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21 Nov 2011

V2_Institute for the Unstable Media: A two Day Program on Notions of Value and Culture

Saul Albert

Test_Lab: Who Wants To Be...? + Blowup: Show Me The Money
V2_Institute for the Unstable Media


A two Day Program on Notions of Value and Culture at V2_, Rotterdam Test_Lab: Who Wants To Be...? Blowup: Show Me The Money December 1 + 2 - 20:00 - 23:00

Joris van Ballegooijen
+31(0)10 2067272

V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media
Eendrachtsstraat 10
3012 XL, Rotterdam
the Netherlands

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Get to the root of notions of 'value' and 'culture' with a two day program on the democratic distribution of public money and putting price tags on culture.

What would happen when you get a say in public spending? Test_Lab: Who Wants to Be…? is a social experiment in the form of a raucous game show developed by art collective The People Speak. All visitors chip in 10 EUR in advance to enter the game, after which they brainstorm, argue, and vote on how to spend the collective money.

Witnessing the largest cuts in state spending since World War II, everyone in the Netherlands seems to have a strong opinion on what tax money should, or should not, be spent on. As a result, large public protests have been organized in response to the proposed public expenditure reductions in education, healthcare, and culture. None of these demonstrations seemed to bear fruit however, giving rise to a feeling among Dutch citizens that their voices are not being heard. But what would happen when everyone got a say in how public money is distributed? Would education, healthcare and culture really benefit from such a democratic model? And would the end result be a solid public spending policy or a poor compromise?

Questions around value, worth and common ideals simmer under the surface of this 'direct democratic game show'. A past performance of Who Wants To Be…? resulted in the collective purchase of a woodland, but participants have also proposed to fire the host and to simply get their money back. Everything is possible in Who Wants To Be…? What is certain is that you will have a say in it.

RSVP, be quick, places are limited.

On December 2nd we continue with the program Blowup: Show Me The Money
Featuring: Saul Albert (UK), Christian Nold (UK) and Diane Ragsdale (US/NL)

What price tag do you put on priceless experiences and objects? This debate will focus on the finer points of how we think about culture and money, and how we can get out of the losing argument with our austerity-minded leaders. Guiding the conversation will be a cultural economist with experience both in Europe and the US (Diane Ragsdale), an artist who has created a 'parasitical' alternative currency (Christian Nold) and a representative from The People Speak, who masterminded the Who Wants To Be? game show / social experiment that saw V2_ audiences spending around 1000 Euro together at the previous night's Test_Lab (Saul Albert).

Admission Blowup is free if you attended Test_Lab: Who Wants to Be…?

Both events will be streamed live at