Value Quest Bourse - An electronic allegory of Casino Capitalism (2011)

Powered by an input of online community, the Value Quest Bourse (VQB) brings an issue of value, labour and accumulation of capital in a digital era. A gameplay depicts the perpetual movement of the social-economic-aesthetical metamorphoses of value, a never ceasing conversion of value into some sort of capital (social, economic, or knowledge capital). Transfer your click-labour into social critique. Vote for Value. Revolve the wheel of Casino Capitalism. Keep the Value Quest Bourse alive!

Full Description

The VQB all-electronic platform performs as an art-game-simulation of socio-economic cycle that enables real-time aggregation of "social bourse" data (VQ Roulette), and over-the-counter financial instrument transaction with broad audience (VQ Perpetual Bond). In contrast to current Casino Capitalism that created a moral hazard problem by “privatizing profits and socializing losses”, a player of VQ roulette doesn't compete for own profits but for the common good—a community aggregated score of the VQ Industrial Sectors. Upon a selection of the sector and waged bet, an electronic roulette-based engine transfers users’ click-labour into bourse records. In order to fulfill future social capital requirements, the Value Quest Bourse issued the VQ Perpetual Bond to facilitate the quest for value in the time of crisis. This unique public debt security is based on an agreement or promise made by the bond-holder that he/she takes responsibility for the survival of identified value. Thus, the VQ Perpetual Bond gauging platform serves as an electronic repository of values submitted by a community. The performative over-the-counter transaction involves exchange of a value of one sort (subjective value of a user/visitor deposed at VQ gauging platform) for the value of another sort (an art value object, i.e., the online/or/printed VQ Perpetual Bond).

It is said: The way you work, for whom you work, makes who you are. The Value Quest Bourse points up: How you invest, where you invest, makes how the world will look like. Hence, a circuits of capital (knowledge and economic) and a circuits of class struggle are spinning the cycle of society/or/commerce, and every participant is influenced by the actions―reactions of the others. As Isaac de Pinto, an investor from the 18th century, stated long time ago “Commerce is a game, and nothing can be won from the beggars. If one wins everything from everybody all the time, it would be necessary to give back the greater part of the profit voluntarily, in order to begin the game again.”

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2011
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Tuesday May 1st, 2012
  • Original Url: http://valuequest.info/
  • Work Credits:
    • Violeta Vojvodic, primary creator
    • Eduard Balaz, primary creator
    • Ivan Balgojevic, programming
  • Collective: Urtica, art and media research group
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Artist Statement

On the occasion of MayDay 2012: About Click-labour, Digital Multitude and Internet Class Struggle

"I’m reminded each day by my work that my personality doesn’t matter. That I’m made and remade by that work for the interests and profit of others" (Cantor, 2008). According to labour theory of value, developed by classical economists particularly David Ricardo and Marx, the value of a goods (price or exchanged value) reflects the amount of labour, or labour power, needed for their production. The Marxist economists declines any real productive role to capital while focusing on a fact that all profit derives from unpaid labour of exploited worker. But what is the state of labour in Information Society? Is an utopian idea of participatory democracy ended up as the meal ticket for corporate capitalism?... The accumulation of users/prosumers is the main source of profit in the new media economy. We can think of the prosumers in the terms of digital 'multidimensional proletariat' who produce content for Web 2.0/3.0 platforms but have no share in ownership. Their unpaid work is converted into capital by Web 2.0/3.0 platforms owners at the very moment when it is sold as a commodity to advertisers or to other companies. Question is how the possible Internet class struggle might look like if we consider following statement: "Web 2.0/3.0 does not extend democracy beyond the political sphere into culture and economy. Nor does it maximize the developmental powers of human beings. Instead, it mainly maximizes the developmental powers of an economic class that owns web platforms and holds the extractive power to dispossess users and to exploit workers and users in order to accumulate capital. (Fuchs, 2011)"

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