And the Seasons; They Go Round and Round

The title of this two-part exhibition comes from Joni Mitchell’s hit song, The Circle Game, officially realeased in 1970, which appeared two years earlier as a cover on Tom Rush’s eponymous album. At around the same time, Martin Armstrong, a Jersey boy in his early twenties, discovered bewilderingly that all major activity in the financial markets between 1683 and 1907 occurred exactly every 8.6 years – six cycles of which separate Black Friday (September 24, 1869) from the commodity panic of 1920 – the single most deflationary year in American history. Six cycles of 8.6 years also yields the period separating the Second and Third Punic Wars. With this knowledge, Armstrong developed the "Economic Confidence Model," which he used to accurately predict stock market peaks and crashes, to the day. 8.6 years, of course, is 3,141 days – the number pi times a thousand.

That the geometry structuring our physical world also regulates time is astonishing, if not revelatory. But, if it also organizes human activity, as Armstrong claims, we would need to reconsider our entire philosophical tradition. For according to his model, free will and individual agency are no less predictable than the seasons; they are as calculable as any other measured value. Mathematical precision notwithstanding, the social and applied sciences have long dealt with the interrelationship between the physical world and that of our ideas. After all, building is an idea for living manifested materially.

The effects of esoteric number-crunching on the part of a few bankers have had disastrous ramifications for architecture and urbanism. Felt most severely in the United States, where building development has come to a standstill – infrastructure in need of repair which continues to decay and entire neighborhoods that have since been evacuated, concretely testify to the effect of the world of numbers on the lived, and how little we in fact understand its abstractions.

And the Seasons; They go Round and Round – the first line of Joni Mitchell’s refrain – is a pair of exhibitions that will present work by artists and architects investigating the nature of interconnected systems and the underlying symbiosis between disparate fields of knowledge.

And the Seasons: March 5 - April 11

And the Seasons – AIDS-3D’s first solo exhibition in Norway – will feature two installations that resonate Internet technology, money markets and clairvoyance into a mythic-past.

aids-3d carson chan 0047

Will Be (2009) is best described as a live sculpture. During the gallery’s opening hours, an oracle - sitting in the exhibition space, in a haze of incense, draped only in a gauzy fabric – will divine the future by reading all the Twitter messages with the words "will be," tapping into the hive-mind of the Internet instead of the Gods.

aids-3d carson chan 0047

Alpha (2010), a piece developed expressly for the exhibition at 0047, confronts viewers with the arbitrary distinctions between the physical and the abstract. A mico-PC computer that is programmed to automatically trade stocks is inserted into a piece of weathered driftwood, conflating the immediacy and physicality of the wood with the digital computations performed by the computer. A LED light is inserted into the weathered driftwood; it signals blue when there are no current transactions; red when it’s losing money and green when making money.

0047, Schweigaardsgt 34D, Oslo, Norway