Speed of Markets


The aim of art installation is the visualization of stock markets’ volume in real-time. For us volume is an interesting figure to play with, since it is an indicator for a liquidity on the markets.

Speed of Markets is very unique artwork in terms of material: it uses live financial data. The art installation talks about volume of the stock markets. We are used to follow the price of shares and its’ change. However, this information does not tell everything.
In the age of innovative financial models, trading with future contracts takes place. Hence, a market can be super busy, and at the same time, the prices of stocks very stable. It means, following just the price in a stock market does not give the whole picture of its’ activity. Therefore, we got an idea to use the volume data of stock markets to underline the actual situation and flux of the financial world. Speed of Markets makes use of big data of financial world that enables us to uncover the stock markets’ pace of life.

Speed of Market is an art piece that points out an innovative and artistic way for applying stock market data as a score. At the same time, the data represents the activity of a stock market, because the score is composed by its real-time data. The goal is to metaphorically describe financial activity by extracting the stock market data and translating it into the rhythm of a physical metronome in real time. In short, a metronome represents a stock market and follows it rhythm in real-time. It means when there are no trading going on, like weekends, the metronomes are still.

The installation consists of 7 custom-made metronomes whose rhythms correspond to the selected stock market’s volume: the bigger volume of a stock market, faster moves the metronome.

The 7 markets are: NYSE, NASDAQ, JAPAN exchange group, Euronext, London Stock exchange, Hong Kong Exchange, and Deutsche Bourse.
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The audience is given a chance to discover and experience an alternative way of perceiving stock market’s data. Our concerns are about the malleability of the digital world to the physical one, and the interpretation of financial data for artistic purposes. The installation is a sonic and at the same time visual interface for perceiving the volume and also pace of life of different stock markets, which are normally described in numbers and graphs.

„[…] Varvara Guljajeva & Mar Canet seek to draw our attention to stock market uctuations. Together, they made metronomes before connecting them in real time – or immediately, because real time in nance has a cost – to the volumes of exchanges of the nancial markets. Each metro- nome is connected to a di erent stock market, the speed of the beats being related to the volumes of exchanges. Hence the title of the installation: Speed of Markets (2014). Speed, now more than ever, is money, when you know that some stock companies in Manhattan have moved simply to get bet- ter data transfer rates. This is what is called speed trading where the algorithms are king. The sculptural part of Varvara & Mar’s installation, its materiality, is essential here. For it gives shape to the organized chaos – or disorganized, de- pending – of the nancial markets in the era of their extreme dematerialization. The very sound of the installation beats several measures at once, amplifying the chaotic aspect of the nancial markets, which nevertheless act in the greatest silence. For the hubbub around the trading oor on the Paris Stock Exchange in the Palais Brogniart is de nitely nished. It has been replaced by computers. Nowadays, it is the street that is animated by the chaotic uctuations of our frustra- tions which, little by little, are mobilised through movements such as Occupy Wall Street in New York or the Indignants in Madrid. „ (in „Art Beyond Digital” by Dominique Moulon. Link Edition, Brescia 2018, p. 158-159)

– by Priveekollektie gallery at PAD Fair, London (Oct, 2014)
– Art Miami New York art fair (14th – 17th May’15)
– Art15 art fair in London (21th – 23th May’15)
– In Time (The Rhythm of the Workshop) curated by Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Shannon R. Stratton and Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Sophia Merkin at MAD (Museum of Arts and Design) in New York (22nd Feb – 22nd May 2016)