In the Christmas holiday, I read a book which is written about Capitalism economy. According the book, Capitalist invest their capital in plants or company, and they produce goods, and those are circulated in the market. And products are sold, and money is returned to capitalist. But these days, most advanced countries' economy has been making little progress. Because capitals are already spread around the world, so it is difficult to find new markets, and reduction market relates decline of profit. In conclusion, Capitalism economy will not develop more. Researching economy system is very useful for my life. I haven't thought about economy so much, and I noticed that thinking about my position in this society is really important. I'm not a capitalist, I'm in the end of market.
In the Christmas, I went back to Japan about 2 weeks. Japan is advanced country where has a lot of products, and people can get it 24 hours. But when I was walking riverside, there are a lot of waste. It is illegal dumping, because throwing waste is needed payment. So people, who doesn't want pay money, throw away waste to not conspicuous place. I'm interested in this case, because I think waste is symbol of the demise of market or products. And supplies and waste symbolize two sides of capitalism economy. It consists of buying new goods, but the other side, old things are thrown away.
I took pictures of waste and made a little picture book, but I don't have an idea for Exchange project. And I corrected receipts as a part of capitalism. Because receipt is evidence of exchange. So I will start thinking from picture book and receipts.
I researched Micheal Landy's work which are 'Credit Card Destroying Machine', 'Break Down' and 'Art Bin'. These 3 works represent value of things by destruction. 'Credit Card Destroying Machine' represents destruction and rebirth. Credit card is symbol of money and wealth. In this work, drawing is given by destroying symbol of money. It is paradoxical expression, because we give money in exchange for goods normally, but this work give drawing in exchange for destroying money. It expresses what value is in capitalism economy.
I'm interested in what value is. I think value is changed relatively, it depends on society, era and environment. For example, water is expensive at the desert than other area. And I have a question, "what is universal value?". I think that is uncontrollable thing for human. Time, life, death. These 3 things are appeared many religions which are Christianity, Ancient Egyptian religion, Islam, and Buddhism. And I find that balance is appeared on all religions. Balance is symbol of judgment. God judges between right and wrong using balance. it is quite interesting co-incidents. I want to explore it more tomorrow.
I thought that how people decide value everyday. People decide value using balance in their head on daily life. I tried measuring various things using balance on the sketchbook, it was quite difficult. Gold or silver which is expensive? It's gold, it is not difficult. But how about value of human existence? Oneself or others which is valuable? Deciding value is very difficult especially unformed things. But these days, everything has price. Employee is decided pay by employer from their time or skill. It means employer decides employees' value. I'm working in a supermarket, and my one hour's value is £650. I exchange my one hour for money. Life insurance is price of one's life. Rare dog is priced for 12,000,000 yuan as a pet in China. £1 is ¥177(¥ is Japanese currency) now, so I can buy one pound for 177 yen. Currency is priced by other currency.
I want to represent what value is. But I don't have an idea to embody it yet. So I will think about other aspect for Exchange project.
I was thinking about auction today. Auction dates back to the 500 BC in Babylonia which was selling bride. Women are priced by men that is shocking fact for me, because I'm woman. If it was contemporary society, it could be big problem. But from the opposite, bride was valuable in ancient Babylonia. And auction's characteristic is a competition like a game. So auction has an aspect which is event. I think Oreet Ashrey's 21st Century Carpet Sale emphasize that aspect.
For the art, we know some art is priced incredible value at the auction, Munch's 'The Scream' was sold for about £80,000,000 in 2012. Why is it sold such a big price? I think it is for speculation. Art has first price and second price. First price is decided when it is bought from artist. Second price is resale price. People buy art , and after they sell it more large money. But art is very risky thing for speculation, because art is not universal valuable thing. Why art is sold large money? Because art was for the privileged class, and it was often used for display of power and spread of religion. Honor is very important for them, and they compete that how much wealth and culture they have. And it may not changed today. Contemporary art has an aspect which is intellectual game. Understanding art's context and buying it display their power. Takashi Murakami said that they want to leave their name in the art history. They think it is an honor. In conclusion, auction and art have a strong ties.
We will hold an auction at the end of this project, so I want to observe and experience it.
I visited a few exhibitions today. Their common theme is a conflict. Pipilotti Rist mixes internal and external, Hiroshi Sugimoto depicts real and fake, Berlinde De Bruyckere expresses physical and psychological pain. Opposite concept is suitable to represent Exchange. Because it expresses object's characteristic, and audience will think about difference between conflicting matter.
I couldn't have a good idea for this project yet. Today, I reflected on my previous work which is 'Promise with Future'. Its theme is TIME, and I didn't explore this theme enough, so I decided that develop this theme more. I researched capitalism economy, and people exchange their time for pay, and their salary is decided others. Human is priced by human. I think it is a questionable matter. Capitalism's characteristic is rationalization to make profit, but humanism may exist outside of rationalization. So I reverse it to express how much one's time is. The form is like a check, and what priced goods is audience's time. Audience will decide their price of time and write down it on check book. Thinking about their own value is helpful to reconsider what value is.
I made an experimental work today. And tutor said it is difficult to understand that it is functional or not. If it was functional check, I would need to make a little community for exchange. Because check needs at least 3 people who are seller, customer, and bank. But I don't want to actually exchange, I want just reconsider what human value is. Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle's 'Time/Bank' is interesting work. They create new immaterial currency without money which is exchanging people's time and skill in the micro economy community.
I was making a final outcome today.
continue making an outcome.
I made 12 time check books for one year. Because salary is paid each month normally and one year is a good place to quit.
To be honest, I could not get satisfactory outcome, I was in a slump for this 2 weeks. But I got an outcome somehow, I think it is important for next step.
This work is too direct expression, because I used some words to make audience think about 'how much your value is'. I think art should be metaphorical more. So it could be other way to represent, movie, photograph, painting, sound etc... And the form is also confusing. It looks like a check, but it is not functional goods.
We did an auction at King's cross today, it was a very good experience. I learnt how to do an auction. Planning, advertising, making a catalog, and documenting, many things are required for management of auction. Actually auction is more big scale than ours, but today's activity was really good role-playing. If we have more time, advertising would be more spread, and exhibition could be more considered. In this auction, we exchange something for artwork. Deciding something to change is quite difficult, because value is not universal, it depends on person or situation. Value is uncertain.