Eline Benjaminsen, Where the Money Is Made: Surfaces of Algorithmic Capital (2017–ongoing)
“When I say stock exchange, what image do you see?”With this question, Eline Benjaminsen invites the viewer to step into the world of automated trading based on algorithms, better known as high-frequency trading (HFT). In HFT, profits are made at a speed the human brain cannot even comprehend. Money is earned here not because of a certain value of products, but because the transaction itself happens so fast. Or, to put it differently, by the time you have read this sentence, a trading firm has made approximately 10,000 trades on the stock market.
Where the Money Is Made aims to bring this obscure economic power to light by tracing lines of algorithmic capital to the places where some of the main profits are made today. Guided by geometric lines-of-sight between microwave transmitters and receivers, she documents the mundane landscapes of the globalised financial infrastructure.But is it at all possible to picture this immaterial market place?
Eline Benjaminsen’s project is part of the Docking Station programme, a platform that helps visual storytellers by connecting them to experts in the field and finding new audiences for the stories. The organisationhosts international photographers in Amsterdam (NL), and once a year connects them to international photofestivals in Europe—this year Krakow Photomonth. In the first week of the festival, Benjaminsen will be present in Krakow to share her work with the audience, to meet experts in the field, and to develop her project further.
The work of Eline Benjaminsen (b. 1992, Norway) explores the processes of power that shape our attitudes, habits, and individual possibilities, yetthat exist outside of our physical environments. By focusing on the strictly physical—that which can be photographed—her work investigates the relationship between the material and the immaterial, with the aim of confronting viewers with the limit of their own vision. Benjaminsen graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in July 2017.Her project Where the Money Is Made, on the infrastructures of algorithmic trading, earned her a Steenbergen Stipend and Second Prize in the Canon Zilveren Camera category “Prijs voor Storytelling”.