Market For Immaterial Value is an investigation on creating, validating and disseminating art in the era of immaterial economy. Art cannot be oblivious to its own conditions of creation and exchange. Valentina and Pieter, two young artists, are looking over a capitalist horizon and share their findings, reflections, ideas, personal utopias and fears of dystopias. What is the role of the artist in a financialized (art)world? They create spaces, online and offline, to research through discussions, which they consider to be collaborations.
Economy is far too important to leave it only in the hands of the economists.1 Financial games influence tangible things like rent and food prices affecting people’s right to live with dignity. They turn social constructions, like education, and means of personal expressions, (such as art?), into abstract speculative values that become part of the financial market. When the consequences of financial gambling have such an impact on society, economy is everybody’s business. However, the territory is vast, overwhelming and, most often, disarming. This is why we wish to create a shared space that can empower us on the topic, in which we can start imagining and testing different scenarios for the future.
We believe that the art world, a fraction of the global financial system, is an interesting place to host this discussion. Money fails to capture and represent value, even if that’s what it is made to do, which is contradictory.2 The arbitrary way that the art value forms, illustrates well the story of money’s inherent contradiction. However, to survive as an artist today one has to be an entrepreneur. Can we imagine a different entrepreneurial ethos, putting forward other values than sheer profit?
The online platform functions as a psychoanalytical tool for the investigation of a new definition of the term ‘value’, and for the exploration of contemporary economics. It is like waking up from a bad dream, feeling around in the dark for our values to check if they are intact and in place. Out of the collaborations, we are not seeking consensus but rather negotiation about a vision of value counter to the conventional mindset, that is produced by financialization.
The physical space of the market manifests in self-organized salons, and will also manifest during transmediale 2016.
1. Thomas Piketty in a lecture at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2015.
2. “Money seems to measure or represent everything today, or, more accurately, mis-measure and misrepresent everything.” (from Art and Money: Three Aesthetic Strategies in an Age of Financialisation, Max Haiven, 2015)