Flash Demons

by Network Ensemble

/
  • USB Flash Drive

    Uniquely designed and limited edition USB Drive of Network Ensembles "Flash / Demons" release.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Flash and Demons are sound performances executed by the Network Ensemble at precise times: 8 and 31 years after the symbolic stock market accidents of 6 May 2010 and 19 October 1987. Popularly known as Flash Crash and Black Monday, these are, respectively, the fastest and the first stock market crashes triggered by computers.

    The Network Ensemble faces up to these accidents as an entry point to the stream of algorithmic-induced noise affecting money and its survival network. Stock markets are an important node within this network.

    Trading on stock markets was once a person to person activity, then person to phone and eventually terminal to terminal. Now, software speaks to software as the living are abandoned in favour of the void of rapidity. To begin grasping the pressure, acceleration and saturation found in such networks, the sounds of Flash and Demons are generated with software and hardware built by the Network Ensemble and able to translate a variety of network and financial data into sound signals, live.

    The release includes an hour of music and an essay by Obsolete Capitalism.
    ... more
    ships out within 4 days
    edition of 50 

      €15 EUR or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €8 EUR  or more

     

1.
04:09
2.
3.
03:47
4.
01:22
5.
00:22
6.
00:55
7.
02:20
8.
9.
02:44
10.
03:01
11.
00:48
12.
13.
14.
15.
00:06
16.
02:29
17.
00:34
18.
19.

about

β€œAccording to Albert Einstein, events do not happen,
they are there and we merely encounter them in passing,
in an eternal present; there's no minor incidents
on the way, history is merely one long chain reaction.”
β€”Paul Virilio, 𝑻𝒉𝒆 π‘Άπ’“π’Šπ’ˆπ’Šπ’π’‚π’ π‘¨π’„π’„π’Šπ’…π’†π’π’•

β€œWhen you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck”
β€”Paul Virilio, π‘·π’π’π’Šπ’•π’Šπ’„π’” 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 π‘½π’†π’“π’š 𝑾𝒐𝒓𝒔𝒕


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
πˆππ“π‘πŽπƒπ”π‚πˆππ†
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
𝑭𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒉 and π‘«π’†π’Žπ’π’π’” are sound performances executed by the Network Ensemble at precise
times: 8 and 31 years after the symbolic stock market accidents of 6 May 2010 and
19 October 1987. Popularly known as Flash Crash and Black Monday, these are,
respectively, the fastest and the first stock market crashes triggered by computers.

The Network Ensemble faces up to these accidents as an entry point to the stream of
algorithmic-induced noise affecting money and its survival network. Stock markets
are an important node within this network.

Trading on stock markets was once a person to person activity, then person to phone
and eventually terminal to terminal. Now, software speaks to software as the living
are abandoned in favour of the void of rapidity.

To begin grasping the pressure, acceleration and saturation found in such networks,
the sounds of 𝑭𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒉 and π‘«π’†π’Žπ’π’π’” are generated with software and hardware built by the
Network Ensemble and able to translate a variety of network and financial data into
sound signals, live. Mixed with the sonified data are field recordings from relevant
locations, and found news commentary.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
𝐅𝐋𝐀𝐒𝐇
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
𝑭𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒉 was performed on May 6, 2018 at London’s Design Museum as part of Alt-Age.
It is a sonification of data obtained from a wireless local network, collected
from the original location and in the same time-span of the trading activity that
triggered the accident of May 6, 2010 exactly eight years earlier; and a sonification
of trading data from the New York and Chicago stock exchanges on the day of the
crash. This is mixed with historical commentary from trading pits and news outlets,
as well as field recordings from the riotous streets of Athens.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
π„π‚πŽππŽπŒπ˜ πŽπ… 𝐒𝐏𝐄𝐄𝐃 𝐈𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄 π„π‚π‡πŽ π‚π‡π€πŒππ„π‘
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May 6, 2010: Against a backdrop of a hung UK parliament, the result of an indecisive
General Election, and of street riots in Athens, a consequence of the approval of
EU-backed austerity measures aimed at preventing Greece’s default on loan payments,
a flash crash (2.32β€”2.57 PM) wipes a trillion dollars from US stock markets. Half
a decade later, a financial trader is arrested in London, UK and extradited to be
prosecuted in the US for triggering the crash. Trading with software from his home
WiFi and PC, he is accused of inflating the financial market to profit from its
chaos, triggering a machinic positive feedback loop with his actions.

The trader used a customised piece of trading software, hacked to enable a trading
tactic known as spoofing. That is, altering the perceived supply and demand of a
commodity on the stock market, thus affecting its perceived value. His software
quickly placed, modified and cancelled sell or buy orders without executing them,
at an inhuman speed. As the value of the commodity changed, the software would
autonomously alter its offering, keeping it close to the market value but, crucially,
never likely to be taken up by another trader. The software would then execute a
portion of the placed orders at an advantageous price and automatically cancel
the rest.

Spoofing capitalises on confirmation bias. In a financial market dominated by
algorithms and imbued with noise, the positive feedback loop triggered by the
trader’s software was multiplied through the echo chamber of an algorithmic
decision-making, which feeds on collective trading patterns. The trader knew that
the synchronicity of global events and the noise they propagate, amplified by the
news network’s affect and speculation on fear, contributed to a volatile market.

Volatility means money, whether the stock are pushed up or down: a drop in stock
prices is but a chance for a fast investors. In the shift from an economy of wealth
to one of speed, hacking - of oneself, of one's tools - is key. If time is money,
speed is power.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
πƒπ„πŒπŽππ’
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
π‘«π’†π’Žπ’π’π’” was performed on 19 October 2018 at Berlin’s Spektrum as part of Radical
Networks 2018. It is a sonification of New York Stock Exchange trading data from
19 October 1987, extracted from a found Report of the Presidential Task Force on
Market Mechanisms and re-enacted exactly 31 years after the events. This is mixed
with historical news commentary.

The original performance (youtu.be/WsXmP9Vsx3U) featured live imagery of the New York
Stock Exchange, transmitted by a human proxy to Berlin’s Spektrum via video-call.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
π‡π”πŒπ€ππ’, πŒπ€π‚π‡πˆππ„π’, ππŽπˆπ’π„
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Against the volatile backdrop of US bombing in the Persian Gulf, a Great Storm
forcing European financial markets to close, the Dow Jones suffers its heaviest
percentage loss ever. With the new computerised trading an exciting but ultimately
untested novelty in Wall Street, a network capable of placing thousands of orders
triggered a domino effect, dragging markets into a downward spiral: β€œa demon of our
own design”.

Each technological invention spawns its own accident and the Black Monday of 19
October 1987 occasioned the accident of "computerised trading". The crash put the
new electronic systems of the time under an accelerated pressure, which has never
subsided, continuing to subject the market to global accidents.

On the day, the computers of institutional investors at the New York State Exchange
executed a rapid-fire choreography of trades in an effort to protect the values of
their portfolios against volatile market conditions. A network effect was triggered,
as all machines followed the same logic dictated by the technical analysis of
observed trading patterns. Flooded by orders, the network was unable to keep up
with its own positive feedback loops.

A strange set of seemingly unconnected events unfolded before the market opening.
US missiles hit Iranian oil platform in the Persian Gulf; a great storm forced
financial markets in London to a close. No matter how rational individual stock
traders may feel their decisions were at the time, the market as a whole, as a
complex network of information, changed its mind in a matter of minutes from buoyant
optimism to nihilistic despair.

Stock prices fell into a downward spiral. During the hysteria of the crash, stock
traders did not answer the phone calls of private investors, their roles as liquidity
providers unfulfilled, leaving them to feel the invisible violence of market
fluctuation in front of a TV screen.

credits

released June 7, 2019

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Force Inc. / Mille Plateaux Frankfurt, Germany

contact / help

Contact Force Inc. / Mille Plateaux

Streaming and
Download help

If you like Flash Demons, you may also like: