The following works were commissioned by the Impakt’s Soft Machines curatorial team of A.E. Benenson, in the framework of the Impakt Festival Soft Machines that took place from 29 October – 2 November 2014.
See the full festival program here.
Scott Kildall (US)
EquityBot is a stock-trading algorithm that “invests” in emotions such as anger, joy, disgust and amazement. During stock market hours, EquityBot tracks sentiments on Twitter to gauge how the world is feeling. It then links these emotions with actual stocks to make investments using a simulated brokerage account.
The project treats twenty-four states of human affect as tradable commodities. During stock market hours, EquityBot autonomously generates simple data visualizations that illustrate how the world is feeling alongside the market performance of its emotional equities. Using its own Twitter feed as a site for performance, EquityBot issues daily text and images updates regarding its “emotional investments”.
In this era of advanced capitalism, high-frequency trading (HFT) algorithms comprise the large majority of stock trades. Traders often prefer abstracted entities such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) rather than traditional stocks. EquityBot is both critique and experiment, architecting a system of emotional trading and, perhaps generating a profit at the same time.
Jonas Lund (SE)
Using formal features derived from popular works of contemporary art, Lund presents a self-optimizing, digital painting that adjusts based on data about viewer engagement. Always adapting itself to our preferences, the work perpetually edges towards an “ideal” painting, harmonizing targeted digital marketing with the histories of process-based art.
The Dutch design and art collective Metahaven have premiered their new music video “Interference”, by the much acclaimed experimental musician Holly Herndon. Directing their critical attention to the conditions of sharing and display on social media, and recreating Guy Debord’s A Game of War, their video explores how affect and control converge in a new decentralized culture industry. This video was supported by Impakt.
See Holly Herndon’s Interference by Metahaven HERE