Fat Finger Confession, 2013, single channel HD video. length: 21 min., color, sound, Edition of 5/+1, courtesy of the artist.
The term "fat finger incident" is used in the context of the world of finance in order to designate human errors, such as wrong keystrokes, which have an effect on the development of stocks. A very prominent example is the so called flash crash which took place on may 6, 2010 and temporarily wiped out millions of dollars worth of stock. While most media assumed a fat finger incident as the cause of the crash, it is highly probable that so called "rogue algorithms", computer programs employed for automated high speed and high frequency trading, are to blame. The video "Fat Finger Confession" stages an interview with a trader who confesses to be the culprit behind this historical crash.
Contemporary trading is automated to such an extent that it seems almost soothing to assume direct human responsibility for errors, thus marking the human being as the glitch in a digital cybernetic system which has an enormous impact on contemporary societies. Since many of these automated trading systems operate on a speed that lies beyond that of human perception, the assumption that a single human could be responsible for catastrophic events, has the function of an ideological operation pointing to a time in history when responsibility was still in the hands of human agents. "Fat Finger Confessions" engages with the paradox that we seem to feel safer if a catastrophic event is caused by human agency rather than the automatic systems, which were, after all, invented by by us.
Concept/Text/Post Production: Axel Stockburger
Camera/Light: Lukas Heistinger
Actor: Joe Remick