Noise Traffic. Probing the erratic frequencies of financialization is a film (in progress) created with online found footage and A.I.generated images.
NOISE TRAFFIC is a research and artistic creation project around the epistemic and aesthetic dimensions of finance and its automation. Recent events such as the 2008 economic crisis, the increase in cryptocurrency transactions, the IPO of the stock market or the events of GameStop alert us to the power of the stock market over our daily lives. As current authors such as Anna L. Tsing and Jonathan Beller point out, the infrastructures that produce financial value are at the same time those that reproduce the status quo that feeds the social difference between sexes, race and class; as well as the massive exploitation and extraction of material and mental resources.
On May 6, 2010, the largest "flash crash" in financial history took place. The Dow Jones plummeted 9% in just 2 minutes and 46 seconds, due to the hyper-speed with which HFT (High-Frequency-Trading) algorithms operate. If there were museums dedicated to accidents, as proposed by Paul Virilio, this would have to occupy a predominant place in the first half of the 21st century. Volatility, acceleration, randomness, risk, derivation are some of the notions that characterize the financial meta-stability that today constitutes an increasingly influential "mode of existence".
NOISE, understood both as opposition to information and as an unexpected sensory experience, is a key element of automated markets. In financial jargon, the notion of "noise trading" is used to refer to agents who make meaningless short-term purchases or sales, synonymous with "dumb traders". These transactions create nebulae of data, a digital translation of the noisy shouts on the stock exchanges, which do not allow a clear view of stock market movements in terms of losses or gains. It is this erratic and aesthetic dimension of noise, within complex systems of exchange, that makes financial speculation possible. The stock market (material or digital) is the paradigmatic place where numerical rationality intertwines with seemingly irrational operations and decisions. Alan Greenspan, former president of the US Federal Reserve, called this fact "irrational exuberance", and before him, Karl Marx described it as the "crazy form" (verrükte formen) of value production. NOISE TRAFFIC explores random flows without meaning or apparent cause that create perceptual disorientation between human and algorithmic agents. This project is based on the intuition that the "irrational" or "erratic" nature of stock market movements can allow us to more accurately understand their complexity than the study of mathematical patterns and algorithms used in the stock market.
Project in collaboration with Taller Estampa (Barcelona)
With the financial support of Aide à la Création ArTeC, ICUB Premis Barcelona.
Finalist in the 2021 The Fundació Banc Sabadell – Hangar’s Artistic Research Grant.