RZN003 :: Demystication Committee :: The Offshore Economist @ Transmediale 2018
(Out in Jan. 2018)
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Let us then try to outline some unorthodox paths which electronic music culture innovatively drew at the beginning of the 21stcentury. The bold James Ferraro centres a first round of sarcastic ballads around the physical core of the money world: the New York hub where the many offshore streams of molecular chrematistics converge. Ferraro’s conceptual album,Human Story 3 (2016), features a track focusing on the spectacularisation of human types, wandering like “forgetful mammals” in the plastiglomerate of New York City,at the time of market collapse.
An introduction to the Offshore Investigation Vehicle by Demystification Committee
“He sells three shares by the seashore The shares he sells are surely offshore.”
It’s estimated that as much as half of all global wealth is stacked in or routed through tax havens. These tax havens, or ‘secrecy jurisdictions’, are one part of the parallel legal and financial system known as offshore. Through the offshore system, trillions of dollars appear to flow amongst a multitude of businesses. This money seemingly traverses the globe, while truthfully remaining concentrated in the hands of a few powerful actors in a few powerful countries. (…) sheets and tax returns of countless companies. A hive of secretive activity distributed across the globe. If it’s a place, can one visit? Where is it, and what can you do here? How might it feel to become part of it? Throughout summer 2017, the Demystification Committee set out to model and explore the systems and structures of offshore finance, and the murky world of the jurisdictions that enable its existence, with the aim to open up opportunities for subversive, wasteful fun. The Demystification Committee set up an international corporate structure across three jurisdictions, the Offshore Investigation Vehicle. This vehicle operates at once as a guide and a shield: not only does it provide access to a hidden world of knowledge and opportunities; it also guarantees the secrecy of the actions undertaken there. Once set-up, the Offshore Investigation Vehicle was opened to others in an attempt to create a community of people interested in this effective and toxic parallel legal system. The community was formed through the norms of corporate law, playing with the company’s legal structure: shares were issued; meetings called; resolutions voted on. At the first general meeting of Empire Management, the UK limited company at the top of this structure, the Vehicle’s objectives were collectively set. A dozen new shareholders advanced and discussed a number of operations, with the aim to begin misusing the privileged Vehicle’s structure set-up both onshore and offshore. The idea of producing a seditious mirror version of the Economist, to be known as the Offshore Economist, was advanced, discussed and approved. The publication focuses on those ruptures and cracks inherent to the practice and world of offshore, which are the qualifying loopholes for those invested, and investing, in it. Through fictional stories, marginal poetry, fragmented legalese and a shifting form and layout, this publication pursues an aesthetic of offshore — a world that is dual and slippery, real and beyond real, and — at times — surreal.
Demystification Committee is a collective based in London and Berlin.