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Art today has become an extreme exacerbation of twentieth-century attention economics, where the artist’s standing in the reputational economy is determined by his or her coefficient of specific visibility. Artworks and their authors are no less “branded” than other commodities; yet they are consumed for their uniqueness. Today, Chinese, Indian, Brazilian, etc. artists are highly capitalised in the global market. Difference is integral to marketing tactics, some use it whilst others are exploited by it. Their differentiated ethnological artefacts – of reverie and worship – bolster the broader art-belief system.

See the excellent article, ‘Reinvesting Surplus Attention in Plausible Artworlds‘, on North, East, West, South (NEWS).


The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum!               

… putting it negatively, the myth of eternal return states that a life which disappears once and for all, which does not return, is like a shadow, without weight, dead in advance, and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime, its horror, sublimity and beauty mean nothing… 

In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. This is why Nietzche called the idea of eternal return the heaviest of burdens (das schwerste Gewicht)… 

But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid?        

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being  

The Capital Paintings are a re-iteration, re-enactment or re-telling of a previous body of work by the artist, Capital, where he transcribed by hand the entire three volumes of Karl Marx’s Das Capital onto 480 two dimensional objects. Read the rest of this entry »


check it out over here

Noma’s words after the jump


I just came across this work by Joseph Beuys while researching a Fluxus lecture… if I ever get around to it I resolve to compile a sizable selection of ‘defaced money’ artworks. This piece is from 1979.

The irony of this particular work is the large, iconic artist’s signature that takes pride of place on the face of the note. This authorial statement, the form of a defacement, enacts a particular economic alchemy (such a suitable word in relation to Beuys’ oeuvre): it elevates it even closer to gold and exponentially further away from any intrinsic ‘use value’.

Perhaps, to give him credit, this was Beuys’ intention. Often though, his critical gestures were weighted heavily in favour of his own self-mythologisation.


Key to Artwork Diagram: 

  1. Concept (raw commercial intervention)
  2. Initial Transaction (unanticipated relations)
  3. Economic Filter (seven models of transaction)
  4. First Advancement of Transaction (Cork alternative auction)
  5. Bipolar Field of Constraint (Liberal Capitalist – Socialist)
  6. Second Advancement of Transaction (Belfast alternative auction)
  7. Transformation of Capital (exchanges of goods – further relations)
  8. Investment of Transformed Capital (constrained models of social transformation)
  9. Analysis / Assessment 

The National Sculpture Factory commissioned Art / not art to create a project in tandem with the NSF seminar Do You Speak Art? (or where are you coming from?) exploring the relationship between art and globalisation. In response, Art / not art purchased and auctioned (three times) an exceptional sculpture by Thai artist Pornpraeseart Yamakazi, entitled ‘Want to Be Rich?’ (see below). As part of the seminar on 3 Nov, Art / not art presented the sculpture for auction.  A bid of €500 was accepted for consideration in the ongoing art-transaction. 


Now Art / not art have purchased ANOTHER exceptional piece of contemporary art, a painting by Thai artist Mit Ja-In. You are invited to join in deciding its fate.

Using contemporary means of communication, cosmopolitan connections, transnational standards of artistic accreditation, modern money transfer systems and freight networks we have purchased and imported from the other side of the world a sculpture by an artist previously unknown to us, all in a matter of weeks.

The nature of this intervention, however, has yet to be decided. It all depends on what Art/ not art do next.


July 2020