WED, 19 September 2012 from 8 pm - 10 pm
THU, 20 and FRI, 21 September 2012 from 12 pm - 6 pm
Since May 31, 2009 Christin Lahr has been transferring one cent a day to the German Federal
Ministry of Finance, thus helping to counter the growing mountain of debt in homeopathic doses.
In the „reason for payment“ field, she always writes 108 characters from Capital by Marx. Bit by
bit, the entire text of the book will be transferred into the state's central account via online banking.
The transmission of the roughly 15,709 cents and 1,696,500 characters will take about 43 years.
The increase in value of the capital investment is not even included, nor are the required labor and
lifetime or the added value through cultural and symbolic capital calculated into this. Due to the
exponential effects of interest and compound interest, her donation will be able to pay off the
national debt of 31 May 2009, 1,746,599,197,210 Euro, within 300 years.
CAPITAL, which inscribes itself irrevocably into accounts and archives, is a donation to the entire
people, entered into the state budget, administered by the currently elected representatives, safely
stored at the Bundesbank. Each of the money transfers is documented by a screenshot, printed out
once, signed, and given away to individual citizens. In “over-subscriptions” on translucent paper, I
cross out character by character and thus produce an unreadable notation of “Capital”, consisting of
counting marks and numerals.
The work counteracts the ruling political economy and senseless, degrading bureaucratism with the
gesture of giving, and poses the question of meaning. The system sees itself in a mirror. Once a
day, the micro-donations upset the state’s balance sheet. They triggers a sustained debate on values
that produces continuous reflections and echoes.
During the exhibition the artist will work at a capital desk, taking over a director´s chair, exposing
bureaucratic structures, delivering an illustrative insight into the cultivation of capital and
performing: MACHT GESCHENKE: THE MAKING OF CAPITAL.
The project received the Ars Electronica 2011 Award of Distinction.
*The German title MACHT GESCHENKE is a play on words implying “CREATE GIFTS”, or
“GIFTS OF POWER” as well as “POWERFUL GIFTS”
MACHT GESCHENKE: Das Kapital at Aksioma | Project Space
MACHT GESCHENKE: DAS KAPITAL - A Critique of Political Economy
Donation to the Federal Republic of Germany; daily transfer of Capital to the Federal Ministry of
Finance, 2009 - ca. 2052
Christin Lahr (1965, Munich) lives and works as an artist, curator and professor for Media Art in Berlin and Leipzig. She has received several scholarships and awards and exhibited in Germany and abroad. Since 1990 she has been teaching at different universities as well as curating shows for instance at the RealismusStudio of NGBK Berlin. Since 2001 Lahr is a Professor for Media Art at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig.