The Geography of Crisis
Video installation, 2020
Duration: 10 min 54 sec.
In this video essay, the game of American Football functions as a metaphorical structure, portraying the unpredictable stock market as a seemingly isolated activity from the world. When students from a business faculty practice the sport, they learn how to control their bodies, internalize strategies and tactics, and channel their emotions. This is to get better at the game. Individual trades in the stock market interact relatively randomly, as they are not directly synchronized or organized by a central agency. Collectively and spontaneously, transactions provide a coherent understanding of value. Human contingent behavior is intertwined with the way the value of assets fluctuates, a self-organized system, like the way birds interact and flock together.
With the increasing ability to collect and model data, the tools for analysis to predict erratic phenomena are increasing, providing a sense of risk management, but at the same time becoming a tool for more risk taking. In the video you hear a multitude of voices trying to get a grip on the situation and trying to interpret the stock market fall in deterministic terms.
When we understand crisis as a human abuse of an ideal model, or alienation from a perfect situation, we overlook that these models are already part of our judgment, operating with prejudice all the while. Stock markets have created a huge inequality in wealth in the world. "A bank run is not due to an error in the model, but rather to the implementation of the model in practice." Janet Roitman – Anti-Crisis