Net.Art, Digital Actionism / Media Hacking, mixed media
Under the plausible slogan "Bringing capitalism and democrazy
closer together!" and in time with the US presidential
elections in 2000 (W. Bush vs. Al Gore) American citizens were
offered the possibility to auction off their vote via an Internet
platform called "[V]ote-auction.com"* to those bidding
In the most enviable way this project thus reflected
on the deep entanglement of capital and (voting) power.
the individual selling of votes is strictly forbidden in all
the states of the US as well as on the federal state level,
this prohibition is constantly being undermined by massive (legal)
campaign contributions of big companies.
The response in the mass media was overwhelming. Various US
state attorneys announced a total of 13 legal proceedings against
UBERMORGEN.COM. In four US states actual law-suits were started
(Missouri, Chicago, Massachusetts and Wisconsin) and temporary
injunctions were issued. Because of a decision of a court in
Illinois the website’s domain was blocked twice, but it
was brought back online in time for the election under a slightly
CNN reported seven times about "[V]ote-auction"
and on October 24, 2000 the entire 30-minute justice show Burden
of Proof, entitled "Bidding for Ballots: Democracy on the
Block", was dediated to the project.
A total of 450 million media consumers are said to have been
informed about the project. In the end, when it turned out that
the representatives of "[V]ote-auction" could not be held liable for any kind of illegal activities, the pending
law-suits were closed (except in Illinois).
UBERMORGEN.COM exhibits the [V]ote-auction CNN tape, Voteauction seals and [F]original legal documents at Aldrich Contemporary
Art Museum 2001, The Premises Gallery Johannesburg 2002, Museu
d`Art Contemporani de Barcelona 2003, Read_me 2.4 Helsinki 2003,
Konsthall Malmoe 2004, Kunsthaus Graz 2004, Lentos Museum of
Modern Art 2005.
2005 UBERMORGEN.COM received a Prix Ars Electronica „Award of Distinction“ for Voteauction.
*The Website was conceived by the student James Baumgartner and then sold to the austrian business-artists UBERMORGEN.COM