Posts Tagged ‘public art’

Public art of the day

Posted: 27 September 2015 in Uncategorized
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Banksy’s Dismaland Bemusement Park, which opened in August on the Weston-super-Mare seafront in southwest England, closed this weekend.

It was billed as a “bemusement park” with the anonymous artist himself describing the pop-up “family” attraction in Weston-super-Mare as “unsuitable for children”.

Some 4,500 paying customers have entered every day since it opened five weeks ago, egged on by hundreds of thousands of social media postings across the world.

Tourism chiefs in North Somerset predict it has brought £20m of business to the seaside town; statistics that could make any national arts venue drool. . .

But while lesser-known artists design their own methods to get noticed, David Lee believes they will never produce anything on as grand a scale as Banksy, who offers an “antidote to all that clever stuff”.

“His art, being facile and superficial, is popular with those who don’t generally like the sort of conceptualism foisted on them by the art establishment,” he said.


Banksy has said that all the fixtures and timber from Dismaland will be sent to Calais to build shelters for people in the camps there.


Harmen de Hoop and Jan Ubøe, “Permanent Education (a mural about the beauty of knowledge)” (Nuart 2015, Stavanger, Norway)

Ubøe, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the Norwegian School Of Economics, gives a 30-minute lecture on the streets of Stavanger on the subject of option pricing.

Drawing on Black and Scholes explanation of how to price options, Ubøe will explain how banks can eliminate risk when they issue options. Black and Scholes explained how banks (by trading continuously in the market) can meet their obligations no matter what happens. The option price is the minimum amount of money that a bank needs to carry out such a strategy.

While the core argument is perfectly sound, it has an interesting flaw. If the market suddenly makes a jump, i.e. reacts so fast that the bank does not have sufficient time to reposition their assets, the bank will be exposed to risk. This flaw goes a long way to explain the devastating financial crisis.

This theory, and similar other theories, led banks to believe that risk no longer existed, so why not lend money to whoever is in need of money? In the end the losses peaked at 13,000 billion dollars – more than the total profits from banking since the dawn of time.

My guess is, most of the members of the audience did not understand the mathematics. However, Ubøe assures them it works—both as a form of knowledge (the manipulation of the mathematics) and as a strategy for banks (to eliminate risk)—and they can’t but believe him. It has a kind of beauty.

And then he explains that other effect of the math: it led banks to believe they had found a way of eliminating risk (because, like the audience, they believed the mathematicians), which fell apart when markets made sudden jumps and the traders weren’t able to reposition their assets quickly enough.

In that case, the beauty of the knowledge is undermined by the ugliness of the results.

Travel days

Posted: 22 August 2015 in Uncategorized
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A few travel days ahead. No posts then until I arrive. . .

Public art of the day

Posted: 21 August 2015 in Uncategorized
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 banksy-dismaland-preview (1)

Banksy’s new show, the Dismaland Bemusement Park, opened on Thursday on the Weston-super-Mare seafront in southwest England.


More photos of the “art show for the 99 percent” can be found here and here.

Here’s a link to the official web site.


Blu, Thessaloniki (24 October 2011)




“I think but I don’t exist,” Lisbon, Portugal (2015)

Apparently, the British artist-film-maker Isaac Julien is directing a public reading of all three volumes of Marx’s Capital at the Venice Biennale [ht: sk]. (Julien is the director of a 2013 film Kapital, which is also being shown at the biennale.)

Perhaps it was too much to ask that the curator of the biennale’s central exhibition, Okwui Enwezor, actually understand his Marx (although the reporter, Charlotte Higgins, evidently does):

So what is the corollary of staging Das Kapital? I ask Enwezor. Did not Marx foresee the end of capitalism, inevitably brought down by its internal contradictions? “His programme was to use capitalism to achieve social equality,” says Enwezor. “I don’t think that Marx, had he lived, would have wanted capitalism to end.” I am slightly confused by this: I am no Marx expert, but I had gained the distinct impression that although Marx admired the energy and inventiveness of capitalism, he wanted it overthrown and replaced with a system that allowed people justice and dignity.