I don't wanna work at Island no more (Cable ITCH I)

2 Channel HD Video/CGI, 08'40" (CHANNEL I), 2021

Cable ITCH (I don’t wanna work at Island no more) was a five channel video installation unfolding in the foyer of Kunsthall 3,14. Distributed up the staircase a series of video works comprised a narrative revolving around another staircase, namely the one leading up to the offices of the high frequency trading company Island ECN, on 50 Broad St. in the Financial District of New York City. Island ECN, founded by computer programmer and free information idealist Joshua Levine, held offices on the 10th floor of 50 Broad St. through the nineties. Island housed the ultimate avant-garde of high frequency trading, king of the plumbers, those that understood to bank on the very plumbing facilitating the transaction of the stock rather than the stock itself. And it was here that high frequency trading was conceived, leaving its distinct mark on the future of economics. A form of trading outmanoeuvring human faculty, the speed of every micro transaction weaving ever-new threads in an opaque unstable neuro-network of hyper-connected currents. Cable ITCH (I don’t wanna work at Island no more) formed a meditation on the unfathomable literal mess that this office space was left in. The absurd otherness of these trash-ridden offices, contrasts how the financial market (and with it algorithmic transactions) is considered norm in contemporary society, shaping not only a prevalent ideology of binary logic, but really also a sort of absolutism, from where all societal and personal imaginations ultimately must emerge. The market, as incontestable constituent of our realm of imagination, is somehow challenged in this eerie meeting with the physical mess it sprang from. From Island’s offices on the 10th floor a thick fiber optic cable snaked down the marble staircase to the sixth floor where Island kept it’s servers. This cable forms a focal narrative point for Cable ITCH (I don’t wanna work at Island no more), it’s transportation of information down through the building, a conduit for investigating the space between physicality and immateriality in the realm of finance trade.  

In the staircase of Kunsthall 3,14 five flatscreen monitors were distributed up the flights of stairs. On one screen we are presented with the waste cluttered office spaces of Island ECN seen from the perspective of a CGI pet Iguana roaming through the empty soda cans, styrofoam cups and pizza boxes. On two other screens we are introduced to a thick cable snaking its way down a staircase, modelled in 3D after the actual staircase of Kunsthall 3,14 (the building housing Kunsthall 3,14 former function as bank accounts for its staircase sharing many visual similarities with the staircase of 50 Broad St in New York City). This cable alters between different states. Sometimes it liquidises into a black oily pool, at others it turns into a centipede-like creature, telescoping its rippled body. At moments water floods the staircase and the cable transforms into a deep sea internet cable, habitat for seashells and algae. Sometimes the cable just tangles up and coexists with kindred cables, relishing in the cable mesh.