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between_ art / design / philosophy

Critically Valuable Species

The Value of Bio-Speculation


Speculative processes, in the financial sphere, are used as value-creation mechanisms. The laws of supply and demand attribute value to resources regarding their scarcity or abundance on the market. To find always more supply, the Western world has the tendency to transform everything available into commodities, be it inanimate matter or living beings. But doing so, the Western’s economical systems causes the destruction of natural ecosystems and the extinction of wild animals. Its activity is thus source of scarcity in term of biodiversity. On the other hand, the food industry is growing an outrageous number of domesticated animals, but from only very few species.

The project tackles the artificial way stock markets attribute value to commodities. The logic of finance self- generates the conditions for monetary profit by driving the economy toward threatening the conditions for life on earth. Economical growth comes thanks to the sacrifice of biodiversity. The Critically Endangered Species illustrate this cost. The ones represented here are some of the mammals most scarce life forms. Does it mean that they are now valuable from the prism of finance?

If so, it isn’t their biological value within their ecosystems but there cultural value. Their disappearance from the visual landscape would make their phenotypes desired. The morphology of a life form becomes the shape of precious items. And as an homage to the laws of supply and demands, I designed chests from their aesthetics. It refers to a trading trick, where taking products out of the market, simply putting it into storages, makes them appear less abundant and thus increases their value. Chests are thus the magical trading tools that artificially increase prices; and how valuable can a value-generator be?