The Floating World, 2015
The Floating World traces parallels between the history of currency and modernist artistic strategies.
In the centre of the room, a drawing machine operates. Inside the steel structure gears slowly turn, bearings roll and counterweights tremble, as a pivoting arm drags a pen in a looping curve across a sheet of paper. As the pen draws, the table that holds the paper slowly revolves, and as it turns, the loop becomes a spiral; a curving grid that falls back on itself as the pen describes the subtly varying orbits of the drawing arm.
The Floating World draws on the histories of dematerialisation of both money and art. Based on the principles of 19th century geometric lathes, the mechanisms of the drawing machine trace patterns across the paper that resemble the ornaments still found on banknotes, but the movements of the machine are computer drawing information from currency exchange data. The drawing machine transforms the stream of stock ticker numbers into slow arabesques, and the regularity of this pattern depends on the stability of the currencies charted; as the exchange rate shifts so does the pattern, and so the language of the stability of money becomes a device to describe its contingency and instability. The Floating World makes art of commerce, cryptically graphing the impact of events and ideas in the ripples they make in the flow of numbers of international exchange markets, paper notes of the space between money.