Aurora Sander “Dude, Where’s My Cat?”
Meet Kris, Caitlyn, Kim, Kylie and Stormi. We’re not talking about the Jenner-Kardashian clan, but instead a litter of cat-representations, existing both digitally and physically as sculptures made out of wood and canvas. Kris, Caitlyn, Kim, Kylie and Stormi were conceived as crypto-kitties, meaning that their existence is linked to the Ethereum blockchain. Their “DNA” mirrors that of the code and is unique and give the cats their specific traits. You can read more about cryptocurrencies and CryptoKitties elsewhere.
Around the time when the phenomenon of crypto-kitties really blew up in December 2017, TechCrunch.com noted: “So now we have people using Ether[eum], an asset with arguably little tangible utility – to purchase an asset with unarguably zero tangible utility. Welcome to the internet in 2017.” The idea of valuelessness and the market interacting in this way might seem jarring at first, but then again so much of capital has long since been conceptualized to such a degree that the market itself seems otherworldly, perhaps even divine; not the market, but The Market.
Even at the heart of our transactions, we find that the very idea of money is a something of a conundrum. When Richard Nixon and the United States unilaterally terminated the convertibility of the US dollar to gold on 15 August 1971, the dollar became a fiat currency. This event in itself isn’t very remarkable. Fiat currencies have existed before, and neither gold nor any other precious metal really carry any intrinsic value… Or do they? For some strange reason gold has been valorized in many cultures for a very long time. In Thomas Moore’s Utopia, however, gold is for the utopian civilization a metal that slaves have to carry, as a symbol of their captivity, just as a point of contradiction. And still, even if this really was the case somewhere in the world, it would still give gold an exceptional status.
Whatever it is, some things just takes on metaphysical properties and we follow suit. Consider again the anthropomorphization of The Market and how it is talked about: “The Marked is depressed right now.” “We are seeing an anxious Market without confidence.” and so on. And what about it’s invisible hand?
What this little observation about the free market tells us though, is that humans are more than willing to read-into meaning, assign agency and power, where there objectively might not be any. Humans create societies, institutions, power and structures, but refuse to claim that they can fully understand them. On a much “lower” scale, some of this appears true of cats too. Why are they so cute? Why do we obsess about them?
In a New Yorker YouTube feature, author Abigail Tucker explains how cats were never domesticated by humans, but rather trespassed themselves and learned how to cohabit with humans on their own terms. And from that point and on they have taken their place in human culture, temples, religion, the Internet and evidently even more… This very
cat-like way of behaving is similar to how capitalism also infiltrates, colonizes, multiplies, blends in, appears natural and everyday-like, but as it disappears into its surroundings like the Cheshire cat, can we still trace something of its grin?
For any further clarification, I can only point to the “Cryptokitties Catifesto”:
THE CRYPTOKITTIES CATIFESTO
What we believe in, what we stand for, and why we’re building CryptoKitties. The future is exciting.
And we believe that blockchain is the future—but blockchain is about as approachable as a bunch of ones and zeroes.
We want a future for everyone, not one exclusive to Bitcoin miners, VCs, ICOs, and other equally fun acronyms.
So why cats?
Pop quiz, hotshot: why not?
Cats are impossible to understand. They’re ambassadors for pharaohs, memes, and your mom’s facebook page. They don’t discriminate; they despise everyone equally.
Cats are perfect killing machines, with retractable claws, night vision, and teeth on their tongue. But cats also nap whenever they feel like it, and we respect that.
More than anything, cats are different. They’re weird, funny, and hopelessly entertaining. You don’t have to understand cats to appreciate them.
We’re not trying to build the future—we’re trying to have fun with it.
The future is meow.
Kunstnerduoen Aurora Sander er bosatt i Berlin og består av Ellinor Aurora Aasgaard (f. 1991 i Kristiandsand) og Bror Sander Berg Størseth ( f. 1987 i Bærum). Aurora Sander har deltatt på en rekke utstillinger i inn og utland. Nyere utstillinger inkluderer separatutstillingen Another Day, Another Drama ved Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain – Brest, Frankrike 2017 samt gruppeutstillingen Clouds ⇄ Forests ved 7th International Moscow Biennale, Moskva, 2017.
I Norge har de gjort seg bemerket med sin installasjon på Norsk Skulpturbiennale 2015 og WILDLIFE i Nesoddparken, 2017.
Åpning torsdag 25. okt. kl 18. Kunstnerne er tilstede! Enkel servering!