by Josefine Hübler
Thomas Geiger (*1983) is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the relationship between body, identity and space and time at the interface of performance, sculpture and language. He is living and working in Vienna for several years now. In a playful way, he uses incremental, almost fragmentary actions to mediate direct contact between the work — objects, deceased figures & characters resembling statues, socio-historically charged sites or intangible economic systems — and the spectator.
This always results in a new relationship between the things that shape our social, economic and cultural systems of thoughts. Geiger deliberately addresses these so that we can question or recontextualize them. An integral part of his work is the conscious processual engagement with the work, thereby pointing to the equally processual character in our everyday lives, filled with constraints and structures that are constantly being deconstructed and negotiated. Consequently, a public space permeated by social and cultural complexity emerges, which Geiger investigates in a humorous way through his artistic practice. It is incredibly fascinating to see how many of his performances create a new connection between the past and the present, or in other words, how the past can be used to gain a new perspective on the present.
Geiger thus sees himself more as a facilitator or mediator by attempting to link points in time or time axes with each other and thereby pick up on social and economic tensions that have arisen at their point and place them in dialogue with the audience. Since the majority of his performances are based on language and communication, they are seen as a concrete invitation to interaction — it is not just about him alone, but rather about the self-propelling nature of the event, which is merely stimulated by the performance. The spaces of action are hence neither closed nor singular. Geiger refers to an open dramaturgy guided by coincidence, that is constantly evolving and open in new directions.
With the emergence, integration, of NFTs as well as their evolution in terms of economic processes, Geiger identifies a space rich in new opportunities and potentials for particularly digital artists. Since we are all economic subjects and exist in an ever-changing economic climate, the question remains how to deal with it and utilize it in a positive way. Through NTFs, a conflation of work, ownership, and resale value takes place. By inscribing these properties into the code of the artwork, plagiarism can be quickly detected, and resale can also be regulated by means of a margin to the artist. For Geiger, this inscription of economic properties in artworks by means of coding includes the possibility to act more self-determined as an artist and to have the distribution in one’s own hands.
His street performance “I want to become a millionaire” has been an ongoing art project in public space since the past 11 years. With a sign in his hand that reads “I want to become a millionaire”, he stands stoically in squares, streets, parks and hands out A6 cards in return for money — he has already raised over 45,000 euros this way. His special edition “The great Stock exchange” developed out of this project.
“More than 150 listed companies donated one of their shares to me — hand drawn on my Millionaire Sheets by the CEOs themselves. Selling and resale prices are according to the respective daily share prices rates on the international stock exchanges. Please be aware of the trading currencies listed.“ (Thomas Geiger)
Based on this idea, Thomas Geiger developed a new NFT edition called “I want to become a millionaire — Crypto Market” with 15 Logo-Gifs, that take reference from the current frontrunners of the Crypto market. Staying in line with the pricing model from “The great Stock exchange”, all NFTs will be aligned with their cryptocurrency share prices on the market. Since this is constantly fluctuating, the corresponding rate may change as well. Besides the digital signature, each piece is signed and numbered by hand.
The unique Portal edition “I want to become a millionaire — Crypto Market” corresponds to the crypto market, a system in which value is represented by currency. The resulting question is, how do I legitimize a capitalistic asset? What gives my emblem or that of Bitcoin greater or smaller relevance? The strong fluctuation caused by speculation and leverage indicates the gambling nature — whether tangible or intangible.
It is through the shift in value of economic power that NFTs receive their selling prices. The edition is hence a playful exploration of the processes underlying the crypto-economy and considers it as a unique mode of play. For Geiger, the passage from the material to the non-material is particularly intriguing. Beginning with his street performance, the artwork now situates itself in digital space and thus traces the path of the economization of the digital sector. The gradual blending of digitalization and value creation is of great importance for Geiger. With the development of NFTs as an object of value, artists worldwide gain a self-determining claim on the functioning of the added-value chain. One becomes a proactive component of the added-value chain and is able to shape it in a certain way.
To watch all NFTs and discover our other artist vistit https://www.prtl.art/artists/thomas-geiger
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