Mobile money as material culture at the British Museum
- October 10, 2011
If you do an internet search on mobile money, you will find that most results displayed deal with issues about technology, security, and socioeconomic development. Few people stop to think about mobile money as a cultural product or a material thing. After all, it is meant to be a tool to move money around, not an artifact that expresses our social relations. Plus, the whole idea of mobile money is to make money less material as it reduces our dependence on cash, right?
Not so, says Catherine Eagleton, a curator from the British Museum. She is currently putting together a new section on digital money in the Museum’s Money Gallery, scheduled to open to the public in June 2012. In a recent podcast, she discusses how digital money presents interesting challenges for the Museum in recording the changes that are taking place in society through forms of currency that are a store of value but often have no single physical manifestation. She is looking for objects to display in the Money Gallery that can tell a story about digital forms of money. In order to remain up-to-date, the exhibitions will change as people’s use of digital or virtual money develops.