Look up! What if you could own one square foot of sky?

One Square Foot of Sky follows foreign investment’s trademark of bringing things to the table by posing taxing questions with regards to the monetary, symbolic and copyright value of the sky above us. Like with previous projects such as Gold Exchange (1997-2010) and Breeding (1999 -2005), the work with ‘sky shares’ continues to question the value of art through exploring the art object itself.

foreign investment were invited to present their pioneering project One Square Foot of Sky as part of the exhibition “Collector Club” curated by Ying Kwok at the art space Oi! in Hong Kong from 24 January – 21 April 2014. The Hong Kong context was interesting to investigate as HK is now ranked number 2 in the 10 top cities for private property investment. It is also an emerging fine art market, so the collector club provided the opportunity to combine these notions.

Originally developed in London, 2012 for the exhibition Wild New Territories, foreign investment intends to explore the speculative aspects of ‘value’ and ‘valuation’ by ‘creating’ a market for ‘sky shares’. Yves Klein’s talked about “the indefinable, incalculable value of art.”  Indeed the intrinsic value of art (and of nature) is hard to define as it is multidimensional. And yet, just like the property market, the art market places value on art objects according to availability and desirability. Both are investable propositions.

This site-specific artwork has two interlocking components: a performance and an installation. For the performance the art lover (potential investor) was invited to look into the production process of the sky shares in a ‘peinture vivant’, where 8 artists painted a limited series of ‘sky shares’. Each share measures one square foot and contains relevant and unique information inserted on the front. The valuation of the shares were priced in accordance to: the property value  (based on the exchange value of the location estimated at current market prices); the labour value (the amount of labour necessary to the production of a marketable commodity at the time); and the use value (the utility of consuming the commodity in terms of its status as art). The shares are for sale via the collector’s club scheme. (For more info see catalogue text here).