BOURDIEUX is a medium of exchange for social capital between the participants of the Spectres of Evaluation conference.
At the beginning of the conference, the currency is distributed in correlation with the hierarchies present at the conference: keynotes get the most, presenters and panelists get lots, artists get some, attendees get just a bit, and the general public get none at all.
People are invited to exchange the currency for information and items of social value in whatever way they see fit. Email addresses, ideas, inspiration, influence, contact information, inside jokes, url links, website coordinates, pdfs are bought, sold and traded with Bourdieux. Transactions are recorded in each participant’s personal log.
Participants are encouraged to discuss how they generate power in an art context, who accumulates social capital in socially engaged art works. At the end of each keynote lecture and panel discussion participants are encouraged to take an amount of Bourdieux that correlates with how much they felt that they learned/acquired during the presentation. At the end of the conference, participants use their wealth of Bourdieux to bid in a silent auction for prizes rich in social capital.
Participants can also evaluate the project’s success by submitting their evaluation form found in the currency logbook, along with a quantity of Bourdieux. Thus, participants who accumulate more Bourdieux will have a greater say in determining the project’s success.
The project aims to reveal the economy of social and cultural capital already present at the conference. It also shows how our economies of power mimic or operate under similar rules to our financial economy. Further, the project presents currency as an abstracted representation of our social relationships and explores the danger of quantifying value.