Without friction is a fictional video work that is based on artistic research done in New York during FCINY residency in January-February 2018. Sources for research included digital archives of Museum of American Finance and video interviews of finance professionals documented by New York Historical Society. In addition to these institutions New York public space functioned as an important urban archive for the project.
I shot digital photographs of different buildings, memorial plaques and interiors related to finance and technology such as New York Stock Exchange, NY Federal Reserve, The Western Union Telegraph co, House of Morgan, Rockefeller Center and so on. From these photographs I created virtual 3D models, using photogrammetry, that function as a scenery for the economic science fiction narrative. First part of the work also introduces hand trading signals formerly used in stock exchanges, captured and digitalized using motion tracking technology.
The title of the work Without Friction is a reference to a concept of ‘friction free capitalism’, coined by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. The narrative is built around different polarities and tensions found in network capitalism. Topics include the diminishing role of human labour, distribution and accumulation of information and capital as well as the accelerating financial technologies. Different historical events and places related to developments of finance technologies mix up with more recent discourses.
The work is split into four parts all highlighting different aspects of these developments during last century and the beginning of current century. First part is about the replacement of human traders and physical places of trading. Second part is about accumulation and distribution of data capital and third about increasing complexity its relation to power and control. Fourth part speculates on possible end scenarios drawing from current debates and historical events such as the anarchist bombing that happened in 1920 on Wall Street.