"COUNTERING CAPITULATION. From Automated Participation to Renegade Solidarity."
High-frequency trading and the forensic analysis of the Flash Crash, May 6, 2010.
Single channel video, 11:20 min., 2013-14
Produced for the Forensic Architecture exhibition FORENSIS at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, curated by Anselm Franke and Eyal Weizmann, 2014.
COUNTERING CAPITULATION engages with the inquiries following the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010, an event that went down as the biggest one-day market decline in financial history. Focusing on a remarkable forensic analysis that not only contradicted the official findings of the regulatory authorities and shed light on the impact of algorithmic trading but also developed tools to visualize material processes that operate beyond human perception, Nestler argues that in the current legal framework evidence of market events can only be produced by a double figure of the expert witness: when the (forensic) analyst is joined by a whistleblower.
With this ambivalent, contingent and marginal figure at its heart—a renegade, a traitor, a defector—COUNTERING CAPITULATION proposes a multilayered, postdisciplinary artistic practice engaged in creating narrative instabilities that coagulate dissent into insurrection: "enhancing resolution" in the technological, legal as well as social and political sense of the term. The video concludes with a call for building "renegade solidarity" between whistleblowers—exemplary figures of contemporary insurrection—and the general public to counter the excesses of (automated) schemes of evaluation and decision-making, not only as regards financial markets but proprietary black box regimes in general.
Gerald Nestler: research, concept, text and editing
Sylvia Eckermann: animation
Flash Crash charts and animations courtesy of Nanex LLC
Sound editing: szely
Synthetic algo voice over: Alva & Tom
Special thanks to:
Eric Hunsader, Sylvia Eckermann, Brian Holmes, Eyal Weizman
Produced with the support of:
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, for the exhibition FORENSIS, March 15 - May 5, 2014
and bm:ukk Austria.