Hey Internet, please don’t screw this one up. In one of the most bizarre digital social experiments ever, the consistently unpredictable Cards Against Humanity (who managed make $180,000 on Black Friday by selling literally nothing for $5) is letting the 150,000 subscribers to their Eight Sensible Gifts for Hanukkah decide the fate of Tête de Faune, an original 1962 Picasso. These lucky individuals, Cards of Humanity writes, “now have a chance to vote: should we donate this work to the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, or should we laser-cut it into 150,000 tiny squares and send everyone their own scrap of a real Picasso?” I’ve never been so scared for humanity in my life.
Beginning December 26, voters will have six days to cast their ballots, making for a particularly suspenseful New Years Day, upon which the results of the vote will be announced.
To be fair, Cards Against Humanity isn’t threatening the destruction of a completely one-of-a-kind work of art. Rather, the 1962 piece is actually one of 50 Linocut prints Picasso made. So even if voters decide to mutilate this one, there are still 49 left. Don’t feel much better about that? If only you could vote. Already, the company’s site displays what can only be described as a video ransom, showing the work already laid in a laser slicer, anticipating its grisly fate.
Already, subscribers to Eight Sensible Gifts For Hanukkah (who paid $15 for their exciting presents) have received socks, one-year WBEZ memberships, and have provided a week’s paid vacation for Cards’ employees who work at the firm’s China-based printer. And of course, Tête de Faune. Participants were alerted to the diabolical plan in a rather macabre way, receiving a postcard of the print with the message that they would “all … be part of a social experiment.”
Back in June, the piece sold for $14,100, so if voters do indeed decide to cut it up, they’ll each own about nine cents worth of a genius’ work. Godspeed, Tête de Faune.