Rodrigo Azaola

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A little worse

Single-channel HD video with sound. 7’34’’.

A little worse is the visual diary of uncertainty and irrationality driven by global fiscal and monetary stimulus. It is also a journey into the geopolitical structure of capital flows and the manner in which the periphery taps into the core financial markets.

The departure point is the visual imagery created around the GameStop stock short squeeze of January 2021, a frenzy retail buyout fueled by the gamification of financial platforms and Internet forums. The narrative behind it was that of a coordinated rebellion against hedge funds' stern financial maneuvers, but the discourse that encoded desires—emotions as a type of capital—actually reinforced the system of behaviors demanded for the effective reproduction of capitalist power, including relations of class, race, and gender. 

For a few days, the narrative favored the bold, and fortunes were made and lost. I even took some stock positions, relishing the ephemerality of an improbable systemic change.

This memoir was made while I realized a 900% return on my investment —a brief period in which I was a surrogate instrument of financial exuberance and a willful participant from an unstable emerging economy.