Hybrid Art


Price: Auszeichnung - Award of Distinction

Christin Lahr (DE)


Cyberarts 2011 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2011

Since May 31, 2009, I have been transferring one cent a day to the German Federal Ministry of Finance, thus helping to counter the growing mountain of debt in homeopathic doses. In the „reason for payment“ field, I always write 108 characters from Capital: A Critique of Political Economy by Marx. Bit by bit, the entire text of the book will be transferred into the state's central account via online banking. The transmission of the roughly 15,709 cents and 1,696,500 characters will take about 43 years. The increase in value of the capital investment is not even included, nor are the required labor and lifetime or the added value through cultural and symbolic capital calculated into this. Due to the exponential effects of interest and compound interest, my donation will be able to pay off the national debt of 31 May 2009, 1,746,599,197,210 Euro, within 300 years.

CAPITAL, which inscribes itself irrevocably into accounts and archives, is a donation to the entire people, entered into the state budget, administered by the currently elected representatives, safely stored at the Bundesbank. Each of the money transfers is documented by a screenshot, printed out once, signed, and given away to individual citizens. In “over-subscriptions” on translucent paper, I cross out character by character and thus produce an unreadable notation of “Capital”, consisting of counting marks and numerals.

The work counteracts the ruling political economy and senseless, degrading bureaucratism with the gesture of giving, and poses the question of meaning. The system sees itself in a mirror. Once a day, the micro-donations upset the state’s balance sheet. They triggers a sustained debate on values that produces continuous reflections and echoes.

During an exhibition I work at a capital desk, taking over a director´s chair, exposing bureaucratic structures, delivering an illustrative insight into the cultivation of capital and performing: MACHT GESCHENKE: THE MAKING OF CAPITAL.