SPACE OF FLOWS: FRAMING AN UNSEEN REALITY (Documentation)

August 21, 2018 § Leave a comment

Data & Power (Panel, Krakow, May 2018)

‘Featuring an international slate of artists, the festival focuses on the ceaseless flow of people, information, and substances, through expanding urban areas, the virtual realm of cyberspace, and endangered natural landscapes. In the face of worldwide streams of refugees and migrants, an overload of manipulable digital information, and injurious amounts of harmful particles suspended in the atmosphere and discharged into waterways, those in power look the other way. And all the while they withdraw and intensify control to protect what they have. Short-term success is favoured over having a sustained vision of the future’ Iris Sikking, Curator Krakow Photomonth 2018

Extracts from THE MARKET (2010-) /RYNEK (2010-)(installation at the Szara Kamienica Gallery)

Installation comprised Photographs, Powerpoint Presentation, Transcripts of Verbal Testimony, A4 Colour Photograph/Text Pamphlet, Film & 3D Data Visualisation.Algorithm & Soundscape composition Ken Curran / Data Visualisation Damien Byrne.

The project was installed alongside excellent projects by Susan Schuppli, Axel BraunEline Benjaminsen.

As part of the official programme, a panel titled, Data & Power took place on Saturday, May 26th at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art. Participants were Iris Sikking, Dominik Skokowski, Eline Benjaminsen, Mark Curran, Esther Hovers, Clément Lambelet, Rune Peitersen, Salvatore Vitale and was moderated by Alicja Peszkowska. To a full house the event went overtime due to audience responses and discussion. It was documented and available below.

‘A more perfect reminder of exactly how on-time and urgent these artists and their projects are, considering our connected world, even the very ground we walk upon. These stories remain resident in my consciousness and now alert me at odd moments to pay attention, to observe my own special omens’ From review by Christiane Monarchi on Photomonitor.co.uk available here.

Thank you to Iris Sikking for her generous invitation and to Aga Dwernicka, Joanna Gorlach, Karolina Leśniak, Marcin & Małgo and team in Krakow for all their hard work.

 

THE MARKET 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 (Dublin), Belfast Exposed & Culture Ireland.

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)

IMG_9253

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.

IMG_9249

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

IMG_9257

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

IMG_9264

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

IMG_9266

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

IMG_9269

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)

IMG_9289

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

IMG_9286

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

IMG_9333

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

MAPPING THE FRONTIERS OF HIGH FINANCE

April 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.33.18 PM

As part of this event occurring at the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) in London on Saturday, April 25th, Mark Curran has been invited to present on his practice-led research in relation to THE MARKET.

The intention of this, the first of a series, is to

bring together anthropologists, accountancy scholars, literature scholars and artists using anthropological concepts and ethnographic methods in their work…to explore past, present and possible artistic techniques for visualizing information in capital markets, tracking offshore financial flows, and mapping relatedness among financial elites.

Other contributors include, Brett Scott (co-organiser), Paolo Quattrone, Femke Herregraven, Paul Crosthwaite, Paolo Cirio, Gemma Aellah & Paul Gilbert (co-organiser).

Final programme is available here.
Biographies of all speakers is here.

This is a free event and open to the public. Full details can be found here.

With support from the Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT).

(Image: Installation of THE MARKET: A project by Mark Curran, Belfast Exposed Gallery, 2013)

PROGRESS REPORT

May 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

It has been some time since the last post. This followed an intensive series of events around THE MARKET , most recently being a very successful installation at the Centre Culturel Irlandais. The public and media response in Paris, further underscored the profound interest in, and indeed a need to discuss, the subject matter of the project, a subject matter that continues to grip the world.

In addition, the time away from posting has provided a chance to reflect upon where the project finds itself. The intention is to now make a further research trip later in the summer to a site in Asia that has always been viewed as a pivotal location for the project. As elsewhere, this is dependent on securing access. To date, the process of negotiation has taken almost 2 years. However, a central conceptual framing has been both how access embodies a state of relation and condition of the functioning of the markets.

In anticipation of securing access, the plan is then is for a significant publication of the complete project to appear in 2015.

In the meantime, this blog/gathering place will continue to host posts in relation to THE MARKET. Enabling a means to reflect on the research process and indeed how the mechanism/momentum of financial capitalism continues to play itself out. Perhaps to completion.

Finally, as part of this post. Here is a short video of the first installation, which includes the audio of the algorithmic soundscape, The Normalisation of Deviance as installed at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin late last year.

 

THE MARKET/ Centre Culturel Irlandais/ Paris

January 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

 
CCI Invitation (cover)

CCI Invitation (cover)


…what people don’t understand… is that what happens in the market is pivotal to their lives… not on the periphery, but slap, bang, in the middle…
(from telephone conversation with Trader (name withheld), Dealing Room, Investment Bank, London, February 2013)


Mark Curran’s challenging new project THE MARKET sets out to make visible – literally and metaphorically – the sphere where our futures are speculated upon. His multi-media installation includes photographs, films, transcripts of interviews and a soundscape that investigate the functioning of the global stock and commodity markets. From Dublin to London, Frankfurt and Addis Abeba, the artist concentrates on the experience of individuals working within a supremely complex system. 
In the installation at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, the relationship between the individual and the abstract algorithmic systems of the market is heightened through a sound piece designed by Ken Curran that permeates the gallery space, which is generated from algorithms identifying the words market or markets from public speeches given by the French Minister of Finance, Pierre Moscovici.

Opening of events will be made by 
Rory Montgomery, Irish Ambassador to France 
Nora Hickey M’Sichili, Director of Centre Culturel Irlandais
 
Centre Culturel Irlandais 
5, rue des Irlandais 

75005 – Paris 


January 30 – March 2
 
Opening Thursday, January 30 at 6.30pm

Opening times of the exhibitions:

2pm – 6pm Tuesday to Saturday

(Late opening Wednesday until 8pm)

12.30pm – 2.30pm Sunday


Full programme contextualising the exhibition on the opening weekend includes panel discussion with David McWilliams (Writer & Economist), Alfred M’Sichili (Philosopher & Political Economist), Helen Carey, Mark Uzan (Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee) and Mark Curran, an evening with the organisers of ‘Kilkenomics’.
 
In addition there will be a special screening on Saturday, February 1st at 5.00pm of the documentary, Skin in the Game, directed by Donald Taylor Black, (Filmmaker and Head of Department of Film & Media, IADT) addressing the response of artists in Ireland to the 2007 economic collapse.
 
Algorithms and soundscape design: Ken Curran.
The full programme is available here
 
This project was generously supported by the Arts Council of Ireland & the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
It was presented in Ireland at Gallery of Photography, Belfast Exposed and Limerick City Gallery of Art as part of a nationwide artistic project in 2013, curated by Helen Carey (director of Limerick City Gallery of Art), to mark the centenary of the 1913 industrial conflict known as the Dublin Lockout.

The installation and events in Paris are supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland.
 
Preview of show in Paris by Actual Colours May Vary can be found here.

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