An economy of the non-existent, 2014

social construct / writings / performance

A research performance questioning the idea of scarcity and abundance through optical illusion for the exhibition Designing Scarcity commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It uses the example of the chocolate tablet as a reference to the world war food rationing.

“That which exists may be transformed. What is nonexistent has boundless uses.” Lao-Tseu ,Tao Te King, chapter 11.

The nonexistent created by optical illusion is a shift between reality and perception, a short while of confusion when our brain stops trying to rationally understand the information transmitted by the eyes and creates its own reality. Faced with scarcity or abundance, how do optical illusions make us cheat our minds to find the balance we need?

The missing square tiles puzzle, created by Winston Freer, is a simple geometrical trick that gives the illusion of creating more out of nothing by extracting a tile out of a checkered grid without modifying the grid itself.

But is every standard shapes fitting in a grid? Could this geometrical trick be a new kind of golden ratio for the economy to create surplus from standards and provide an illusion of growth.


Props, performance and video – Polyurethane chocolate prop, engraved cutting board, selection of standard objects cut out according to Frier’s puzzle.



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