12/06/2009 05:41

On Art, Algorithm, Economic Crisis and Magic

"WEALTH OF NATIONS" conference

On Sunday, June 8th, and Monday, June 9th, at Chamber stage, a conference "Wealth of Nations" was held within this year's Media art programme of Cinema City festival. Referring to this year's theme of Media art programme, designed through exhibition display in the containers at Trg Slobode as well as the conference, which was dealing with the analysis of the concept of (virtual) money, (credit) debt, property and generally finances in the context of current development of global economic crisis, the conference "Wealth of Nations" hosted eleven theoreticians, researchers and artists from Europe and the USA. The main idea of the conference was to gather at one place, researchers from different scientific fields and cultural productions, who have a creative approach to researching the mentioned topics.

The first conference session was entitled "MAN - DEATH - CREDIT" and was referring to the anthropological and cultural aspect in interpreting the topic of money and credit debt as relevant determiners of human experience and production. The first speaker was Slavko Bogdanović with the topic "What would on this occasion Adam Smith, John Kennet Galbraith, Edgar Morin, James George Frazer and Kopicl say?", while Stefan Heidenreich and Ralph Heidenreich held a lecture with discussion, called "What is the difference between Bills of Exchange and Credit Default Swaps?"

The second session called "RESOURCES - WEALTH - PROPERTY" explored the terms of globally used creative technologies of cultural control and the question of property in that context, as well as the position of new media culture and social networks with references to the economic and energetic crisis. Konrad Becker with his lecture "Theatres of Possession" and Matteo Pasquinelli with his lecture "The 'animal spirits' of the factory of culture" spoke about these topics.

In the third session, called "VALUE - ALGORITHM - MAGIC", Darko Pantelić talked about money, its usage and the development of monetary system through history with the title "Money talks…" Felix Stalder in his lecture "Ideology, Complexity and Magic" spoke about the term magic thinking, which dominates the contemporary culture and economy, while Marko Rakić, in his lecture "Melting The Iron Cage Down" explained the mechanisms of correlation between magic, religion, bureaucracy, economy, beliefs, faith, crisis and redemption which form the modern age and our collective behaviour.

The last session called "ART - INVESTMENT -INDEX" was of a presentational character, and it referred to several artistic concepts and works presented at the exhibition "Wealth of Nations" which in an interesting way re-examine the relation between artistic praxis, art market and finances, and the influence of global financial crisis on the purpose and new positions of an artist and his activities. The participants of this session were: Luchezar Boyadjiev, Shu Lea Cheang and Mar Canet.

The conference was open for everyone and it meant the audience could participate in discussions with the speakers, and by doing so, they together tried to unravel current social changes and possible outcomes in the future.