“What’s fantastic about trading futures today: it’s so easy, push the button, buy the bean, I’m in the market, right?” says an analyst. Originally, the basic idea behind futures was that they serve to protect producers and consumers against fluctuations in the price of raw materials. In practice, futures are bets on future prices that are traded on commodity futures exchanges. With the deregulation of financial markets and the introduction of electronic trading, this hedging process became a mass product, largely replacing the purchase and sale of real goods. Banks and funds invested heavily in the future price of basic foods. Online trading firms began to target a completely new kind of customer, the small investor. Anybody can legally participate in the huge casino of the commodity futures market in the hope of making real profits from an abstract contract based on a fictional premise. At the same time, like an invisible hand, futures determine the prices of real food, setting the industrial standards worldwide for agricultural production.
For Fictions and Futures #1 we wanted to film at the location where futures were first invented, the Chicago Board of Trade. We then realised, however, that, at least since the crisis and Occupy Wall Street, the financial sector is a closed shop which attempts to exercise control over 100% of the images that make their way outside. On the other hand, it is child’s play to open up an account at an e-trading platform and to get practical experience in the trading of futures. In Fictions and Futures #1, Gloria, the voice of the brokerage firm by the same name, introduces us to the language and logic of the financial world. In her words, and those of her handpicked guests, we find out what narratives fuel the markets, why the scarcity of raw materials is a reason to rejoice, and how an announced catastrophe can be used by special interests to lever an advantage.
Germany/Norway 2013, HD, 2-channel video installation, 30 minutes; idea, director, camera, editor: Arne Hector, Minze Tummescheit; female voice: Jessy Tuddenham; male voice: Daniel Belasco New; music: Asi Föcker; production: cinéma copains, Frøken Hellesøy Film.
Minze Tummescheit, born in 1967 in Lima, Peru, and Arne Hector, born in 1970 in Eschwege, have been working together as cinéma copains since 2000. They live and work in Berlin. In the Forum 2012 with in arbeit/en construction/w toku/lavori in corso, 2004 with Jarmark Europa.