Rodrigo Azaola

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Impunity landscapes I, SIBs  

Three-channel HD video installation.  6’38’’.

From January 18, 2019 to January 18, 2020, I collected news about predatory and criminal acts committed by global systemically important banks (SIBs). Because of their size, complexity, and global interconnectedness, SIBs are also known as "too big to fail" banks.

Every time a new piece of news was released, I converted it into a hexadecimal string and inserted it into an Ethereum Virtual Machine transaction, making it permanent, incorruptible, and accessible to anyone at any time. On the same day, I manipulated with trading software the bank stock's price action chart until it was devoid of any financial meaning.

There are 66 archive entries documenting criminal acts such as charging services to dead people, money laundering, manipulating government bond markets, concealing massive losses, breaches of counter-terrorism financing laws, facilitating transactions linked to child sexual exploitation and many more. 

This video installation, based on animated renders of the charts, serves as a speculative arena to explore the visualization of fraud and financial malfeasance: the aesthetic expressions of an economic irrationality in which crime is already "priced in".

This work was exhibited at the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design d'Orléans, October 22 - December 10, 2020 (curated by Aude Launay).


Installation views. École Supérieure d'Art et de Design d'Orléans, 2020.