On Value

12th October – 12th November 2011

Stuart Baker
Andrea Büttner
Liang & Liang
Charles Lofton
James Richards
Chris Saunders
Ben Vickers 

Curated by Gil Leung

ON VALUE looks at the highs and lows of value’s fluctuating cultural and economic form through the problem of judgment. Between use-value, value for money and moral values, the term remains ambiguous. The process of exchange is itself based upon a propensity for error and difference of opinion, where even currencies are dependent on their commodity status(1). Such vagueness around how and what we value spurs speculation as well as abuses of labour. This is particularly prevalent in cases where self-subsidised labour is traded at a loss for some form of exposure and theoretical appreciation in value. That value is so unstable and affected by judgement means that the current worth of something is generally either referred to a past market verifier or deferred to a future speculative one. Valuing anything more indeterminate that cannot be measured in some way against these referents becomes a risk. In this sense, how and what we value could be considered a problem of judgment rather than measurement – how we judge ourselves and other things.

From consensual verification to dissenting opposition, fashionable reference to obsolete currency, there is a constant fear of being judged and at the same time a fear of judging. Yet, judgement itself, having an opinion, is also having a voice. Resignation – the giving up of opinion or avoidance of judgement – does not necessarily change conditions for the better but rather perpetuates existing ones. To value without pre-validation, is, in some sense then, to take a radical and also potentially shameful position. One that is less about being right or even wrong but more about speaking up for something that speaks to you.


———–(1) Ricardo, David., On Value, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, sourced from http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP1.html,’for from no source do so many errors, and so much difference of opinion in that science proceed, as from the vague ideas which are attached to the word value.’ 

With thanks to LUX, London.

On Value
Installation View main
Installation view,  2011
Andrea Buttner uncool
Andrea Büttner, I was Uncool before you were Uncool, 2004/2005
Graffiti on shop window, screen print
On Value Vickers
Ben Vickers, Recreational Data, 2011
On Value install
Chris Saunders, Untitled (Chat Show Faces), 1993 
Colour video, 3 mins
Courtesy of LUX, London
On Value screen
Stuart Baker, Minimum Salaries, 1988
Video, 3mins. Courtesy of LUX, London
On Value Vickers Bit
Ben Vickers, Bitcoin, 2011
On Value monitor
James Richards, Practice Theory, 2006
Video, 2m 18s seconds
On Value Leung
Piaget UK
, 2011
Video 2 mins 53s
Courtesy of the curator
On Value Mugs
Liang & Liang, Entebbe Commemorative Set, 2011
Images from frozen video feed on the BBC archive page, Powermac 8500, Mac OS 8.6
On Value james Richards
Charles Lofton, I Like Dreaming USA, 1994
Video, 6 minutes
On Value Install ii
Installation view, 2011
On Value i
Ben Vickers, Vierkant Protocol Stack, 2011