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September 9 - September 29
Opening Saturday, September 15, 2007 7-10PM

Sea and Space Exploration is pleased to announce Minerval Reading Society , the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles by Chris Bassett, director of the Institute for Mystical Capitalism.

The Institute for Mystical Capitalism traces the history of economics in the United States, primarily focusing on the evolution of consumer-driven markets and the mass consumption of industrially manufactured goods. Consumer banking, spectator sports, Detroit rock and roll, conspiracy theory, and the occult synthesize into a unified theory of post-industrial economic evolution, filling in the gaps in classical economic thought.

Minerval Reading Society contains two works that, though distinct, are intimately related. A pair of small-scale dioramas depict key episodes in the historical development of Mystical Capitalism between 1912 and 1968, supplemented by explanatory panels and brochures. The dioramas rest atop their own shipping crates, designed to be shipped to schools or other locations to aid in public instruction. The second, larger work involves the temporary relocation of the Research Archives of the Institute for Mystical Capitalism to the gallery. Over fifty books used in the Institute's historical and practical research are made available for public browsing and reference over the course of the exhibition. The Research Archives are housed in reproduction 1912 Craftsman furniture with a large library table and seating for five visitors. A series of video screenings on topics including baseball stadiums, the Federal Reserve, the Illuminati, and consumer credit will provide an introduction to theoretical issues in Mystical Capitalism.

Chris Bassett received his MFA in Art and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts in 2005. He currently resides in Los Angeles.


Video Screenings in conjunction with this show from 7-9PM:

Sun Sept 9 - A pair of documentaries looking at the architecture of Mystical Capitalism. The historical development of energy accumulating structures (baseball stadiums) and currency accumulating structures (banks) will be covered.

Wed Sept 12 - Trend-spotting for today's youth culture is much like trying to observe the Illuminati in their natural state. The observers filter reality in such a way that the subject is less important than the perception of the subject. First, we go inside the world of coolhunting, looking for marketable trends in youth culture.  Next, we attempt to locate and meet with a major member of the Illuminati.

Wed Sept 19 - Two radically different looks at the United States version of central banking, the Federal Reserve system and the historical development of commercial banking; one from the sound money side of things and the other from the conspiracy theory side.

Sun Sept 23 - A look at music and politics as the second wave of Mystical Capitalism began to emerge.

Wed Sept 26 - Henry Ford's five-dollar day is widely considered to be a major early step in creating a class of workers able to fully participate in the consumer economy, along with the assembly line and the surplus of goods created by it. The extension of unsecured credit to millions in the form of credit cards comes later, but is potentially even more important in sustaining the familiar models of consumption. We'll look at the official history of the Ford Motor Company and the development of the modern credit card system.

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