Jonas Lund Token (JLT)

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  • 👉 Jonas Lund, Call Me Maybe

    Untitled Contemporary

    6th March – 30th April

    Against the background of our digitalized society, Jonas Lund examines the changes taking place to the meanings of authorship, participation and distribution, questioning the mechanisms at work in the art world and putting the production processes, figures of authority, and the practices of the art market to the test.

    The dissolving of the assumed boundary between viewer and participator is a characteristic of his painting, sculptures, photographs, websites and performances, which he understands as a set of critical reflections on contemporary network systems and control-oriented power structures and, entailing the solving of tasks, he lends the character of playing a game.

    Jonas Lund Token is a distributed, decentralized, and autonomous artistic practice that aims to optimize and streamline the decision-making process in art production and the strategic decisions concerning a career path.

    With the JLT Jonas Lund has created his own cryptocurrency. Each of the 100 000 shares is represented by a single Jonas Lund token and, similar to a corporation, each share counts as a vote in the decision-making process. The owners of the tokens are part of Jonas Lund’s advisory board and are therefore consulted every time a strategic decision needs to be made. If the market value of the artist increases as a result of these decisions, then the value of the tokens rise accordingly.

    Call Me Maybe Guided Tour

    A quick walkthrough of the show on the day of opening by the artist.

    Call Me Maybe, 2020

    Auto-dialing telephone, audio recording interface


    The Red Telephone has been programmed to automatically call the artist Jonas Lund once it's picked up.

    The following conversations are recorded and available to listen in to by the Jonas Lund Token holders. Here is such a recording from the opening night.

    Call Jonas

    As part of this online version of the exhibition, you can call Jonas directly in your browser during the Gallery's opening times.

    Does not work on mobile phones.

    Currently Offline

    The works in the show are the results from many conversations with the Jonas Lund Token board members.

    On the JLT website, the board members converses with the Jonas Lund Token dialogue tree conversation bot. The cumulative answers determine the direction of the show and the works. The more tokens, the bigger the influence.

    Optimisation Strategy, 2020

    Careful Calibration and Consideration, 2020

    Default is Destiny, 2020

    Works 👇

    "Though Lund is responding explicitly to the contemporary art world, there are also readings of this project that apply to the world of crypto writ large. The technology promises—and could provide—a compelling alternative model of financial logic. It can operate outside big banks. It can allow citizens (and non-citizens) to decouple their finances from the state. It can, in theory, increase the privacy of people who use it. But money is money is money, and, for all the promises of subversion, there are still a lot of twentysomething crypto bros with venture-capital backing who are driving leased sports cars around San Francisco and living in “crypto castles.” The decentralization of finances doesn’t necessarily imply that wealth is decentralized, and deregulation certainly doesn’t. As the Times technology writer Mike Isaac recently tweeted, “take all of the enormous wealth and cultural trappings of traditional finance and remove any semblance of regulatory guard rails or ethics watchdogs and you’ve got the wild world of cryptocurrency.”

    Lund’s Web site claims that his tokens are “subverting the traditional power structures that inform the contemporary art world.” In a sense that’s true; it’s no longer the shadowy forces of the art market influencing his decisions but a broad group of individuals. When he puts the tokens openly on the market—or goes public, so to speak—anyone will be able to have a say. But Lund is also, in a way, re-creating those power structures by creating financially invested trustees, by offering bounties to Instagrammers, by tying shareholder power to money. The project is performance-art capitalism. As Lund has said, “The ultimate human is a sort of corporation.”

    Sophie Haigney, The Artist Who Guides His Art with Crypto-Tokens", The New Yorker

    Optimisation Strategy, 2020

    1665 Jonas Lund Tokens

    UV Print and Laser cut Acrylic

    99,5 × 120,5 × 1cm

    Call Me Maybe

    Jonas Lund

    6th March – 30th April

    Untitled Contemporary

    Photo Credits: Philipp Friedrich