A product of the increasing dominance of the finance sector and the expansion of financial derivatives that emerged in the 1970s, the carbon market ‘fix’ has abstracted the qualitative problem of climate change mitigation into a commodity market based on a molecule treated as the singular cause. There is a trend towards emissions that can be lucratively ‘avoided’, while there has been little effect on structural fossil fuel dependence. In this perspective, global warming is a market failure that can be corrected by governing the atmosphere via an economic instrument with no real material or historical reference.
Balkin's piece was presented alongside works by Pep Vidal, Lucas Ihlein, and Lara Almarcegui, all focusing on humans' calculations and quantification of nature and its progressive abstraction.
(Text from the exhibition guide)
‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’ took place between the June 29, 2017 and January 7, 2018 at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux, France.
Below a sequence of all the social media posts (mostly from Instagrammers, more on this and other works on this Wakelet feed) showing the ongoing flux of its price—which has ranged from 4,84 Eur per tonne of CO2 during the installation of the piece, to 4,93 Eur on the opening day (29 June 2017), to the last picture on record showing a whopping 7,76 Eur per tonne of CO2.
We would like to thank the Kadist in San Francisco for having given us the opportunity to, after years of corresponding over email, finally meet Amy during a residency in September 2015. Her "Incidents of Travel" day on several locations in and outside San Francisco (download the specially-commissioned itinerary here) was invaluable towards the conceptualization of this exhibition.
- “4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter” exhibition
- Archive of social networks posts related to "4.543 billion"
- Photo gallery of the exhibition
- CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
- Cover Story—December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory" 4 December 2017
- Alfred Roll's 1878 "The Old Quarryman" exchanged with Alfred Smith's "The Grave Docks" (1884) in the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée 3 November 2017
- Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth" 1 November 2017
- 15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux 24 October 201
- Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
- Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
- SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017
- Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016.
- Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016
To visit the exhibition,
please check ose.kadist.org
Recognizing that not everyone can visit Kadist Art Foundation venues in Paris or San Francisco, Kadist recently inaugurated a series of online projects with artists and curators around the world.
First of these initiatives is the One Sentence Exhibition (OSE), for which the foundation invites curators to write or choose a single sentence, making each word in the sentence a hyperlink to an image, video, text or website. As a result, the One Sentence Exhibition becomes a compact architecture, accompanying the reader as they explore far-reaching corners of the internet.
Following on from the contributions by Rudolf Frieling (Media Arts Curator at SFMOMA) and Nato Thompson (Chief Curator at Creative Time) to OSE series, Latitudes has chosen the statement "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE" by Lawrence Weiner in English, Spanish and Catalan, commissioned for his 2008 solo exhibition THE CREST OF A WAVE at the Fundació Suñol in Barcelona.
The statement is also silkscreened on the commemorative limited edition tote bag that celebrated Latitudes' 10th anniversary in Spring 2015.
As elaborated by Latitudes in the exhibition guide, "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE indicates an object record of early human technologies (woven textiles, reusable protection for the hooves of working animals) and a marine setting. Weiner’s phrase facilitates a richly ambiguous material and symbolic universe. Why is the horseshoe wrapped? What story, personal or historical, might account for the event that is described? The artist’s statement leaves such questions open for us to consider. It is known that muslin and calico was brought to Spain by the Arab traders in the 1st Century. After the Conquest of Hispania during the 7th Century, facilitated by the Muslim cavalry’s more agile horses, cotton was cultivated by the Moors in Spain. Barcelona’s industrialization in the late 1700s and early 1800s was driven by the printing of calico and later the spinning and weaving of cotton. 
In the manner of a biography of substances, such as Mark Kurlansky’s books Cod and Salt, A CLOTH OF COTTON... thus triggers a chronicle of mercantile, maritime and equestrian power, of trade and occupation, of spheres of influence and change, a memory of matter and of language. " (...)
(...) The statement is distributed on a sugar packet throughout a selection of Barcelona bars and cafés during the city's Mercè Festival and for the duration of the exhibition – a sweet gift to accompany one’s café con leche,
cortado, carajillo, or conversation. Printed on hundreds of thousands of standard 7 gram white sugar sachets – sugar production technology too was spread into Spain by Moorish occupation – Weiner’s striking typographic rendition of the phrase in red and yellow (the colours of both the Catalan and the Spanish flag) is accompanied by an emblem which evokes the trajectory of a certain horseshoe over a wave in diagrammatic form.
(...) On the five metre-high wall of the exterior space [of Fundació Suñol’s Nivell Zero] we read A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE painted in Catalan, Spanish and English. The use of the same stencil font as the sugar packet layout suggests a method of functional and clear application which reinforces the fact that Weiner is dealing with the language in terms of modification and use.  The word for a company which produces typefaces – a foundry – neatly preserves a link to a time when type was cast from metal, in much the same way as horseshoes are made from iron."
 See J.K.J. Thomson, A Distinctive Industrialization: Cotton in Barcelona 1728-1832, Cambridge University
 Salt: A World History, Walker and Co., 2001; Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Walker
and Co., 1997.
 The font is FF Offline Regular, designed by Roelof Mulder in 1988.
As part of Latitudes' residency at Kadist Art Foundation's instagram, we are taking over their instagram [@kadistfoundation] for the next 10 days.
You can follow the hashtags #artistnotatthestudiocuratornotattheoffice #LatitudesBarcelona #IncidentsOfTravel
Today we've posted pictures of the first Incidents Of Travel artist-led day tour, a day spent with Megan and Rick Prelinger, founders of the Prelinger Library, "An appropriation-friendly collection of books, periodicals and print ephemera, open to the public in downtown San Francisco". The library "is a free-offering, an installation, a workshop, an extension of our living-room" and holds some 30,000 bound objects, 60,000 loose sheets and 10,000 zines following a unique home-made "geospatial arrangement scheme". Megan and Rick have described the project as never static and compared it to "a long-cooking pot of stew, [that] continuously takes in new ingredients while also reducing down, becoming richer and more concentrated with time".
Posts will be progressively archived in this storify.
29 August: Closed-door seminar 'Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group' #NFACDFG;
1 September: Launch of Latitudes' contribution to the One Sentence Exhibition online initiative;
3 September: #IncidentsOfTravel with Amy Balkin;
4 September: #IncidentsOfTravel with Will Brown.