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€xperiment 0.5

Performance

€xperiment 0.5 is about the value of money and the definition of value. The experiment begins by asking the question: What is an investment?

Over a one-year period, people were invited to invest the precise sum of 50 euro cents in an art project. The total amount is invested in producing a finished piece that the investor and maker know nothing about when the project begins. When the year is over, the participants gather at vacant shop premises in the city centre, the site of a recently bankrupt department store. It is here that the final work takes place. In the abandoned department store, the participants are asked to reconsider how they’d like to invest their joint, unallocated money, and the fate of this investment.

Context, Reflection

€xperiment 0.5 was made during my final year at the Institute for Performative Arts Maastricht. For a long time, I puzzled over the various possible forms the outcome of this work might take. Until I realised that the work didn’t need to be made. The biggest achievable value was in the people who wanted to take part and in the reconsiderations of what would happen to their money. It was impossible to create a ‘performance’ that was somewhat detached from that and from the investment process. At about the same time as this discovery, by sheer luck, I was given access to the premises of the V&D chain store that had just gone bankrupt. That’s how two things came together. The setting of the now-defunct department store showed how the capitalist system no longer functioned here. Suddenly it was strange to walk around in this, for long, so common location. The customer service signs, and the undressed shop dummies seemed ‘alien’ in the emptiness. In what had once been a staff canteen, someone had written with a marker on the wall: ’16 -02-2016 The End.’ A poster hanging next to it quoted: ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’. I was curious about the dreams of the people who would be coming to the disused building that night, and whether we’d be able to realise one of those dreams with our collective capital. During one of the evening sessions, people decided on a Brexit.”

In collaboration

Janneke Defesche, Suzanne Dekker, Anna Kurz, Christiaan Kastrop, MoneyLAB, the Institute for Performative Arts Maastricht

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