that a fake banknote of 50 French Francs (a Quentin de La Tour), new and from 1983, is proposed at €60 on a numismatic French website, whereas a real one is proposed at €2.50 on ebay.

The object — the banknote — conceived in the single goal of simply representing a number and this number only, which is its market value when sold, comes to life at the precise moment of its being sold, its value thereby infinitely fluctuating and the initial number (its face value), a souvenir.

The cards are nominal. Along with the bank’s name, they are the only indication on them. They belong to the BVB, and are rented annually; replaced for wear and tear, not more than once a year, in a range of more or less noble materials. The loss of one or more BVB cards does not mean one stops renting them. A person who has lost one or more cards and who would like to replace them must finance their reproduction. The cards’ price is secret. And so, since no value is clearly indicated by a number, but only suggested by the material it is made of and the work that has been done on it, like a jewel or a handbag, a particular tension can arise from the fact that the piece can be produced uniquely for its benefactor, but will never belong to him. The card’s colour is determined jointly with the collector.

Comment: The choice of material should be decided logically according to the client’s usage of his card; “You don’t choose a fresh butter interior for your Ferrari when you have children,” remarked a collector full of common sense.

The BVB reserves the right to modify all or part of the notes above-mentioned, which alone define the rules of the BVB.

Comment: About eluded fundamental questions and diversions, please note in the above-mentioned texts an absence of allusion to what could finally appear as the unique motivation for creating a bank: the prospect of being “safe” once and for all by making money (ad libitum).


* Diversion, for example, in polychrome plastic — the one industrial restaurants give to children to put them to sleep, or the one — under the mask of the most banal everyday life, above suspicion — in John Carpenter’s They Live, when abominable reality resembles the most extreme paranoia, mixing extraterrestrials, brainwashing, total servitude of the human race and the canine race, consequently.

** On Robert Kalina’s Wikipedia page, the graphic designer (and National Bank of Austria employee) who conceived/designed the Euro banknotes series, is indicated: “Categories: Austrian contemporary artist/Bank notes designer/ Born in 1955”. Then, on the (rather brief) Wikipedia page named “Category: Austrian contemporary artist”, we naturally find him next to Otto Muel and Erwin Wurm.

*** Each person who bought one or more banknotes from the BVB tacitly agrees to never claim the sum versed during the transaction.