Coming to you from Ice Station Robotic on Queen’s Island, Antarctica, this is Work of Art 2030, the show that streams the latest digitalized artworks directly into your brain as you vote for the winner instantly with a blink of your left eye. I’m your host, Liz Magic Laser.
Our international team of genetic scientists has recreated technoart masters from past centuries and installed them here in our studios so that they can make art just one more time. The winner of tonight’s contest will receive a €10,000,000,000 commission to construct a micromuseum to be implanted in the brains of subscribers across the planet.
Let’s meet our contestants. Remember, audience, due to the imperfect nature of DNA restructuring, our back-to-life artists have been hermetically sealed in climate-controlled biobubbles. All the contestants, with the exception of the winner, will be destroyed after the show.
Let’s meet our first challenger: his attempt to build a robotic horse and early designs for catapults mark him as a quattrocento techno-pioneer. Blink your eyes, world audience, for Leonardo da Vinci.
Next, his "Large Glass" remains the design inspiration for hardware creators everywhere. Welcome to the 21st century, Marcel Duchamp.
Third, his complex 20th-century walk-through installations, combining pornography, religion and commercialism, paved the way for Lronhubbardism to be recognized as the official religion of the world. Give a flutter for the reborn Jason Rhoades.
Our final contestant, though technically still alive, has been restored to the youthful allure that characterized the classic work, which served as the last images of women on earth, before various synthetic parts were added to assure the illusion of eternal feminine allure. Nevertheless should she lose, she will be destroyed after the show. Shake those synapses for Cindy Sherman.
Artists, with complex array of microartistic tools at your disposal, you will have one minute to complete tonight’s artistic challenge. You must transform the British Petroleum oil spill which has been leaking into the world’s oceans since the year 2010 into an esthetically pleasing work of art.
That’s it, time’s up. Let’s go to you first, Leonardo. Apparently, you have turned the reddish brown 50,000-mile spill of oil into an enigmatic smile. Most ironic, eh, Marcel?
"Liz, I stopped making art over a century ago. But, just for tonight, with a push of a button, I have shattered the giant slick into jagged shards of brown waste, something like an explosion in a shingle factory."
“Jason, what about you?”
"Liz, if we could only spread enough British Petroleum flower symbols over the length and breadth of the slick, our audience will forget that it is toxic oil, at all."
"I see that you’ve done that Jason, and our viewers’ left eyes are fluttering wildly. It will be hard to top that, Cindy Sherman."
"But, Liz, that’s not oil, that’s makeup, and my giant rouge-covered face encompasses the world."
"The votes are entering my synapses, Cindy, and you have won overwhelmingly. Not only will you live, but your enigmatic face will forever cover our uninhabitable world. Now push that button and destroy our male contestants."
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).