If you can afford one $10,000 smart watch, you can probably afford two. And then you can donate your spare to an art installation that will "explore the relationship between desire and action."
That's the hope, anyway, of San Francisco performance artist Qinmin Liu. For her new show, Liu is soliciting donations of 50 Apple Watch Editions (the most expensive version of the Apple Watch), which cost anywhere from $10,000 to $17,000 and are encased in 18-karat gold. In a donation solicitation form posted yesterday, Liu explains her reasoning:
"If you own or plan to purchase a 18k gold apple watch, you are rich and evil. We are offering you one way out: donate to us. After all, why on earth [do] you need a watch?"
Shenhaochen Zhu, Liu's manager, claims the guilt trip worked, saying in a release on Thursday that "a dozen" people had already volunteered to donate gold Apple Watches to the exhibit. (We couldn't confirm that number independently, so take it with a grain of salt.)
Technology is a recurring theme for Liu, who graced the cover of this year's SF Weekly winter arts issue. For a previous exhibit, called "WIRE," she walked across San Francisco for eight hours, "[attempting] to find physical connections in the city rather than the ones fabricated by programs accessed through a screen." (Art-based criticism of the Bay Area's technologists seems to be becoming a trend.)
“Believe it or not, as an artist, I couldn’t care less about the technology and price," Liu says in the call for donations, which lasts until June 1. "I care more about individuals' behaviors, and want to explore the relationship between desire and action… What can we see from this news? Questions and concerns lead me to spark a dialogue with Apple Watch.”
Liu doesn't say what, if anything, she plans to do with the donated Apple Watch Editions, assuming she actually gets any. All the release says is that she has been "exploring a new art concept" called "4A," which stands for “anywhere," "anyone," "anything," and "anytime." If she wants to add a fifth A, might we suggest "are you freaking kidding me?"