Exhibition opening and artist talk: Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 7 pm
In 2014, American born artist Jennifer Lyn Morone registered herself as a corporation in Delaware, USA, as part of a protest project she developed at the Royal College of Art in London. She is now the founder, CEO, shareholder and product of her own company, Jennifer Lyn MoroneTM Inc. JLM Inc presents itself as a new business, established to determine the value of an individual. The corporation derives value from three sources and legally protects and bestows rights upon the total output of Jennifer Lyn Morone: past experiences and present capabilities, offered as biological, physical and mental services such as genes, labour, creativity, blood, sweat and tears; selling future potential in the form of shares; and accumulation, categorization and evaluation of data that is generated as a result of Jennifer Lyn Morone's life. Through the subversive adaptation of the corporate form the individual asserts their rights to their data as property and grants access to the markets otherwise inaccessible. In this way, the whole process of resources, production and ownership is rightly reclaimed by the individual.
With this project, which is also a life project with all the unpredictability that this implies, Jennifer Lyn Morone sets herself in the long tradition of subversive affirmation. Not a speculative project but a real event, JLM Inc allows the artist to translate into a powerful, clear narrative the workings of extreme capitalism, the economic system in which everybody is living today, but that only a few understand and use to their own advantage. Recognizing that, in the age of social networks and data mining, we are all “data slaves”, exploited by companies to which we hand our data for free, she subverts this mechanism by turning herself into a company, thus able to protect and profit from her data. If exploitation is unavoidable, why not head into self-exploitation?
In order to take control over the data she produces, JLM Inc is working on the development of an app called Database of ME or DOME. The app collects and stores for her the data she generates: her location, heartbeat, browsing activity, mood, etc. This way, the company can sell, lease, rent, exchange or invest the data for her own profit. But personal data are only a part of JLM Inc’s business. When you are a corporation you can turn almost anything into a good or service. By thinking of yourself as a product, you can identify what assets you possess and maximize their value by turning them into new products and services. Along these lines, JLM Inc produced Lure and Repel, two scents made from Morone’s pheromone molecules that, respectively, attract and repel men. The company also entered the pharmaceutical business by producing Rejuvanix, a hormone therapy made from Morone’s DHEA, and the luxury market by producing diamonds out of the artist’s hair. All these products (data, scents, pharmaceuticals, diamonds) are sold either online or through the art market, and promoted by commercials that satyrize the ways of communication of a commercial company.
Production of the exhibition: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2017
Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Urša Purkart
Technician: Valter Udovičić
Documentation: Jure Goršič
Solo exhibition Jennifer Lyn MoroneTM Inc is realized in the framework of the project State Machines, a joint project by Aksioma (SI), Drugo more (HR), Furtherfield (UK), Institute of Network Cultures (NL) and NeMe (CY).
Supported by: the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Urša Purkart, 00386-(0)31 568 737, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Jakopičeva 11, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia