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(AN INTRODUCTION TO) FUTURES AND OPTIONS

 

thestockexchange
From 18/03/2017 to 18/03/2017

Peter Lemmens:

"As artworks spend most of their time in storage, maybe this is the logical place to approach, think about and invest in artworks. This setting is used as a platform to unpack and discuss a work, to show a video while playing a record, to stack shipping crates and make a room divider, to discard an old work before making a new one, ... 
The storage space is activated at irregular intervals to assess its artworks and  things in its peripheral view. It hesitates between stock and stock market, wavers between stockpile and stock sale, negotiates between in and out of stock. 

I also can tell you what THESTOCKEXCHANGE is not. In mathematics this could be a proof by exhaustion, a kind of brute force method that exhausts all possibilities until what's left must be it. It's not an exhibition space, it's not a classroom, it's not a store, it's not a bar. It's also not a social space, it's not a program, a report or an annotation. It's not an institute nor is it a gallery. It's not an event, it's not a free space, it's not a white cube, it's certainly not a studio and it's not a workshop or an essay or a story. It could be a showroom, a study, an exercise or an archive, except that it's not. It's also not an invitation or an exchange, it's neither official nor professional. It's not formal and it certainly isn't theoretical. It's not a solo show but also not a group show or a retrospective. Not logistical, virtual, chronological, in sync, etcetera... It's not alternative.  
So what's left is that maybe it's all of these things simultaneously, combined in something that looks like a storage space. And to begin with, it's an empty storage space.  

So I would like to structure a minor point along three keywords as a short introduction into futures and options. 

COLLABORATION 
MODEL 
HALT AND CATCH FIRE 



COLLABORATION
There  a joke by Woody Allen where he explains that two critical magazines have merged. One was called Dissent and the other Commentary. The new name is Dysentery. 
So what we have here with THESTOCKEXCHANGE doesn't want to be a merger of two artistic practices like that. It's not a collective, it's not even doing things collectively. It's more living apart together (again Woody Allen waving across Central Park to Mia Farrow). It's an uncompromising simultaneity. It's the incompatible forced together with unsound methods. Or maybe, more accurately: not necessarily agreeing by leaving the conversation unresolved, to be picked up again the next time. 
Being aware that "all forms of consensus are by necessity an act of exclusion". 



MODEL
It's also, and this is maybe very important, not a model, it's not a manual. It's a place that constantly wants to rethink itself and therefor can not function as a recognizable model. It refuses each definition in order to redefine itself each time it is opened up. Instead it seeks out a certain discourse that disassembles the model at the exact moment it is constructed. And in doing so it offers something else. It wants to impose the discursive upon itself and everything and everyone involved, from initiative over participant to audience. It thinks about the production, distribution and economical aspects of artistic practices, but each time it intentionally trips and stumbles over the limits of its own structure. It's  aware of these and yet proceeds and actively pushes towards bankruptcy and the collapse. Not out of a predatory aesthetic destruction mode, but more the compacting, stretching, mirroring and folding that are the actions of the practical experiment. Like the chair in the plexiglass box at IKEA that undergoes a constant stress test. 



HALT AND CATCH FIRE
In computer engineering, Halt and Catch Fire is an instruction that causes the computer's central processing unit to cease meaningful operation, typically requiring a restart. It originally referred to a fictitious instruction, but later computer developers created real versions of it. It could consist of continuously firing all commands at the same time. The implication is that, by definition, there's no way for the system to recover without a restart. The expression "catch fire" in this context is normally used jokingly, rather than literal, referring to a total loss of CPU functionality during the current session. Mythically, the CPU chip would be switching some circuits so fast that it would cause them to overheat and burn.
So to end by combining these minor points, we will not venture beyond the front door. The first thing I would like to do for this space, is to retire the logo we created for it. I went online and had an online logo generator produce a new generic logo. The first one will now become a work that consists of the vinyl lettering, the invitation cards and the digital files on a flash drive. The logo will be replaced from now on, wherever it's used. 
By immediately discontinuing and rebooting something that might look like a brand, it actively pushes towards it's own bankruptcy and collapse. It's not the 'no logo' as a logo, but the irrational, unwarranted shift to yet another new image, refusing confirmation and consolidation that should be the driving force behind it. What's left might well be all possible logos simultaneously, combined in something that looks like a storage space. And to begin with, it's no longer an empty storage space."