Value of Values, at ISEA2019 Gwangju

ISEA, the International Symposium on Electronic Arts, is the primary academic event on Media Art, research, and creation. Value of Values is an invited artwork curated by Art Center Nabi for the Lux Aeterna Exhibition.
“Value of Values (VoV) is a blockchain-based art project that uses EEG to determine the real economic value of human values.
(Electroencephalography and biofeedback). VoV is an extension of the acclaimed Brain Factory project. In both, exhibition visitors (aka “Brain workers”) give – straight from their brain waves – a three-dimensional shape to abstract concepts, like FREEDOM, PEACE, MONEY, LOVE, and POWER.
With VoV, the resulting shapes are brought into the context of “ethical realism,” an objective representation of the individual and collective hierarchy of values. While Brain Factory deals with a wide range of human abstractions, VoV only shapes those considered human values. The neuro-designed shapes, produced by individual visitors, become named and numbered digital 3D models: FREEDOM 0001, FREEDOM 0002… FREEDOM 000X. Each numbered item is an artwork registered on the Blockchain. At the end of the process, the Brain Worker, the shaper of the value, becomes the owner of the Blockchain VoV and the owner of the 3D model, the “idea” of the shape. VoVs are convertible into Matic (Polygon), a common cryptocurrency. The owner can sell or barter the VoV, or use the shape to produce artifacts, artworks, or goods.
During the process, 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 barter them for MONEY0088, he or she defines the relative value of all the involved values.
With thousands of similar transactions, we can monitor in real-time the relative value of human values for a person, a region, a country, or a continent. Suppose the median price of MONEY (i.e., the median price of all minted MONEY tokens) is 300 Matics or the equivalent in USD, and the median price of LOVE is 120 Matics. In that case, we get a clear idea of the relative value of these values. Observing the trading process produces real-time monitoring of human values in their transactional milieu. VoV is simultaneously a real currency, a critical metaphor of the art production narrative, and a dynamic reflection on its founding ontology. 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.
Value of Values is a Global Art Project based on “Critical Fusion,” the speculative and convertible merging of Fiction and Reality.”
<About the Artists>
Maurice Benayoun (MoBen, 莫奔), a conceptual media artist based in Hong Kong and Paris, initiated the Brain Factory and the Value of Values projects. Pioneer of new media art, his work has continuously attempted to redefine art practice and the artist’s place in Society. Through VR, AR, AI, and urban media art, MoBen explores the limits of the promises of advanced media, unveiling their societal impact beyond their technological and aesthetic potential. MoBen has been exhibited in major international museums, biennials, and festivals in more than 30 countries around the World. MoBen received close to 30 awards including 4 Ars Electronica awards (including the coveted Golden Nica). Since 2012, Maurice Benayoun has been a professor of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong.
Collaborative artists:
Nicolás Mendoza is a Colombian multidisciplinary scholar, architect, artist, researcher, and investor. His PhD research explored the structures that support the emergence of non-state currencies, such as blockchain technology, from an anthropological perspective. His research engagement with Bitcoin and, therefore, with blockchain technology began as early as 2010, serving on the editorial board of Bitcoin Magazine and co-editing the issue on P2P Currency of the Journal of Peer Production in 2013. His writings have been published in platforms such as Radical Philosophy and Al-Jazeera.
from Art Center Nabi website:
Tobias Klein works in Architecture, Art, Design, and Interactive Media Installation. His work generates a syncretism of contemporary CAD/CAM technologies with the site and culturally specific design narratives, intuitive non-linear design processes, and historical cultural references. His works are exhibited internationally at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Antwerp Fashion Museum, the London Science Museum, the V&A, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Museum of Glass, the Museum of Moscow, and Vancouver. He lives in Hong Kong and is an assistant professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.

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