The Money Media Magic Reading Series
begins with a discussion of an essay by anthropologist Rosalind C. Morris: “Modernism’s Media and the End of Mediumship?
On the Aesthetic Economy of Transparency in Thailand” (2000).

Money Medium Magic Reading Series

How can the successive crises of financial capitalism be understood in aesthetic terms? If crisis today is to be read as a waning of finance’s magic, or the failure of the market to achieve the state of total mediation as promised by financialisation, to what new aesthetic forms can we turn to address the renewed calls for transparency? Like the market, art is often seen as something imbued with magical properties. This coincidence might result as much from a shared logic of mediation as from the miraculous ability of art, particularly after its conceptual turn, to seemingly conjure value out of nothing. By this token, a crisis of the market and of art can both be approached as cases of failed mediumship.

Money, Medium, Magic is a series of collective readings that attempt to grapple with an aesthetic theory of financialisation against the backdrop of art’s transformation into capital. Beginning with a consideration of what Rosalind C. Morris calls the “aesthetic economy of transparency” surrounding the collapse of the baht that led to the Asian financial crisis of 1997, and extending to the present marked by the rapid growth of art markets and contemporary art biennales across Asia, it seeks to reimagine how we can think and do the aesthetic in a time when the market (and art) has lost its magic.

The series will unfold over the course of a year, with each session focused on the discussion of assigned texts, facilitated by Tentacles resident artist and series convenor Ho Rui An, with occasional presentations by invited speakers.