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Value of Values By Maurice Benayoun*

"Brain Workers give shape to Human Values that are then registered to the Blockchain"

“I had PEACE, I got LOVE, and now I want MONEY.”

Brain Factory, Microwave International New Media Arts Festival, Hong Kong, October 2018

Value of Values is a form of Transactional Art, interweaving Art, Finance, Science and Poetry.

In 2016, together with the architect and artist Tobias Klein, I began working on the Brain Factory Project. Based on real time graphics, Brain Factory enables visitors to design just by thinking. They are invited to give shape to that which is most difficult to represent: human abstractions. Using non-intrusive EEG, electroencephalography, participants use their brain as a mental ecosystem where shapes strive to survive through iterative generations of dynamic forms. The human brain is not controlling, but rather assessing the evolution of the shape, trying to figure out how it can correspond to the related concept. Does this shape adequately represent SPACE, FREEDOM or POWER?

The resulting form or model can then be 3D printed to become a “Reification” of thought. If making art is giving shape to ideas, then all Brain Factory visitors, or “Brain Workers,” become artists.

In a recent evolution, with the contribution of Nicolas Mendoza, working on art and cryptocurrencies, the Brain Factory gave birth to Value of Values (VoV). The scope of VoV has been narrowed down from Human Abstractions to Human Values. Brain Workers give shape to Human Values that are then registered to the Blockchain. LOVE, FREEDOM, FAME, POWER become an abstract model. Brain Workers own the VoV Token they have neuro-designed. They can offer, barter or trade the VoV. What is the relative value of POWER, GENEROSITY, and FRIENDSHIP? Bartering PEACE and LOVE for MONEY generates Transactional Poetry: “I had PEACE, I got LOVE, and now I want MONEY”.

Thanks to trading charts, we can now understand the relative value of human values according to cultures, cities, or countries.

Maurice Benayoun (AKA MoBen) is professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. MoBen develops works that go beyond innovation, to address key issues of contemporary society.

*Value of Values By Maurice Benayoun was originally published in the UN 75th anniversary issue of CENTERPOINT NOW "Are we there yet?”, the publication and ©2020 of World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, co-produced with Streaming Museum.


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