Walter & McBean Galleries
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
September 13–November 10, 2018
The collective Will Brown invests their exhibition budget in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, making the investment’s fluctuations visible in real time via an accompanying app which also controls elements inside the gallery. I commissioned and developed this project in collaboration with the artists over four years, and secured major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In the late 1970’s, San Francisco Art Institute sold the collection of Eadweard Muybridge photographs and ephemera to finance the creation of what is now the New Genres department. This speculative maneuver wagered the future of media against the history and foundations of the moving image. In a similar speculative action, this fall San Francisco Art Institute presents a project in which the artistic collective Will Brown invests their exhibition budget in Ethereum, a digital cryptocurrency.
The value of the Ether investment will be monitored and made visible by an accompanying public mobile application that controls various environmental elements inside the gallery based on the currency’s micro-fluctuations. Each year, Will Brown will withdraw any profits above the initial investment and direct them into a student or faculty project, an unmediated re-investment in the artistic mission of the school.