Eco-Value Scale

Proposal for support to create an interactive social (media-sculpture) artwork.

This arts project is a serious attempt to set a creative example and to improve upon what may be the central problem in our increasingly troubled social state.

What determines economic value? Supply and demand? What the market will bear? Rarity? What about intangibles or externalities? Criticism of today’s powerful political-economic systems is growing louder in response to the accelerated global dominance of market capitalism, increasing disparities and tensions between rich and poor, recognition of complex ecological interdependence and impacts, and the tele-networking of societies. Though incomplete, the emerging field of Ecological Economics is attempting to reconstruct economic understandings and practices, so as to inhabit the original Greek root of ‘oiconomia’: care of household.

Can economics be a subject for artistic expression? Can art add to critically needed economic and ecological understandings? That creative challenge is primary motivation for this artwork. Taking the concept and form of a classic balance scale, for weighing (and for justice), this artwork is an attempt at understanding how to balance our economy. The Earth’s economy.

A large steel and bronze balance scale sculpture will be fabricated. Two flat panel, color plasma displays of equal size and weight will be suspended from each end of the scale’s balance beam.

A project web site will serve as the front-end for a dynamically evolving database and for interactive control of selected items, factors, values, displays and balance. On and off site participants may select resources (commodities) and other factors from a web page menu. Playing the e-valuative settings, they can affect and adjust the relative balance and value of compared and displayed items.

Eco-Value™, an open source software program, is being developed for this artwork. It is being based on new applied knowledge about ecologies, economies, societies and life; utilizing a matrix of categories, comparative factors and variables to determine relative weight/value. Eco-Value™ is intended to also be an Ecological Economics education and planning tool.

Eco-Value Advisors (to date): An advisory group is being formed to assure that the ‘science’ is in credible balance with the 'art'.
Niklas Damiris, Ph.D.., Physicist/Economist, Stanford U.
Robert Costanza, Ph.D.., Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, U. of VT.

Additional information and budget available on request.


Eco-Value™ Scale:

Goods & Services
Matter, Energy, Information
Current Market Value:
Yen / Euro / $
Measured Units

Scarcity - Abundance
(-10 - 0 - +10)
Need - Desire
(-10 - 0 - +10)
Entropy Scale:
Disorder - Order
(-10 - 0 - +10)
Quality of Life Index:
Death - Life
(-10 - 0 - +10)


2005 -