Project in collaboration with Taller Estampa (Barcelona)
With the financial support of Aide à la Création ArTeC, ICUB and ESTCA.
Verrükte Formen. A journey to the center of algorithmic financial learning is a film (in progress) created with A.I. generated images and video editing with Internet images.
Verrükte Formen (Insane Form) is a financial fiction-essay on the speculative and predictive imagination of economic agents (bankers, traders, High Frequency Traders and HFT algorithms). Taking as a point of departure the expression that Marx uses to characterize the phase in which the value of capital emancipates itself from all material reference, and begins to self-assess (Verrükte Formen), that is the moment of pure speculative abstraction and financial fiction (Randy Martin, 2004), this film aims to visually investigate these “insane forms” at the center of speculation as a predictive mechanism for finances. Investors create fiction to attract - see, capture - other investors. With what images, ideas and future is the imagination of financial fiction populated? What did the bankers of the Netherlands imagine in 1634 when they gave day laborers with high-interest loans to buy Tulips? What did stock market runners imagine in 1929 when they bought stocks, or even credits, at overvalued prices? What do the HFT algorithms that buy and sell derivatives, on Wall Street, in a matter of nanoseconds, image today?
As Suhail Malik points out, financial agents keep developing "technologies of the future", such as derivatives. But these financial products have no value without those - humans or machines - who imagine the future, foresee it, want it and believe in it. In 1993, the Chicago Stock Exchange established the first automatic stock market runner, and in 1996 artificial intelligence became the main decision-making tool for stock traders in the USA (Alexandre Laumonier, 2014). The development of “financial learning algorithms” is gradually flooding the world's stock markets, bringing together futuristic extrapolation and corporatist research programs. The technical nature of exchanges - with the objective of speeding up the decision-making process - does not prevent the occurrence of stock market crashes, the causes of which are unknown, which we have termed as Flash Crashes. In a matter of five minutes the Dow Jones lost 600 points on May 6, 2010. This financial crisis was mainly a crisis of what one could call: the algorithmic imagination. If algorithms learn from concrete situations of the past in the form of data, are they not also learning to speculate in “insane form” like humans?
Financial imagination is inseparable from stock market crises; it is precisely in these moments when the “insane form” becomes more visible, since financial products enter a representative crisis (Christian Marazzi, 2001): the prediction was not able to represent a possible or credible future for investors - human or mechanical.
Verrükte Formen seeks to explore the algorithmic imagination moments before the 2010 flash crash, presenting the "insane forms" of financial history, such as the data from which this algorithm learns to imagine new future fictions to attract investors. What did an algorithm imagine a few nanoseconds before 14:42 of May 6, 2010?