There are no heroes on Wall Street. But the Night King isn’t here to save us, he just wants to let us know where we went wrong, that we wasted a good crisis.
A Good Crisis (2018) by the New York-based collective DIS reflects on the future of money, income disparities, and the uncertain economic outlook for millennials. The Night King from HBO hit series Game of Thrones rushes the viewer through the boom years of the 20th century economy towards the far-reaching effects of the 2008 financial crisis. This force of darkness sipping champagne explains how the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. in 2007-2009 led to a global recession. The cause of the crisis was predatory lending targeted to low-income homebuyers. At the same time, house prices more than doubled in the United States. When the housing bubble burst and prices collapsed, banks, despite their hedging measures, suffered severe credit losses that remained to be paid by taxpayers. Banks took the money and houses from the indebted. The winner was e.g. Blackstone, the world’s largest property owner who knew how to take advantage of the “good crisis”. DIS points out that this is not natural – it is just normalized.
After the global housing collapse there was the rare opportunity to revolutionize or at the very least regulate the economic world order that had just wiped out 50 years of middleclass wealth gains. But now that Wall Street has taken away the one form of wealth middle class Americans had, their homes, they want to become your landlord. No more safety net, there is now a network of temporary homes, forcing renters into a state of perpetual social insecurity. Financiers and CEOs like Blackstone’s Stephen A. Schwarzman, the first executive to pull in a $1 billion annual salary, are reveling in the feudal frenzy of the new rentership society, doubling down on a debt economy in order to create an austere reality where there are no public services, just publicly traded landlords renting out the homes they stole out from under their foreclosed upon owners.
You wanted an economic revolution? We’re in one.
The New York-based collective DIS; made up of Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro, works across a wide range of media, through collaborative and curatorial practices. In 2018 the collective transitioned platforms from an online magazine, dismagazine.com, to a video streaming edutainment platform, dis.art, narrowing in on the future of education as entertainment. DIS enlists leading artists and thinkers to expand the reach of key conversations bubbling up through contemporary art, culture, activism, philosophy, and technology, with the aim to inform and mobilize a generation around the vital issues facing us today and tomorrow.
This exhibition is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.