Paolo Monti Bibliography
Archive ▪ 2005



CongressCATH 2005 | Ethics and Politics of Virtuality and Indexicality
Arts & Humanities Research Council
“Virtual Money: Data Visualisation and Financial Capitalism”
by Rita Raley

Abstract:  This paper takes as its theme the aesthetic visualization of the operations of financial capitalism, primarily addressing the computer art project by Joshua Portway and Lisa Autogena: Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium (Tate 2001; Copenhagen 2004). Deriving its title from Myron Scholes’s and Robert Merton’s formula for pricing derivatives, Black Shoals uses real-time financial data to thematize the market as a complex adaptive system. In its use of ALife creatures within the economic-aesthetic environment, this project closely resembles John Klima’s ecosystm (2001), which generates a simulated ecosystem out of real -time currency exchange rates. Similarly, Laura Kurgan’s Global Clock No.1 (2000) and Global Clock No.2 (2002) provide a temporal interface for real-time currency exchange rates of the dollar, euro, and yen. Using a Reuters data feed, Kurgan’s clock visualizes the movements (exchanges and value) of money and investigates “the luminous immateriality of money and its mutable media.” All of these data visualization projects reflect the abstraction of form inherent in networked financial exchanges, particularly in the case of derivatives.
Such data visualization projects thus invite certain questions: How can one use data maps and visualizations to think about causes and material effects? In a data visualization project, especially with the data that of global finance, what aesthetic does one produce? Is it simply replicatory or reiterative of the logic of financial capitalism and of neoliberal globalization? What is the relation, further between these new media representations of capital and the use of banknotes and coins in the artwork of Warhol, Beuys, Otis Kaye, and Paolo Monti? How would the issues of reference, abstraction, and materiality differ? How might these data visualization projects help us to consider the relations between materiality and abstraction not in terms of a historical progression (with money becoming dematerialized and abstract in the passage from gold to notes to digital bits) but in terms of parallax? The aesthetic of Black Shoals, in other words, must be understood to be grounded in the material realities of global capitalism.

CATH CentreVirtual Money: Data Visualisation and Financial Capitalism
Author: Rita Raley, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Panel: Archive, Friday 1 July, 11.00 - 12.30.