Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op offers organic coffee sourced locally in Chiapas from autonomous Zapatista farms. Cups of coffee and agua de jamaica (hibiscus water) can be traded for an alternative currency, barter, or time deposits (as well as optional monetary donations). Coffee is a pretext for collective conversation, and inspiration for this project comes in part from the rebel Mayan farmworkers who produce the coffee.
Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op is a performative homage to the activists who serve coffee in cities across the world, and complements this activity by offering exercises in experimental economies. The Co-op aims to connect social projects in New York City with equivalent efforts in Chiapas, and to create a horizontal financial flow between them.
For the exhibition Jameco Exchange visitors are invited to exchange for coffee or agua de Jamaica, and are also invited to play a modified version of the millenary game Patolli, a forbidden Nahuatl game that unleashes the wealth of communities. As an introduction to the game, the Co-op will accept deposits of labor, skills, and time into a ‘community bank’, and then just as the NYSE, NASDAQ, CME, LME, and other financial networks find a way to better allocate market resources, the forces behind Patolli will create and distribute goods and services to individuals and the commons.
A fully legal complementary currency, also an acceptable trade, was created for the neighborhood during the first few weeks of the exhibition.
Café Patolli be open during exhibition hours.
Members: Gabriela Ceja + Fran Ilich. Artist-in-residence: Jaime Estefes.