Greed is good

Jiaying Liu, Greed is good, 2019
刘嘉颖,《多多益善》Greed is good,2019年1月


In the work “Greed is Good”, the artist modified the digital currency transfer rules so that each time when sender transfers tokens, the token amount in the sender’s account does not decrease but instead increases. This artwork questions whether transactions can generate additional value. Adam Smith pointed out in his book “The Wealth of Nations” that human nature is self-profiting, and to seek for private benefits is the sole motivation for human to carry out economic activities. If such activities are not interfered by external powers, the pricing mechanism guided by the invisible hand can lead the people to maximize their own private gains but also push forward the public interest collectively. 


Interestingly a user spent 15 days constantly making alternate currency transfers with multiple accounts, and he or she finally acquired more than a trillion tokens.