Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More than appreciation

Critics at Flickr prompted me to offer a hypothetical example of Coaccession at work:

At the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross in London during the London Street Photography Festival, the Vivian Maier Museum shows up with negatives that are usually in storage. A couple shows up with a baby in a pram. The VMM would like to run more programs, but all it has are negatives, and all they generate is capital appreciation. The couple would like to send the baby to a street photography course in 16 years, and while they have investments that will finance the course, each year they have to pay taxes on their investments' dividends and interest income before they reinvest it to keep saving for the course. So, the VMM Coaccessions℠ a negative to the couple. They cash out the investments and buy possession of the negative, subject to VMM's cultural rights. VMM invests the cash and uses the dividends and interest to finance programs. In five years, the winner of the VMM outsider curator contest wants the negative to make a print -- financed by dividends and interest the negative's financial value produced -- for a show. The couple happily send in the negative, knowing the show will enhance its provenance, letting their first-grader attend a better course in eleven years. The print made, VMM returns the negative to the couple. The time arrives for the baby's course, the couple sell their conditional possession to a fellow saving for retirement, and baby, thanks to all the capital appreciation, learns street photography at VMM. And it all started at the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross in London during the London Street Photography Festival.

As I asked the critics then, would that be so bad?