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Re: <nettime> In Art we Trust
Saul Albert on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:26:29 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> In Art we Trust


On 27 April 2014 16:34, d.garcia <d.garcia {AT} new-tactical-research.co.uk>wrote:

> Possibly the source of the project should have been
> anonymous like bitcoin or (excuse the very bad pun) banksy. The individual
> releases of the coins could have been unattributed and aspired to a drier
> more neutral less arty form of charisma.


Ha! I like this idea David, and I am very fond of bad puns. Especially this
one because it reminds me of an experience that I think bears out your
argument that the KRB project could be more critical/ambitious in this
respect:

I recently watched one of Banksy's auction-house satires sell at auction in
London. I took a picture of the auction podium as it happened:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bh9hR9aCAAALR6_.jpg:large

In the moment the projection of the painting (which reads: "I can't believe
you morons actually buy this shit") came up on the screen, the auctioneer,
the dramatically lit row of phone bid operatives and the entire auction
house audience all got swallowed up by the piece. We all had a moment of
bathos-induced laughter, the (very skilled and entertaining) auctioneer
addressed us as morons, and I could see everyone looking around the room,
taking in the scene anew. I think an Internet bidder bought it for about
5000 pounds.

So this was very clever on one level (for those immediately present), but
also interesting in relation to your argument about KRB because of where
the money from this auction was going. I was there to watch a Banksy being
sold that had been anonymously donated to a brilliantly successful
fund-raising campaign by volunteers in Bristol to buy the building housing
the wonderful Cube Microplex:
http://www.cubecinema.com/cgi-bin/freehold/freehold.pl . The sale of their
Banksy contributed a significant proportion to the funding total.

Whatever you think about Banksy, the cultural arbitrage those pieces
performed was not only 'good value' entertainment for the crowd at the
auction, it was also using the secondary market appreciation of the piece
to invest in a differently geared form of cultural value generated by the
Cube (an unfunded, volunteer-run cultural centre).

So if KRB was to pick up on your critique - which I think would be
worthwhile and a lot of fun - I wonder if this kind of situation might be a
possible outcome... Where the stakes are raised by SWAG asset class
investments and the founders get to proxy capital gains to their favourite
punk arts venue.

I suspect it would feel less flawed in the ways you point out, but that by
'better business being better art', the project at scale would then become
problematic in lots of interesting and different ways.

Cheers,

Saul.


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