top of page

The Underlying

the management of risk in 'unprecedented' times.  #thefuturesmarketmeetsbehaviouralfutures

Ami Clarke

Critical Finance Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2020



The Underlying embraced the complexities, multi-temporalities and scales, that coalesce around some new, and some very old power relations, that come of, and are revealed by, the interdependent ecologies of social media, finance, and the environment. 

The work focused on the contractual condition of insurance, as a means to consider how models of probability reveal the effects of capitalism upon the environment, as ‘unprecedented’ events become increasingly every-day, questioning not only their own validity but potentially holding a key to thinking about things differently. 


The work pointed to the extractive protocols of the meme that is capitalism; ‘platform’, ‘surveillance’, late, as well as ‘disaster’, and how these converge in digital neo-colonialisms, as well as historical colonialisms that manifest today in practices of aggressive tax evasion as ongoing forms of economic oppression, drawing out the markets relationship with the past, as the future comes up increasingly short. 


Now, contagion means epidemiologists advise government economic strategies, as a renewed interest in the state as ‘insurer of last resort’ blooms across the planet.  The coronavirus pandemic lays bare the utter failure of the contemporary politics of neoliberailsm to cope with the threat that the global pandemic demands - as collectively arrived at solutions and collaborative ways of working become not only advantageous, but essential for survival.  Questions addressing current financial models have never been more urgent and compelling, predicated upon underlying practices of extraction, as a state of contingency becomes a modus operandi, in the churning markets of disaster capitalism and strategies of disinformation across the mediasphere.

The Underlying was commissioned by                 gallery, 2019, and supported by Arts Council England. 

‘On Animatics’ by Jamie Sutcliffe (recent review Art Monthly no. 436, May 2020)

“…two recent projects by Adham Faramawy and Ami Clarke have built complex animatic interfaces

that are receptive to both the personal and economic fluctuations of a ‘pharmaco-pornographic’

era in which rogue biochemical agents unprecedentedly affect the production and maintenance of life.”


...“The economic effects of this biopolitical transformation have been recently mapped in an impressively diagnos-tic way by artist Ami Clarke, whose exhibition ‘The Underlying’ at London’s Arebyte Gallery in 2019 presented a daunting image of market responses to the shifting perceptions of Bisphenol A’s (BPA) expo- nential presence in global water supplies and foodstuffs. A product of polycarbonate plastic production, BPA’s structural similarity to oestrogen risks unpredictable effects on human cellular and reproductive health through molecular absorption. Clarke’s film Lag Lag Lag and VR work Derivative, both 2019, fuse the financial analytics toolset of live sentiment analysis of online news feeds covering BPA with fluctuations in pollution data, the ‘health’ of the FTSE 100 and a dauntingly totemic 3D model of the chemical structure of Bisphenol A. The result is a brilliantly paranoid-critical interface that animates the codependencies of human and non-human cognition as they coevolve within the animatic apparatus.” 

12th Annual Critical Finance Studies Conference

Thu, 27 Aug 2020 13:45 - Fri, 28 Aug 2020 18:30 BST


Register here


Critical finance scholars question the dominant narratives that surround finance. Often, they challenge the belief that finance could be beneficial to society, if only it were regulated effectively – and if only everyone had sufficient financial knowledge. Shedding light on the limitations of current economic systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more urgent to develop critical financial insights, drawing from a range of disciplines: from economics to sociology, accounting, arts and culture, philosophy, and politics, to name a few. The 12th Annual Critical Finance Studies Conference brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines, to critically assess the role of finance and financialization in politics, culture and society.



Art, Finance and Culture

Discussion of Video Presentations

Friday 28th August 13:30 – 14:30


programme here


Eventbrite page here


arebytelogopng copy big black.png
bottom of page