Artifacts mean many things.

They are the products of humanity and of machine learning. They are also errors of perception and representation. At the end, they are traces of what has been and what might be — evidence of our majesty and fallibility.

These artifacts are an attempt to imagine a new token economy where both image and coinage can challenge tired histories. By harnessing the emergent potential of generative AI, they unearth the unexpected while hinting at human-machine cultures not yet discovered.

Through a process of devoted iteration, we have inserted alternative histories into the complex of ancient and medieval money, thereby posing the question: what might images of pregnancy, of family, and of domesticity mean when minted onto currency?

Our tokens tell simple stories of private lives but the identities of their subjects remain unknown. artifacts exist in a space of contested histories, displacing value from established, patriarchal power and situating it in our homes. In doing so, they ask the collector to join in the creation of new meanings.

Co-created with Alex Estorick and launched September 26, 2023 via Emergent Properties.