by Jacob Broms Engblom (2009)

Launch Project

Gold signifies something that cannot exist online. Traditionally, gold refers to things like money, jewelry, stardom, awards, a standard, and excess, all things from the “offline” world. Gold’s natural shine and sparkle is here translated into a series of animated gif files, heaped together in a treasure chest assemblage. However, the obvious problem is that this gold’s glitter hardly evokes the same measure of brilliance and shine of “real” gold. Rather, Engblom’s gold is ironic gold, a digital animation with a frame rate that is slow enough to even make the animated “glitter” looks naïve, like a banner advertisement on a website that catches your eye, but is perhaps the least desirable thing to pay attention to on the page. Similar to Magritte’s series, The Treachery of Images (1928–29) where one image features a pipe with the text, “Ceci n'est pas une pipe,” written underneath it, Gold also shows what it is not, namely, the auratic shine of inflated value and glamour. In destabilizing the abstracted exchange value of so-called “real” gold, Engblom’s gold points out that is in fact something else: Internet gold—the land where all that sparkles, whether banner add or artwork, seems to be equally de-valued to the same level of flatness and mundane repetition.