Iron 34: The Soul Service

Project Start: November 28, 2017

Project Completion Goal: Eternity

Description: Start a business that brokers in souls based on a Performance Art experience

December 2, 2017 - Open for Business

Over a period of four days we have been consumed with this idea. We have built a website and designed a logo. We have consulted with six different attorneys. We created a contract, and spent many, many hours fleshing out this idea. Finally, on Dec 2nd, it was time to put our plans into action. We spent money trying to draw attention to our event and the opportunity to "sell your soul." This was our most successful FB post to date, with tons of comments and plenty of shares too. Also, the questions that people asked us made us consider and think seriously about what we are doing. Ultimately, those questions reinforced the merit of the idea, but it was good to be challenged by forced us to consider different perspectives. The night of the event came, and we setup shop: We draped the floor to ceiling windows of our office with black tablecloths for curtains, and we set Joy up outside the door on a stool with clipboards in hand and applications ready to fill out. We setup the inside of the office so that it was convenient for a single person interview, and a lightbox setup for taking pictures...and then we turned the sign to "open" and waited. We didn't know for sure if anyone would sell their soul...but four men accepted the opportunity to come in for their interview, and three of those walked out with a signed contract and cash in hand. The future of this business "The Soul Service" is clear. We will continue to pursue the making of this market, the integrity of our process, and the opportunity to really and truly embrace one of arts best purposes: "[challenging] us to consider what it means to be human." (-from A. Scott Anderson in his address to the Utah Cultural Alliance 12/4/17)

Business picked up once we set this sign out front.

How we should look was something we spent time considering. We didn't want to be costume-y, nor did we want to be informal.

Sellers were brought in and sat across from the buyer. We conducted a review of their application, and if they accepted the offer, they stood in front of the light-box for a picture.

We used this image for our FB ad (click for link)

Example headshot after sale

Logo designed by Diana Whitten

November 30, 2017 - Down the Rabbit Hole

In order to embrace any idea, you must fully believe in it. As we approached the execution of this Iron, we have been faced with some very serious questions about ethics, legalities, and realistically how to make this into a viable business. It has been a fascinating discussion, and at each step of the way, we have given great consideration to what we are doing. We can't wait to share this experience and idea. We should mention, that this idea was resurrected when we were invited by Pablo Blaqk to contribute some form of interactive art to his "Immersive" event (which happens to take place inside The Impact Hub, where our office is located). We don't want to give away too much more here...let that be a surprise to you if you choose to join us on this adventure! But you can get more information here on the website that we have setup for this new company.

November 28, 2017 - Resurrecting an Old Idea

Around 5-7 years ago, Steven had a crazy idea. At the time, it didn't make sense. It was going to be a bit controversial, and he was working for another company full time. While it had intrigue, from both artistic, legal, and economic angles - ultimately, the timing was not right. Fast forward to now. The year of "50 Irons" and the chance to take on any crazy idea or project. Let us introduce you to: The Soul Service. The basic premise is this: set up a company that becomes " The Universe's Most Trusted Broker of Souls." Acquisition of souls happens through a Performance Art experience - interested sellers will have to fill out a contract, and meet with "The Buyer." At that meeting, their identity and age will be verified, and they will answer some questions about their soul and beliefs about their soul. At the end, they will be offered cash in exchange for their "soul." Then, those "verified souls" will be placed onto a brokerage that we run, where interested buyers can browse and make purchases. We create the mechanism of trust and verification the supports the marketplace for the transactions. Now all we need are some willing sellers and buyers!