VoV – Value of Values : Transactional Art on the Blockchain

Presentation of ‘VoV, Value of Values’ during Microwave Unconference 2018 at City University of Hong Kong

by Maurice Benayoun and Tobias Klein

Speculative Speculation on Values

Value of Values (VoV) is a new blockchain-based art project reflecting the real value of human values. VoV extends the Brain Factory project, in which exhibition visitors give – straight from the brain waves – a physical shape to abstract concepts, like FREEDOM, PEACE, MONEY, LOVE, POWER.

VoV brings the shapes of values into “ethical realism”. While Brain Factory deals with a wide range of human abstractions, VoV only give shape to those that could be considered as human values. The shaped values, neuro-designed by individual visitors, become named and numbered digital 3D models: FREEDOM 0001, FREEDOM 0002… FREEDOM 000X. Each numbered item becomes a token registered on the Blockchain. Thus, VoV tokens are convertible into cryptos, like Ethereum or Bitcoins. At the end of the process, the Brain Worker, the shaper of the value, becomes the owner of the token and the owner of the 3D model, the “idea” of the shape. The owner can sell or barter the token, or even freely use the shape to produce artifacts, artworks, or goods. Therefore, the visitor of the art show has become an artist giving shape to ideas, a curator validating the model according to the abstract concept, a collector preciously keeping the freshly minted token, an art dealer selling or bartering pieces of one’s collection of values for more “valuable” ones.

The transaction is the only way to know the objective value of a given value. When the owner barter PEACE 404 + LOVE 2 for MONEY88, he or she defines the relative value of the values. With thousands of similar transactions, we can monitor in real-time the relative value of human values, for one person, a region, a country, a continent. If the median price of MONEY (i.e. the median price of all minted MONEY tokens) is 3 ETH or 3000 USD and the median price of LOVE is 240 USD, we get a clear idea of the value of these values. The observation of the trading process produces a real-time monitoring of human values in their transactional milieu. VoV is at the same time a real currency, a critical metaphor of the art production narrative, and a dynamic reflection on its founding ontology. The result is a Global Art Project of what MoBen calls “Critical Fusion”: the speculative and convertible merging of Fiction and Reality.
Value of Values (VoV) explores the nexus of human creation, the value systems of artistic production, and our insatiable desire for reified representations of human thought.

Produced with the support of City University of Hong, School of Creative Media, ACIM Fellowship.


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