The Naught Swap


Collaboration with Emily Gasteneau: We handed out personal surveys containing questions one might get when creating a password online - ten questions beginning with, "what is your mother's maiden name," that became increasingly invasive - "who were you last intimate with, who is the last person you lied to?" We graded the surveys using an irrelevant algorithm and paid them based ostensibly on their scores with color coded wooden tokens. They could then go downstairs to the hair washing station and put the coin in the slot of the payment apparatus that the hair washer received. Hair was washed with lemon water, salt water or tea based on the color of the coin and we scored our hand movements on their heads based on either remembered places or the geometry of the room or a system of repeated patterns. Reading material in the waiting area consisted of canvas books containing only colored squares. No explanation was given to participants at any stage, leaving them instead to respond the system of exchange, commerce, work and luxury experience according to familiar cues based in personal and generic experience.