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Saturday, February 29 2020 since 1997 Winter Semester 2019/2020


finance and fiction

„Relations of uncertainties“ shape the modern world, the „age of anxiety“ according to W. H. Auden and Günther Anders. Probability theories have been created in response to this since the 17th century – in mathematics, statistics, the economy and in the arts. In the sciences, the establishment of models and formalisations grasp these uncertainties and put them into perspective, into the system. In the economic process this formalisation of knowledge is often not recognised as what it is or can be, what it produces – which is fiction. The logic of the abstraction of money on the financial markets creates its own reality, detached from the references to local, social, to political or even economic data. „Computers conceive the suffering of the millionaires“, writes Wolfgang Koeppen with irony in his New York fiction of 1976. But is it still possible to narrate a different world - such as the one of finances - with the familiar dichotomy of 'natural' and 'artificial', of 'illusion' and 'reality'? The fuzzy term of virtual reality contains the old expression of virtue – should it be applied to the electronic networks of information which delineate within seconds the movements and events of the global finance markets on the screen? This „greater being“ as an emergent life form: changeable, flowing, without identity, endless. And catastrophic?


Karin Knorr Cetina Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 09:15 pm,
Jeremy Rifkin Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 09:15 pm,
Urs Stäheli Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 09:15 pm,