Art is a form of alchemy, taking base materials and turning them into something precious.
The Zero Sum Art Project explores the journey of a work of art from everyday object to valuable artifact.
Instead of a studio practice that is a romantic, mysterious endeavor, separated somehow from the everyday world, the workings of the Zero Sum Studio are as transparent and open to the viewer as possible.
The Zero Sum Art Project creates a financially isolated studio environment, in which every cost and every profit is documented, to see if it is possible to create a self-sustaining studio practice.
At ZSAP, the money spent on materials and fees and any other specifically art related expenses is directly tied to the money brought in by the sale of the artwork, and this relationship is accessible to the viewer at all times. Ebay plays a major role in this process, allowing the viewer to directly determine the value of the artwork through the bidding process. The starting bids for all auctions are based on the fees associated with the auction and the cost of materials in the artwork for sale (for purposes of this project, all of the artist's "time" is "free"). The first artwork for sale was made purely from free materials - mostly items that were sent as give-aways by charities requesting donations, or pens and pencils given away as promotional items. Profit is spent on improving the materials that go into the artwork, or the shipping of the artwork. Should the artwork fail to make a profit, the materials used to make the next piece will remain very humble. Should the project stay in the red for several consecutive sales, the "studio" collapses.
The Zero Sum Art Project Rules|
Artwork can be made only with free/found materials or materials purchased with proceeds from the sale of Zero Sum artworks.The target balance at all times is Zero.
Zero Sum artwork will be sold on eBay, with the opening bid based solely on the costs of the materials and the auction fees related to the artwork being sold.
If the artwork sells for a greater amount than the opening bid, any "profit" must go directly back in to the Zero Sum studio. The Zero Sum Art Project may not keep a balance of more than $10 for longer than 2 weeks - all funds must be directed back into the studio.
If the Zero Sum Art Project is in the red with a balance of negative $5.00 for longer than 2 weeks, the studio collapses and the project is over.
So what we have is a business plan that does not allow the studio to make a profit, and kills the studio if it stays in the red, leaving it perpetually teetering on the brink of disaster. The target will be to have the costs and the sales come to a zero balance at all times, if possible.
Go to the Zero Sum Art Auctions.
Visit the Zero Sum Art Blog.