Finance is viewed as a niche area characterised by numbers, complex graphs, and professionals wielding obscure techniques, but the sector is in fact underpinned by human relationships, power dynamics and philosophical concepts that we all intuitively understand. Realising this is a great step towards keeping the financial commons open. At its core The London School of Financial Arts is about experiential learning, offering fun, adventurous, and experimental courses that immerse campaigners within the financial dark arts. Brett Scott (UK) is campaigner, former broker, and the author of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (Pluto Press). He blogs at suitpossum.blogspot.com and tweets as @suitpossum
LAB #3 in the Art Data Money series A weekend workshop, led by Brett Scott and The London School of Financial Arts, exploring different approaches to unveiling the financial sector - from open data mapping and photography to computer games and digital art installation pieces. The financial sector is notoriously opaque and alienating to many people. It is cloaked in different forms of invisibility – either through secrecy and concealment, or through complexity, jargon and obscurity – and we often struggle to conceptualise how it works and how money moves. Making the invisible world of global finance visible is a highly important task and there are a range of exciting projects attempting to do just that. In this two day workshop, we will explore different approaches to unveiling the financial sector, from open data mapping and photography to computer games and digital art installation pieces. We will look at new attempts at visualisation and sonification, and consider how money might be accurately represented in an era of digital payment via offshore tax havens. Day 1 will be focused on explore, mapping and demystify the existing financial sector. Day 2 we will work towards building an ‘Activist Bloomberg’. The Bloomberg Terminal is an expensive system that major banks use to get raw data and financial information. The Terminal is out of reach to most ordinary people, but can we create an open-source and open-access alternative Bloomberg to collect and distribute critical data on high finance? Let’s try! Part of Furtherfield’s Art Data Money programme.