In 1998 Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas created Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Corporation), a project that distributes free products and services like international student ID cards and barcode stickers for cheaper foods. Assuming the role of political and artistic agent, her works often propose cultural experiments that shadow existing structures and systems, and are realised in spaces that range from the public realm to museums and the internet.
The S·COOP project refers to a system of economics that dates back to the 1900s, premised not on money but on tokens offered by English co-operative societies for food and fuel. Designed by Cuevas, the S·COOP is a coin that has been produced by the Mexican Mint to be circulated by east London market traders, as change for purchases made on Petticoat Lane Market.
Cuevas subtly inserts the S·COOP coins into people’s everyday shopping experiences and into the local economy, posing questions of value and commercialism in today’s society and exploring the points of intersection between personal, commercial and artistic economies.