“Goldman Sachs rules the world”. Media hoax, marketing campaign or pure truth? | oliver's blogpost @ Memefest
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oliver

DESIGNER   +   RESEARCHER   +   EDUCATOR   +   PHOTOGRAPHER   +   THEORIST   +   CREATIVE_DIRECTOR   +   OUTSIDE_OF_CLASIFICATIONS   +   INTERVENTIONIST

“Goldman Sachs rules the world”. Media hoax, marketing campaign or pure truth?
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I have come across this video yesterday and looked at it several times. I was astonished by the directness of this trader who told the whole world through the BBC that he dreams every night about a global economic crisis, because this situation will allow him to make big profits.

I had a conversation about it with Vida and she said that the trader did this on purpose, launching this controversial information in order to achieve certain effects in the media and the markets.

I wasn't really sure about that. To me it seems like this guys just act from a completely abstracted position. From what I have researched in the past years, immaterial capitalism allows levels of rationalisation I have never thought were possible. The trader explained that he wants to help. He warned everyone that now is the time to make money in order to avoid personal misery that waits around the corner, when the financial crisis grows in the near future.

I checked again today and many people seem to question that this was a real stock trader. At the same time many people seem to be outraged, including high profile politicians.

http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbusiness/8352846/goldman-sachs-rules-the-world-trader-sparks-outrage

It is hard to tell what is happening. It could be true, or it could be a hoax. The Yes Men did these types of hoaxes most famously. Their tactic was to use "overidentification" and push the limits of corporations and businessman's image to levels where it started to implode showing the real nature of current capitalism’s culture. Here is a video of their fantastic action impersonating a Dow Chemicals spokes person, claiming responsibility on the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal disaster.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlUQ2sUti8o

I am wondering what is the effect of their interventions in cases like this. Because Yes Men’s activist communication strategy is grounded on (partly self promotional) revelations of the fact that they are hoaxers, some people don't believe that the interviewed person was a real trader. And because of this the potential counter effect of his public action is smaller than it would be. Interesting side effects of tactical media strategies. Just a quick google search will lead you to different web pages that cover the story. Most of them seem to deal with the hoax aspect of the whole thing. Here are just a few examples:


http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilylambert/2011/09/27/trader-or-prankster-we-called-alessio-rastani-and-asked/

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/get-prepared-goldman-sachs-rules-the-world-trader-warns-bbc-viewers/story-e6fredpu-1226148921497

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/09/bbcs_goldman_sachs_rules_the_w.html

http://www.news.com.au/business/get-prepared-goldman-sachs-rules-the-world-trader-warns-bbc-viewers/story-e6frfm1i-1226148440353

Although it looks like the Yes men or other hoaxers haven’t been involved and the Wall street guy seemed to have somehow confirmed its identity or at least the opposite has not yet been proven, its hard to know what is really going on. But even if we knew for sure the identity of this person it might be he is having his own communicative strategic agenda that goes beyond the perverse directness of his statements. If that’s true, it’s quite sophisticated.

All this works like a double media virus. First the youtube version of the BBC interview gets viral. Second, media starts to discuss it. But instead of getting in to the part of the story that is problematic- the CONTENT of what he said, media is occupied with the FORM. The Design. Was this presentation real or not? This gets us back to the question of the relation between public communication and current capitalist excess. How can we in the design obsessed media world bring communication from the form back to content?

Next thing worth checking is Alessio Rastani's FB page and the comments he is getting at the moment>

https://www.facebook.com/alessiorastani

To get a broader insight in Wall street culture and
if you haven’t seen the Oscar nominated documentary The inside Job- have a look at it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzrBurlJUNk

Another interesting and important aspect to the story is that this video is circulating in the days when several thousand people are occupying Wall Street- already for more than ten days. You can check a live stream, photos, news and more from their web site www. occupywallst.org. We are the 99% is the strong slogan of this fantastic public intervention.

So far I haven’t seen any mainstream media make a connection between the BBC interview and this protests. Of course. Although they could not be more connected. Let's see what will happen.









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karin
8 years, 6 months ago

this is already about the Crisis of Western Civilization.

marinsantic
8 years, 6 months ago

Even if I was a little skeptic about an information, after reading this, I can start to think differently. Thanks!

oliver
ABOUT ME

Username

oliver


Name

Oliver Vodeb


Gender

male


Country

Australia


Description

I am a member of Memefest communication/art/theory Kolektiv, and founder, curator and editor of Memefest Festival of Socially Responsive Communication and Art. Iam also facilitator of Memefest online social network.

I am an Academic at RMIT University, Melbourne. I teach and research mostly in the field of communication design. I approach design/communication from a critical inter/ extradisciplinary perspective and I investigate theoretical, strategic, conceptual and "hands on" practice.

I enjoy working in many different media including visual and text.

Books I have published :

http://memefest.org/en/fooddemocracy/

www.memefest.org/en/indebtedtointervene/

www.memefest.org/demonstratingrelevance/en

www.druzbenoodzivnokomuniciranje.si/

This was my studio in Slovenia (2004-2012): www.poper.si

CV (sort of): http://www.memefest.org/en/about/who_we_are_oliver_vodeb/

You can read some of my texts here:
https://rmit.academia.edu/OliverVodeb


I have joined the Memfest community becasue i am interested in

I have been here from the very beginning of Memefest. I am interested in communication/design for social and environmental change.
I name such communication socially responsive communication.

Broadly speaking I am interested in visual communication, photography, sociological aspects of communication, design and media.

Iam interested in institutionalised forms of communication like for example communication done by design/communication studios and advertising agencies as well as non institutionalised forms of communication like tactical media or broader aspects of media activism.

In a slightly more academic language:

I am interested in how critical social theory can illuminate the complex processes of production, distribution and reception of public (visual) communication in order to generate public communication as a responsible social, political, economic and cultural practice.

I am particularly interested in relations between concepts of response-ability and communication effectiveness, and the social construction of design and other forms of pubic communication as profession, practice and praxis within academia, the market environments and non-institutionalised communities.


Faculty

was studiing at Faculty for social sciences University of Ljubljana


Education

PhD in sociology of communication and design


Working place

RMIT University, School of Design, Master of Communication Design


Music I like

Flamming Lips, Pixies, The Black Crowes, Demeter, Porno for Pyros, Ry Cooder, Junior Kimbrough, Townes van Zandt, T-model Ford, The Dirty Three, Bonnie Prince Billy, Primus, Faith no More, Bob Dylan, RHCP, Alice Donut, Faith no more, Mark Lanegan, Reigning Sound, Total Control;


Books I like

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, A Confederacy of Dunces, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, PanikHerz...;


Films I like

The man who wasn't there, No country for old man, Genova, Zidane a 21st century portrait, There will be blood, Il Postino, Festen, Straight Story, Wild at heart, White Ribbon, Dog tooth;


Communication projects I like

I like stuff we did at Poper studio. I like posters from Inkahoots. I like the zine project 23/56 from Kevin. I like many things that were submitted to Memefest, I like stuff from Cactusnetwork, I like the work of Image-shift.


Websites I like

poper.si, memefest.org, magnumphotos.com, mubi.com, ubu.com, http://twotheories.blogspot.com, brianholmes.wordpress.com, www.lensculture.com, www.burnmagazine.org, www.bagnewsnotes.com, www.cactusnetwork.org.uk, http://www.image-shift.net, www.inkahoots.com.au/
www.lokidesign.net


People I like

My dear family and my wonderful friends.


COMRADES