SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING
On September 17th of 2011 the world was bombarded with images of angry youth, taking to the streets of New York, announcing to “reclaim” what was rightfully theirs and finally end an age of economic inequality; to become the collective instigators of prosperity and balance in the world. Despite the high hopes raised by some media outlets, OWS (Occupy Wall Street), managed to change very little, if anything at all.
Revisiting a slightly earlier chapter of recent history, CitiGroup sent internal memos to some of their wealthiest clients and investors, claiming an ‘age of Plutonomy’, an economy increasingly less driven by and for average incomes, was a reality. They explain that those that hold the larger slice of the financial pie should also be the benefactors of their efforts by investing in commodities that service their own percentile of economic equity. Despite the inevitable increase in the wealth-gap as a consequence, it simultaneously propagated the necessity in upholding the idea of ‘The American Dream’ to persuade the have-nots that they too can be rich like them some day. The minds and hearts of the people should be in line with the belief that wealth inequality paradoxically equates to freedom, and is thus for the best. These documents seldomly reached the mainstream media and are to this day largely unknown to the public.
‘Something to Believe in Something’ adopts the idea of inevitable financial failure as a belief system through which dreams, rather than success, can take hold. The project is an artwork created as a PWA (progressive web application) for smartphones. As a start-up company, we adopt the economic system of creating capital, but use it to make art that upholds an ideal, belief and dreams over gross profit.
The app predicts the likelihood of rainbows based on GPS location services. It allows its users to know when and where a rainbow will occur by calculating a chance percentile. It simultaneously serves as a tool for tracking rainbows, adding to a social movement of rainbow enthousiasts, on which photos and video's can be shared.
We allow for advertisement and donations to our project, so that each time we generate enough revenue; the money gained will be used to ‘paint the sky blue’, based on a popular hopeful saying 'when the sky is grey, paint it blue'.
How do we do that, exactly?
We hire a skywriter to leave a blue trail across a grey sky, somewhere in the world, reinvesting our mythological pot of gold at the end of every rainbow into a hopeful public gesture.
Both actions show on outcome toward the realisation that there is not much to gain for most people, but also not much to loose just because you’re not rich.
Who cares, at the end of the day, it's far more important to have something to believe in something.