During his time at Cannonball, as both a Visiting Artist-in-Residence and research.art.dialogue faculty, Peter Fend led a hands-on research and production workshop. Fend and his students began to develop a taxation scheme based on ecologically-sound use of land to replace the Income Tax. The materials from this ongoing project were presented and further developed in Eco Tax, an exhibition/research space at Dimensions Variable from April 10-20, around the time of the national Income Tax filing scramble.
Most forms of public finance today, chiefly the income tax (personal and corporate), promote acquiring income by any means, most of which involve the depletion of resources. This is most evident around mineral fuels: income is earned by "producing" an "essence" that harms the environment in its extraction, transport, and consumption. There's no incentive to restore native vegetation and wildlife, conserve soil, or avoid sprawl. Land and seas become exhausted.
Employing satellite data - which would measure chlorophyll, vegetation vitality, hydrocarbon pollution, and soil depletion of rural, sprawled, and urban areas - a color coded system can be produced that correlates to taxation rates, allowing for the possibility of a new tax policy. An Eco-Tax could provide an incentive to landowners to revitalize the natural landscape, ecological awareness, and the use sustainable energy.
During the run of the exhibition, the r.a.d. students organized and hosted a series of roundtable discussions at Dimensions Variable. They brought together scientists, artists, political figures, economists, lawyers, architects, and urban planners to contribute to shaping a final proposal of the policy.