Berlin’s 2011 Transmediale award nominees included Christin Lahr, for her historically conscious piece referencing German philosopher/economist Karl Marx. Since May 25, 2009, the artist has transferred one cent to the German Federal Ministry of Finance. In the ‘reason for payment’ box, the author transcribes 108 characters of Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume 1. The book, in its entirety, will be transferred in 43 years.
The work is considered a gift to the German people, appointed to the budget of Federal Republic of German, securely archived and distributed by a group of elected representatives. Every transfer is documented by screenshot, signed, and transferred to one German citizen.
If it were possible to freeze the present German financial deficit of € 1 746 599 197 210, Lahr’s gift would cancel out this amount in approximately 300 years due to the exponential effects of inflation and compound interest rates. The increase in capital value by interest rates, the amount of work, life duration, and cultural and symbolic capital have not been taken into account.
[via We Make Money Not Art]