Thursday, December 28, 2006

Temporary technical difficulties, please stand by

The Fiji Island Mermaid Press mothership,, host of the ZSAP images and pages, is moving to a roomier server in order to provide you with even more images and pages and such in the future. Unfortunately, for the next day or two, most of my pix on the web and the FIMP website itself will be out of commission. Tragic, yes, but necessary. It will all be sorted out soon, don't worry.

Friday, December 22, 2006

tricky stuff, art. . .

Andy Warhol, Brillo Box, 1964

"Art cannot reveal the truth about art without snatching it away again by turning the revelation into an artistic event"

from Pierre Bourdieu, "The production of belief: contributions to an economy of symbolic goods" from The Field of Cultural Production", as cited in Paul Mattick's "Art and Money" in Art In Its Time

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Studio Contents, Part 5

Well, I've spent the ZSAP balance back down to nothing, actually less than nothing, at -$1.10. How was that cash invested? The following was added to the Zero Sum Studio:

one small model airplane
one 16 oz jar of acrylic matte medium
one roll of artist's tape
one white nylon bright #12 brush
one 2 oz tube of Pthalo Green acrylic paint
one 2 oz tube of Cobalt Blue acrylic paint
one 2 oz tube of Burnt Sienna acrylic paint
one 2 oz tube of Cadmium Yellow acrylic paint
one 2 oz tube of Burnt Umber acrylic paint
and six sheets of BFK Rives white paper.

The studio's cup runneth over! But, the balance is below zero. So we're all good.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


This auction by Charles Fairbanks is brilliant.

It's part of ebayaday, an art exhibit in which eBay is the gallery.

The project describes itself as:

Curated by Rebekah Modrak, Aaron Ahuvia and Zackery Denfeld, ebayaday consists of 25 auctions (one debuts each day) in which the entire eBay listing (item for sale, descriptive text and imagery and placement within chosen categories) is the artwork. Works presented in the show exploit, redefine or underscore eBay’s potential in the exchange of ideas, objects and money.

The Zero Sum Art Project applauds!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Zero Sum #5

Get all the details, and even bid on the thing, by visiting the Zero Sum Art auction!

Friday, December 15, 2006

from Paul Mattick's "Art In Its Time"

Paul Mattick, "Art In Its Time", from the introduction. . .

"With no apparent use-value, the work of art seems to acquire its exchange-value simply by the expression in money of the art-lover's desire. The miracle is that these objects can achieve prices higher than those of any other human products. This well-known paradox suggests a problem with the distinction of the aesthetic realm from that of the everyday. And a moment's thought suggests that art as actual thing exists nowhere but within the "everyday life" from which its cultural construction separates it. The artist must pay rent on the studio, buy paint, seek dealers and buyers; his or her product, if it succeeds in entering the stream of art, will find a place in a home, a museum, a reproduction in a book or postcard. The work of art, to have a chance of entering that stream, must show its kinship to other things called art and so to the social world in which artists and art have their places."

So much of that is of interest to the ZSAP, especially the very last sentence.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Studio Contents, Part 4

With the successful conclusion of Zero Sum #3, the ZSAP studio had some income to get rid of. So the following items have been added:

a tube of Titanium White acrylic paint
a tube of Ivory Black acrylic paint
a tube of Cadmium Red acrylic paint
a tube of Ultramarine Blue acrylic paint
a White Nylon Bright #8 brush
a White Nylon Round #6 brush
2 General's 6B charcoal pencils
a 22" x 30" sheet of BFK Rives White paper
a small bottle of Sobo white glue.

So, you might be able to guess that Zero Sum #5 will be a painting (or, at least, a mixed-media drawing). And the palette will be a slightly limited one. Yellow's way over-rated anyway. Who needs all three primary colors? Not this artist!

I'll soon be putting up an archive of images, studio contents, and running totals on the FIMP website, to accompany this play-by-play blog and the eBay "me" page.

And, just so you can tell everyone around the watercooler when you're talking about ZSAP at work, the current balance is -1.02.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Zero Sum #4

You guessed it, it's Zero Sum #4! Bidding starts at $5.03 - find out why by visiting the Zero Sum #4 auction on eBay!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

In case you were wondering

what the can of white spray paint was for:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Less Wiggle Room

I was looking at the original goals/rules for the Zero Sum Art Project, and I felt that I should tighten something up. When I set this up I said "Should the project stay in the red for several consecutive sales, the "studio" will collapse". Now that I'm in to the back-and-forth of making and selling and spending, that seems like way too much wiggle room. So, for those of you keeping score at home, here's the new rule:

Should the Zero Sum Art Project's balance remain below -5.00 for longer than 2 weeks, the project dies.


The Zero Sum Art Project is not allowed to keep a positive balance of more than 10.00 for more than 2 weeks.

So there you go. I can't keep anything in reserve, and I can't stay in the hole. Gotta keep things right on the edge, or the whole business folds.

With today's purchase of a can of spray paint, the Zero Sum Balance stands at -.97. See the entire fiscal history here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Studio Contents, Part 3

Well, several items of a rather mundane but necessary nature have been added to the Zero Sum Art Project studio:

(12) 10" x 13" envelopes,
(1) roll of clear shipping tape,
(1) roll of Scotch Tape,
as well as the much more exciting toy plane mentioned in an earlier post.

The current balance is $1.16, awfully darn close to the zero target. We want to keep this thing as perilously close to financial collapse as possible.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Zero Sum #3

Zero Sum #3, pencil on cream Rives BFK

Learn everything you might want to know about this drawing, and while you're at it place a bid on it, by visiting the Zero Sum #3 auction.

Toy Plane: Zero Sum Art #3

The most recent addition to the Zero Sum Art studio contents is this toy plane ($5.33). This will be the subject of Zero Sum Art #3, a pencil drawing on cream BFK Rives heavyweight paper.

The subject matter/imagery for the first two Zero Sum Art images was "found" - free, in a sense, to complement the found/free nature of the materials used. Now that the project is "in the black" and running a surplus, it seemed that the next image should be of something purchased, to complement the materials being used, and to help bring the balance back to our target of zero.

The plane is a model of something real. This project is a model of sorts. Both are absurd, and are instantly recognizable as simply tiny replicas of real world things or situations. And yet, we learn about the real world through models, full of inaccuracies and approximations.

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