Golden Calf

Posted on Juni 28, 2012 by Volker Morawe

The global financial crisis is still going on and it is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But today it‘s different. Trading floors were once the preserve of adrenalin-fuelled dealers aggressively executing the orders of brokers who relied on research, experience and gut instinct to decide where best to invest. But nowadays investment decisions are no longer being made by human traders, but increasingly by PhD mathematicians and the immensely complex computer programs they devise. Sophisticated computer algorithms performing gigantic High-Frequency Trades (HFT) in nano seconds have been taken over not only the power of trading but also are about to change the worlds power structures with all the risks of creating an uncontrollable system.

The human stock market trader waving order papers in his hand we know from movies is dead! //////////fur//// wants to erect a memorial in this endangered species honour:

GOLDEN CALF is a multi user financial market game sculpture in which you are a trader who goes through a virtual stock market year (365days = 365 seconds). The core of the installation is a tumbling golden bull sculpture placed on an altar. The golden calf is not only known from the old testament as an object of worship but also stands for a bull market situation at the stockmarket. If you want to become the trader of the year you have to use your ego trader killer skills to manage your asset portfolio with five different fields: energy, health, luxury, weapons and art. Backbone of the installations is a specially developed server based $tockmarket $imulation $oftware ($$$) wich controls the stock prices depending on the in coming and out going trading actions and randomly generated news. The bull sculpture is a self moving cinetic sculpture like a tumbler toy which could tumble extremly hard related to the activity of the market supported by a soundtrack and illumination, screens displaying the current stock prices, rankings, news and so on.

Golden Calf is not a realistic 1:1 stock market broker simulation. It is more about the phsychological instincts triggered by this installation like greed, gambling and competition. How much „homo economicus“ is in you?