February 17, 2017 (MIAMI, FL) − Cash Me Out
EXT. STRIP MALL PARKING LOT – DAY
DRONE AERIAL SHOT hovers over a noontime parking lot. Automobiles slot themselves into parking spaces, then pivot out. Families walk crooked paths to the shadows of the retail stores. SLOW ZOOM towards the façade of a grocery store, down under the overhang, the line of shopping carts become visible, the real estate magazines, the Red Box, the ATM. Steam obscures the camera.
The first time a dollar value was established for Bitcoin was to buy a couple of Papa John’s® pizzas. It cost 10,000 bitcoins for the two. Today, one bitcoin is worth $1,038¹. That’s a $5,190,000 pizza, which comes out to $865,000 or $648,750 a slice, depending on how you cut it.
CLOSE UP on the ATM. The console fills the frame. It is dirty, scratched, its camera lens recording all that passes. Por favor, introduzca su tarjeta. Please insert your card. Different pairs of hands enter the frame. Entering PINS, checking balances, withdrawing funds. Then, a woman shoves a PIZZA into the card reader. Grease and tomato sauce splatters the display screen, melted cheese oozes down over the key pad. The woman massages the pizza into all of the console’s openings until the monitor begins to glitch, short out. It starts smoking.
CUT TO: INT. WHITE CUBE GALLERY
Six CARBON FIBER AND TERRA-COTTA BAS-RELIEF WORKS by NICOLAS LOBO on display at NINA JOHNSON. Each has a rectilinear substrate made of carbon fiber that supports irregularly shaped wads and disks of terra cotta. The disks are marred with the indentations of different types of mechanically produced food: Onion rings, crinkle-cut French fries, M&Ms, breakfast cereal. The wads carry impressions of the interface to various types of ATM machines. If one were to assume that these were pizzas, logic would have it that they are resting on carbon fiber pizza boxes. But they also look like satellite dishes and chewed gum.
The dishes and wads are glazed with satin-finished monochrome. In their ruptured geometry, these forms speak to the ambitions, and shortcomings, of industrially manufactured objects, to the collapsing hegemony of modernism, and to the hierarchy of culture, as seen from directly above.
¹ Bitcoin / USD exchange rate on February 16, 2017, at 12:44pm.
Nicolas Lobo was born in Los Angeles, and lives and works in Miami. He has exhibited widely, at institutions such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami; American University Museum, Washington, D.C; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA; and The Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PA
Nina Johnson is a contemporary art space in Miami, Florida. Opened as Gallery Diet in 2007, the gallery has produced exhibitions by emerging and established artists from around the world.