Artifact

Scrip: The Fingers

  • December 11, 2017

This article includes both Inbound and Outbound information about this scrip currency.

Scrip: The Fingers (Desert Circulation)

Inbound Artist: unknown

Outbound Artist : M Kelley, 2013

Inbound Significance

Used by train passengers headed towards the desert city of The Fingers, this special edition Train Ticket serves both as functional passage and as commemorative art. Its intricate design captures the striking desert horizon, using a vertical visualization to depict a passage of time: the night sky hovers above a sunset (or sunrise) horizon line, and the desert is shown in a suggestion of earlier dusk (or later dawn). The design is also unique for pairing stylized motifs with more realistic depictions:  stylized pillar motifs of desert grass and a stylized motif of tumbleweed frame the identifying destination, but the more representational portrait is flanked by loose and laureled desert grains, seedpods, and crescent moon. To signify Birdfolk jurisdiction, egg shapes frame the ticket status.

The primary portrait serves two purposes: in depicting the dual faces of Bird Folk and Walking Folk, the main figure suggests both the harmonious political alliance between the two peoples, as well as the mythological figure of Corvus, a Long Face Formwalker who embodies the best traits of both nations.

As a historical note, minor controversy surrounded the original release, as the ticket failed to incorporate visages or dominant symbols of the Foxfolk, the dominant demographic of immigrants and refugees who have made The Fingers both their reservation stronghold and their home. Critics of the design felt that the exclusion exacerbated already tense relations between the two political nations and failed to accurately depict the destination in question, while defenders pointed out that the Desert itself had long been Birdfolk territory, that the City of The Fingers was a long-contested installation whose presence was tolerated by Birdfolk Council, and that Foxfolk were not taxed specifically for the purposes of railway maintenance. Ultimately, after the demonstration-turned-disaster at Powell Station, the original ticket design depicted here was replaced by a more centrist appeal, but many of the original ticket designs were purchased and never used, saved as commemorative items favored by collectors, conservative culturists, and museums.

Outbound Significance

Limited First Edition: linotype print on heavy cream paper, printed from a handcarved block, 2013

Souvenir Edition: silkscreen on fabric, 2014 to present

This Inbounds artifact was created after the release of The Inbound Lands, Abridged (as part of the Fiction Project), with the Limited First Edition appearing as an early pre-release teaser for the Canyon Region of The Inbound Lands, Unabridged (the online game). The Limited First Edition paper versions of this print were released as rewards for temporary puzzles, but a variant of this design also exists through the Souvenir Editions, as a popular silkscreen on fabric, flags, and bags, and purchased through pop-up embassies or online merch sales.

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