Diego Tonus and Anonymous
A Moment of Darkness
Aluminum cement, Bitcoin, documents of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Courtesy MAMbo Museum Bologna (Permanent Collection) and the Artist
A Moment of Darkness is an aluminum cement sculpture, life-cast and constructed to resemble the forger, who is posing without revealing his identity. Inside this anonymous sculpture of the forger, a metal sheet engraved with the key-code granting access to 1 Bitcoin, is hidden. The artistic value of the sculpture and the hidden value of the cryptocurrency are coexisting within this work. Each is susceptible to the floating valuation of specific markets, trade fluctuations and investment security. Both are held within their set form, and underline the notion of belief in relation to the creation of worth. And so, access to these values is either possible in the long run, or after a destructive action.
A Moment of Darkness is part of Fragments of a Conversation with a Counterfeiter. The project contributes to a discussion about the transformation and transportation of value, questioning the valorization of time and space in time of crisis. The series of new works derives from an assumed conversation between Diego Tonus and a forger (anonymous for practical reasons) revealing controversial thoughts related to contemporary systems that deal with the definition of value. Each artwork is the visual translation by the artist of this conversation manifested through the act of presenting objects, actions and words experienced by the forger within his practice of reproduction of value and ways of transporting it, hacking system of controls and dealing with the definition of individuality. Each artwork is presented in co-authorship with the forger. Tonus approaches the thoughts of the counterfeiter as if they were his intellectual property, questioning the ‘counter’ of counterfeiting and appropriating his ideas.
In order to share the appropriated forger’s ideas with the international audience, to activate and perform them, the artist has registered the works as trade secrets at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property. The validity of the trade secret is international and lasts 10 years.
Realized thanks to the support of Italian Council (2018), Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.