Rodrigo Azaola

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A little better                                

Two-channel HD video installation.  4’47’’.

For several months,  I followed different cryptocurrency trading and development instant messaging platforms, actively participating in their discussions and generating debates on topics such as trust, value, risk, the meaning of money, the role of central banks, national sovereignty, etc.

I particularly followed and gathered the visual language created for said discussions, permeated with exuberance, irrationality, speculation, and greed, but also with true hopes of a somehow unattainable financial future, resistant to the oversight of any sovereign state. 

The obvious departure point for this project would be the launch of the Bitcoin network in 2009, which had as its background the Financial Global Crisis of 2007–8. But I decided to back track my research to 1971, when Richard Nixon announced the end of the gold standard, thus terminating the post-war Bretton Woods system.

Weeks before Nixon terminated the gold standard, he was secretly recorded talking about the economy: “We are just running the chaos a little better”. Almost half a century later, delusional thinking and hope may fuel the rise of cryptocurrencies. It makes sense to ask if it's sustainable, even rational. Perhaps not, but one could argue that, as today, neither is the world economy.

This work was exhibited at AirSpace Projects, Sydney, Australia (2018); 9th Cairo Video Festival, Cairo, Egypt (2019); ISEA 2020, Montreal, Canada (2020). Download publication and paper.

Installation views, Airspace Projects, Sydney. 2018.