CAPITAL @ Ballarat Biennale

August 26, 2019 § Leave a comment

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Curators Naomi Cass & Gareth Syvret

National Centre For Photography Ballarat AUSTRALIA

AUGUST 24 – OCTOBER 20 2019

Constructed at the height of Australia’s gold rush in 1864, the former Union Bank stands in the centre of Ballarat as a powerful symbol of the rise of western capitalism and the development of colonial Australia. Capital is curated in this architectural space as it undergoes transformation into the city’s new National Centre For Photography.
 

As part of the core progamme of the Ballarat Biennale, the exhibition, CAPITAL, explores the use of the photography as a method for reflecting upon systems of value and exchange in contemporary Indigenous and settler cultures. Drawing together Australian and international practices that encounter forms of financial, political, human and photography’s own capital, the project questions the capitalist model and its legacy. If the invisible hand of the market grips the world, then Capital proposes that art can reveal and question that which seeks to bind us. 

Featuring Gabi Briggs (Aus), Peta Clancy (Aus), Mark Curran (Irl/De), Simryn Gill (Malaysia/Aus), Kristian Haggblom (Aus), Newell Harry (Aus), Lisa Hilli (Aus), Nicholas Mangan (Aus), Darren Siwes (Aus), Martin Toft (Jer), Yvonne Todd (NZ), Justine Varga (Aus) and Arika Waulu (Aus). More information on opening events and ongoing programming here.Installation includes the film Algorithmic Surrealism (2015) from THE MARKET (2010-) projected in the vault of the former Union Bank (now site of the new National Centre for Photography)

Algorithmic Surrealism (2015) (digital still)

An excerpt from the film is available to watch here

‘Curran filmed in the new financial district of Zuidas, on the periphery of Amsterdam, global centre for algorithmic trading. Adapted from a text by former trader and financial activist, Brett Scott, examining High Frequency Trading (HFT) and how the input of human values, are excluded, the voiceover and title of the film, Algorithmic Surrealism, are inspired by Scott’s essay. The film suggests the hegemony of HFT, accounting now for most trading, and extinction of human reason—including traits such as empathy and ethics—in market decisions will only perpetuate the power relations of minority wealth in globalised capitalist systems’ Helen Carey

Commissioned by NEPN (University of Sunderland, UK) & Noorderlicht Festival (the Netherlands). Elaborating on the project, THE MARKET, addressing the functioning and condition of the global markets, Curran undertook research in Zuidas, the new Global Financial District on the periphery of Amsterdam, the Netherlands during the summer of 2015. The location for the film is a landscaped park facing one of the largest Dutch-based global banks.
Film Editor: Lidia Rossner
Film script adapted by Mark Curran from original essay by Brett Scott
Voice: Claudia Schäfer
(Single channel HD digital video, colour, sound/voiceover, 11’ (full length))

For Allan Sekula (1951-2013)

(CAPITAL invite image: Darren Siwes, OZ OMNIUM REX ET REGINA, Silver female, courtesy the artist and Gagprojects)

 

Installation THE MARKET Le Bleu du Ciel, Lyon

October 19, 2017 § Leave a comment

IMG_9222Credit Suisse (Access denied)
Canary Wharf
London England
March 2013 (left)

Anthony, Analyst (negotiation 1.5 years)
The City
London, England
May 2013 (right)

‘In the evolutionary aftermath of the global economic collapse and absence of sustained audio-visual engagement with the central locus of this catastrophic event, the ongoing multi-media transnational project, THE MARKET (2010-), critically addresses the functioning and condition of the global markets and the role of financial capital. It is the continuation of a cycle of long-term projects, beginning in the late 1990s, focused on the predatory context resulting from migrations of global capital.

IMG_9230Bethlehem, Trader (negotiation 1.5 years)
Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX)
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
September 2012
IMG_9226The Viewing Gallery
Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX)
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
September, 2012
(Single channel HD digital video, silent, looped 9’’)
James, Operations Manager (negotiation 1 year)
Irish Stock Exchange (ISE)
Dublin, Ireland
April 2012
Transcripts (Dublin, London, Addis Abeba)

‘Having undertaken an extensive process of negotiation, averaging 1.5-2 years, to access strategic sites/individuals, the ethnographically-informed project incorporates photographs, film, soundscape, artifactual material, 3D data visualisation & transcripts of verbal testimony. Taking the sphere out of abstraction & positioning it as a pervasive force central to our lives, themes include algorithmic machinery of financial markets, central innovator of this technology, absorption of crises as normalisation of deviance & long range mapping & consequences of financial activity distanced from citizens & everyday life. Profiles include traders, bankers & financial analysts & documentation from London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam & Addis Abeba’

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Transcripts (Detail)(Dublin, London, Addis Abeba)

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Algorithmic Surrealism 2015
Landscaped Park (International Investment Bank)
Zuidas Global Financial District
Amsterdam, Netherlands

(Single channel HD digital video, colour, sound/voiceover 11’04’’)

The installation includes the film, Algorithmic Surrealism (follow link for excerpt) made in the new financial district of Zuidas (Amsterdam), global centre for algorithmic trading & shadow banking, while the voiceover of the film is adapted from a text by former trader, Brett Scott. Forecasted that there will be no human traders within a decade, the film suggests the hegemony of High Frequency Trading (HFT) and extinction of human reason – including empathy and ethics – will perpetuate the power relations of minority wealth in globalised capitalist systems.

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Financial Surrealism/Systemic Risk
Colour A4 image and text – Shadowbanking

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Artifacts & Correspondence regarding process to secure access to Deutsche Börse AG, Frankfurt/Eschborn 2012 including Letter requesting access to Deutsche Börse AG
from the Irish Ambassador to Germany, Berlin, Germany, November 2011
(accessd denied)
Framed emails/ Vitrine

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Artifacts & Correspondence regarding process to secure access to Deutsche Börse AG, Frankfurt/Eschborn 2012 (accessd denied)

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Artifacts & Correspondence regarding process to secure access to Deutsche Börse AG, Frankfurt/Eschborn 2012 (accessd denied)
(detail)

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Deutsche Börse II (Acess denied)
Eschborn (near Frankfurt)
Germany
March 2012

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The Television Studio
Selected Reports from German Television (2012 – 2013) from Frankfurt Börse (Stock Exchange)
(described in the vernacular by Deutsche Börse AG (owners) as ‘The Television Studio’)
Frankfurt, Germany

Digital Video, Silent, Looped (28 minutes)

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Taika, External Relations Associate (negotiation 1.5 years)
Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX)
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
September 2012

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Matthew, Banker (negotiation 2 years)
Canary Wharf
London, England
March 2013
Poster/Text

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JP Morgan (formerly Lehman Brothers)(Access denied)
Canary Wharf
London, England
February 2013

‘Titled the Normalisation of Deviance, through the application of an algorithm identifying the words market and/or markets in public speeches by relevant national Ministers of Finance, the data is then transformed to create the installation soundscape. For Le Bleu du Ciel, the algorithmic translation of the former minister, Pierre Moscovici is presented. To date, those of Michael Noonan (Ireland), George Osborne (UK) and Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Netherlands & Eurozone Group President) have also been included in exhibitions in those countries – to represent contemporary financial capital functioning through the conduit of the now financialised nation state”

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Financial District, Lyon
(Window, main gallery space)

The installation is part of the year-long programme, Suite-Nouveau Documentaire by Gilles Verneret, Director, Le Bleu du Ciel and part of official programme Resonance de la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Participation has been generously supported by Culture Ireland.

Exhibition from September 28 – November 25, 2017.

The project has been curated by Helen Carey (Director, Firestation Artists’ Studios) and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, NEPN (University of Sunderland, UK), Noorderlicht (Netherlands), Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Gallery of Photography, Belfast Exposed & Culture Ireland.

Algorithm & Sound Composition Ken Curran

Full information here.

The Economy of Appearances @ LCGA (Installation)

October 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

1_LCGA_Curran

In this major exhibition, The Economy of Appearances, Curran draws these projects together for the first time, expanding the enquiry with newly commissioned work completed in Amsterdam. Incorporating photographs, film, sound, artifactual material and testimony, themes include algorithmic machinery of financial markets, as innovator of this technology, absorption of crises as normalisation of deviance, and long range mapping and consequences of financial activity distanced from citizens and everyday life.
2_LCGA_Curran 5_LCGA_Curran 6_LCGA_Curran

6A_LCGA_Curran

Curran filmed in the new financial district of Zuidas on the southern periphery of the Dutch capital – a global centre for algorithmic trading. Adapted from a text by former trader and now financial activist, Brett Scott, which examines High Frequency Trading (HFT) and how the input of human values, are excluded, the voiceover and title of the film are inspired by Scott’s essay, Algorithmic Surrealism. The film suggests the hegemony of HFT and the extinction of human reason or intelligence – human strengths that also include traits such as empathy and ethical behaviour – in Market decisions will both perpetuate and render more extreme the power relations of minority wealth in globalised capitalist systems

7_LCGA_Curran

Through the application of an algorithm identifying the words “market” and/or “markets” in public speeches by relevant national Ministers of Finance, the data is then transformed to create the installation soundscape. To date, algorithmic translations of Michael Noonan (Ireland), George Osborne (United Kingdom), Pierre Moscovici (France) and Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Netherlands & Eurozone Group President) have been included in exhibitions in those countries. Curran activates the popular graphic representation of such circumstance through a 3D visualisation/virtualisation of the algorithmically-generated soundscape—The Economy Of Appearances—to represent contemporary financial capital functioning through the conduit of the financialised nation state.

Financial Surrealism (WTC), Zuidas Financial District, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2015, (A4 double-sided colour print) (text on reverse)

Financial Surrealism (WTC)
Zuidas Financial District, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2015
(A4 double-sided colour print)
(text on reverse)

…in the case of the Netherlands, most of the Dutch shadow banking sector…is set-up by corporations for tax purposes, to attract external funding and to facilitate intragroup transactions…the focus of the shadow banking entities located in Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands is the euro area, or even global.

While the relative importance of the euro area shadow banking sector has risen significantly since 2007, it remains smaller than the regulated banking system. Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Ireland are the exception: the shadow banking sector assets in these three countries are substantially larger than those of the regulated banking system, accounting for almost two-thirds of the entire euro area shadow banking system. Credit through non-bank channels can have important advantages and contributes to the financing of the real economy, but can also become a source of systemic risk…

(source Banking Structures Report (2008-2013), European Central Bank, October 2014)

Shadow Banking

Many financial institutions that act like banks are not supervised like banks. The term, shadow bank was coined by U.S. economist Paul McCulley in 2007…because they are not subject to traditional bank regulation…they are in the shadows.

They are characterized by lack of disclosure and information about the value of their assets…opaque governance and ownership structures between banks and shadow banks; little regulatory or supervisory oversight…

Shadows can be frightening because they obscure the shapes and sizes of objects within them. The same is true for shadow banks. Estimating the size of the shadow banking system is particularly difficult because many of its entities do not report to government regulators. The shadow banking system appears to be largest in the United States, but nonbank credit intermediation is present in other countries—and growing. The shadow banking system’s share of total global financial intermediation was about 25 percent in 2009.

(source Finance & Development, International Monetary Fund, June 2013 Vol. 50 No.2)

9_LCGA_Curran

Portrait (Child) from series Stoneybatter (Dublin) August 1998

Text Helen Carey

Algorithm & Sound Composition: Ken Curran
3D Data Visualisation: Damien Byrne
Film Editor: Lidia Rossner
Film script adapted by Mark Curran from original essay by Brett Scott
Voice: Claudia Schäfer

Thanks to Arts Council Ireland, Noorderlicht Photography, NEPN (University of Sunderland), Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Gallery of Photography & Culture Ireland

Mark Curran The Economy of Appearances
4 September–30 October 2015
Opening: Thursday, 3 September
Limerick City Gallery of Art
Carnegie Building
Pery Square
Limerick
Ireland
gallery.limerick.ie

Full information here.

The Economy of Appearances @ Limerick City Gallery of Art

September 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

LCGA e-vite The Economy of Apperances Mark Curran curated by Helen Carey

Opening Thursday, 3 September

‘In Mark Curran’s practice, projects unfold over time. (Since the late nineties) Curran has undertaken a cycle of long-term, ethnographically-informed multimedia research projects addressing the predatory context resulting from migrations and flows of global capital…in this major exhibition, The Economy of Appearances, he draws these projects together for the first time, while expanding the enquiry with newly commissioned work completed in Amsterdam. Incorporating photographs, film, sound, artifactual material and testimony, themes include algorithmic machinery of financial markets, innovator of this technology, absorption of crises as normalisation of deviance, and long range mapping and consequences of financial activity distanced from citizens and everyday life…’
Helen Carey

E-Flux announcement & full text here. Continuing until 30 October

Limerick City Gallery of Art
Carnegie Building
Pery Square
Limerick
Ireland

Thanks to Arts Council of Ireland, Noorderlicht (Netherlands), NEPN (University of Sunderland, UK), Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Belfast Exposed, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Gallery of Photography & Culture Ireland

Acknowledgments
Algorithm Design & Sound Composition Ken Curran, 3D Data Visualisation Damien Byrne, Editor Lidia Rossner, Voice Claudia Schäfer Script adapted from an original essay by Brett Scott

Image
Algorithmic Surrealism 2015 (digital still)
(Single channel HD digital video, colour, sound/voiceover)
Zuidas Global Financial District, Amsterdam, Netherlands

#DataRush – Commission & Installation NOORDERLICHT/NEPN‏

August 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

This post is to announce the generous awarding of a commission by NOORDERLICHT in collaboration with the North East Photography Network (NEPN), University of Sunderland (UK) to elaborate on my ongoing project, THE MARKET, on the functioning and condition of the global markets,

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 23.05.29

The resulting research was undertaken in the Zuidas Financial District on the southern periphery of Amsterdam with emphasis on the central role of the Netherlands in the Global Shadow Banking System and Algorithmic/High Frequency Trading (HFT).

It will be presented as an installation in the main exhibition, #DataRush at NOORDERLICHT 2015 opening Saturday, 22 August at the Old Sugar Factory, Groningen (the Netherlands).

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#DataRush continues until 11 October.

​On Sunday, 23 August, there will be a public event at the Old Sugar Factory
organised by WAMS titled DEBATE DATA RUSH involving participating artists and scientists. Full details are available here.

The installation will later be presented at Photoville in New York in the Autumn and the UK in 2016.

Acknowledgments
Algorithm Design & Sound Composition Ken Curran, Data Visualisation Damien Byrne, Script adapted from text by Brett Scott Editor Lidia Rossner, Voice Claudia Schäfer, Collaborator Helen Carey

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