The compensation received by a worker is based on how much benefit it has brought to the recruiter. The difference between the salary the employee receives and value added to the final product is what we call surplus value. The accumulation of this surplus is what generates capitalist wealth.
In Italy, the country in which this action took place, the State does not set a minimum wage but instead devises one depending on the function of the job and the workplace. This fact led me to obtain a reliable figure that reflected what the average Italian worker earned. That done, I decided to use the exhibition space as a place to build a working relationship with the visitors who, until then, were unaware of being at my service. With the amount provided for the production of this piece by the exhibit organizers, I issued a series of checks with which I paid the spectators depending on their time spent in the exhibition area.
The seemingly ridiculous amount was, at best, what the person who had received it had been aquiring in the workplace. The exhibition space – a former production site transformed for the show – became an excuse that served to entertain the audience during a certain time for which they would be paid. Except for a neon that read in Italian: Questo è Quanto, inside the room there was absolutely nothing. This also invited the visitors to leave whenever they wanted, since that was all and nothing more.