A collection of artists, researchers, and interstitial practitioners explore weird temporalities in finance, technology, and catastrophe.
Once, financial practitioners plied a hybrid trade as hydrologists, star-gazers, and weather-watchers who sought to discover the natural laws of value and exchange as they did the divine order of an unchanging nature. Today, corporate firms hire trend forecasters and scenario planners to play out strategic fictions in virtual worlds. Hurricane and drought insurance markets offer investment instruments tied to a turbulent climate as a hedge against the risks of the stock market. And for financial astrologers operating on Wall Street, celestial motions provide a cosmic mapping that orients the mood of terrestrial markets.
Through essays and interviews, Catastrophe Time! pays attention to the conditions of speculative knowledge, whether through modeling or intuition, exploring its pitfalls and its potentials. Traversing a gray zone between rigorous research and operative science fictions, its contributors question how practices of speculation may transform, undermine, and at times exceed, the worlds they set out to model.
Edited by artist Gary Zhexi Zhang, Catastrophe Time! explores the power of practical fictions—whether currencies, cults or forecasts—in the shaping of fragmented temporalities. By bringing together researchers and writers working at the boundaries of temporal practices, including Diann Bauer, Philip Grant, Chiara di Leone, William Kherbek, Klara Kofen, Kei Kreutler, Suhail Malik, and Bassem Saad, this urgent volume seeks to make sense of the unraveling moment in which we live.