Remember Diddo Velema’s designer gas masks? The Dutch designer returns with a new rumination on the culture of consumption. He calls it The Cure for Greed:
What exactly is greed? Is it an immutable algorithm hardwired in our DNA, a survival instinct that triggers responses to a constantly changing environment that can turn hostile at any moment? Maybe greed is an emotional reaction to our cultural reward system? Or the embodiment of the darkest side of our natures, rooted in fear? When you get down to it, you realize how little we really know about ‘greed’.
Well, I tend to think of “greed,” in the way that Justice Potter Stewart famously described porn: I know it when I see it (oh snap).
Diddo’s Cure for Greed is “an iconic object that sparks an internal and social dialogue
on all aspects of ‘greed’, the benefits as well as dangers of this basic and pervasive
human behavior. It’s an invitation to reexamine our assumptions and inject them with
the type of energy that will ensure new and evolving perspectives. Our hope is to learn from this process, and grow, to become more human, not by repressing our nature, but by transcending it with understanding and compassion.”
I see Diddo’s art object as a vaccine for greed. By ‘siphoning’ the US mint ink out of $50 bills, the artist created bottles of raw (conceptual) greed. The user then (theoretically) injects a diluted version of the serum and builds up a tolerance to the disease. This is the 2nd vaccine I’ve posted recently (1st one here). Maybe art really is the cure?!
Diddo created The Cure for Greed during a four month process where he used mechanical and chemical separation methods to extract and recover pigment from US currency. The ink was then re-stabilized, divided into individual doses and packaged into medical vials. Each monogrammed custom-made mahogany or walnut box contains one 24-karat gold plated syringe, one 5ml crimp-sealed serum vial containing one dose of stabilized pure dollar ink mechanically and chemically recovered from approximately $10,000 in US currency, and two 24-karat gold plated needles.
If I were Ben Baller, I would use one of my five new iPhone5s to make a few calls and totally pick this up. On a related (bank) note: Here’s another fun thing to do with all your extra money.