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THREE WHITE SOLDIERS ||| THE LYRE
Skogen Gothenburg, April-May 2017
Three White Soldiers is an archive of stories, collected by Anders Paulin and Johan Forsman through a series of pilgrimages following the material as well as virtual landscape of contemporary economy.
The trilogy starts at Wall Street and at the server co-locations hosting todays robotized traders; computers trading at the stock markets in velocities challenging our concepts of time and space. From here Anders and Johan departs on a journey studying the relations between material and immaterial values, various ”time-spaces” operating beyond the human perception, and the use of patterns and images to visualize worlds and events impenetrable to the human horizon. As they go, they collect stories and respond to associations. To avoid already known financial narratives, they start to follow the directions given by shamans and spiritual guides they meet along the way.
In the second part of the trilogy – Rock this World – they turn their focus from the surreal speeds of high frequency trading to the extreme gravity of mining. The work begins to challenge the borders between fiction and facts and the process starts to intervene in their personal life. Simultaneously, notions of contemporary economy return in new shapes and forms as they travel up through Lapland, only to suddenly find themselves walking barefoot amongst ancient temples in Egypt.
The third and final part The Lyre continues the journey of contemporary economy as a world of signs, magic, frequencies, transactions, fetishes and mantras. Following the previous pilgrimages through server halls, mines and deserts the path arrives at a point zero of transcendent values and symbolic systems. The Lyre is a sonic-visual ceremony aiming for the impossible leap – to tear a fissure in the financial web of signs and peek into the other side; a passage of stillness in the midst of the speeds and seemingly unstoppable static noise of modern finance.
Three White Soldiers is neither a critique nor capitulation towards the networking super speed of contemporary economy, rather an attempt to travel along its patterns and linguistic figures: A journey accompanied by the fetishes of the financial market, algo-spoofers, astronauts, bitcoin miners, ancient gods and japanese rice traders.
The first part of the performance premiered in 2014, and the second part – Rock this World – in the autumn 2015. Part three "The Lyre" had its premiere at Skogen in March 2017.