Design und Kunst auf einem Kontinuum

Ich habe mich schon immer gefragt, wo die Grenze ist, bzw. wer die bestimmt.
Für mich gibt es keine. Ich empfinde einen fliessenden Übergang und genau der ist das interessante an der Sache.
Der b-side table von betatank veranschaulicht das schön, das Buch von den Gestalten “taxing art” sicherlich bald auch (kommt April 2011 raus):


Beta Tank

Introducing the b-side tableBeta Tank releases its newest object from the Taxing Art series, the b-side table, commissioned by Dilmos Gallery, Milan for the Unison exhibition during Milano Salone (April 2011). Alongside, Beta Tank releases the new book Taxing Art, published by Gestalten (May 2011) .

The b-side table is the last object from the Taxing Art series, a project which examined the effect tax laws have on art and design. The b-side table is the latest object, which plays with the idea that furniture can be both functional and nonfunctional, which decides whether or not pieces can be taxed at a 7% VAT rate or a 19% VAT. The table is half hand-made and have machine-made; the hand-made half is sculptured in such a way that it renders it useless as a table, thus incurring a 7% VAT (functionality being what German law uses to distinguish design from art), but the other half is a regular coffee table and would incur a 19% VAT.

In recent years, the boundaries between art and design have become more and more blurred. Today, it is not the object itself, but rather its economic functionality that determines its categorization. Astonishingly, it is often customs officials who subjectively decide what constitutes art and design based on their personal views and erratic local tax laws.

Alongside these objects, Beta Tank is releasing Taxing Art, an ironic, clever documentation and analysis of the effect of traditional, bureaucratic procedures on innovative work. It is a revealing, illustrated essay that puts the spotlight on the largely underestimated effect that tax laws have on where design ends and art begins. The book features all five objects that were made in response to these stringent laws, as well as the narrative of the objects’ unique 12,000-kilometer journey to test the tax laws around the world.

(Text: Gestalten Verlag,

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