Selected project for VOLTA NY 2011
Interactive installation Cash Cube.
cabin with air blower and one thousand prints of fluttering currency butterflies.
38 x 46 x 94 in.
Eurospecimens - Papilionumismia Ephemerae Europeae

Collection of 24 entomological wooden boxes with Three-dimensional cutout and hand painted archival ink prints on Hahnemühle paper. Each 20 x 15 cms / 8 x 6 in.
Edition of 5
"Reality and value as mutually independent categories through which our conceptions become images of the world", Georg Simmel

Cash Cube alludes to volatile currency markets, capital circulation and migration. The relationship between art and the ludic aspect derived from free-play, the interplay associated with games of chance and the desire to possess.

My interest in games of chance began after observing the impact of the game and the fortune factor in my interactive installation, United States of North America, where the artwork became the play and game. Audience participants were invited to spin a prize wheel for the chance to win a fictitious passport. The reaction of each individual and how the game reflected on their own personal experience gave the piece a whole new dimension.

“Play is a mode of being of the work of art itself”, Hans-Georg Gadamer

Games and play have been masterfully analyzed in Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens and in Roger Caillois’ Man, Play and Games. Caillois sees many of the structures in society as elaborate forms of games and many behaviors as forms of play.

I intend to create a parallel reality where banknotes flutter, specimen-prints of international currency as Lepidoptera, circulating inside the glass cube with an air blower. The fragile beauty, like flying butterflies in a conservatory, becomes the desired object. Who plays inside is part of the game and the game itself, immersed for a limited time and being watched. The player is seduced by the possibility of accumulation and catching the winning specimen-banknote. The subject becomes an object of contemplation from which we derive pleasure, essential features of aesthetic enjoyment.

In order to play, participants must complete a survey in which both the questions and answers reflect the money equivalent of personal “value” or “values”.

The rules, survey, and prizes of the game can be changed in response to context, location and participant speculations.

Erika Harrsch