Value of Values on the Blockchain
by Maurice Benayoun and Tobias Klein
Values of Values,
when transactional aesthetics
meet neuro-design on the Blockchain
Speculative Speculation on Values
Value of Values (VoV) is a blockchain-based art project. It aims to find out the real, economic value of human values through EEG (Electroencephalography, and biofeedback). VoV is an extension to 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, POWER.
In VoV, the resulting shapes are brought into the context of an “ethical realism”, an objective representation of individual and collective hierarchy of values. While Brain Factory deals with a wide range of human abstractions, VoV only gives shape to those that could be considered as 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 Ethereum, a common cryptocurrency.. The owner can sell or barter the VoV, or even freely use the shape to produce artefacts, 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.
The transaction is the only way to know the objective value of a given value.
If the owner of the VOVs PEACE0404 + LOVE0002 decides to 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 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 1200 USD and the median price of LOVE is 240 USD, we get a clear idea of the relative 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.
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.
The result is a Global Art Project based on Critical Fusion, the speculative and convertible merging of Fiction and Reality.
Value of Values is an art project by Maurice Benayoun (aka MoBen), Tobias Klein and Nicolas Mendoza Leal, produced with the support of City University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media, ACIM Fellowship and MindSpaces, a stARTS LightHouse EU project, and MindSpaces HK, a CityU RGC grant.
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