Die Börse, die Zeit und das Geld   Austria   1988 - 1989


The Stock Exchange, Time And Money

The Stock Exchange delivers an ongoing index of share prices. This index provides a numerical indication of an evaluation of expectations for the future of money and the various markets. And even though this index signifies the present pure, the expectations are not only a reflection of the true value of the stock, they quasi-open up a game with highly variable rules at the same time that throw the discourse concerning their value into an area with constantly changing parameters. It is a game based on the potential future of the shares and their derivatives with their effects on markets at that moment and in the future. This makes it a game with time and with money.

The given rate is a conglomeration of what is and hopes and evaluated capital over time seen from the point of view of expectations for the future. Nevertheless it also evaluates time, making it time and money. In the face of this continuing evaluation, devaluation, increase in value that apparently occurs without any help from us, the players respond with a prayer that is as full of hope as it is listlessly active and/or passive: consumption, abstention, passion, loss, hope, faith. This prayer delivers new bases for evaluation, the possible future of which, in reciprocation, provides real figures.

Romana Scheffknecht installs three vast screens and shows the prices of individual shares, the rates of exchange of various currencies and times repeating every 22 minutes. Large figures provide an illustration of the dimensions of continually altering values of market indexes, exchange rates and time in correlation to one another. This is a place of prayer, as it were, without our being actively involved: the installation works through an endless loop accompanied by an auditory motor, tinny with the sound of poor recording quality: that of Tibetan monks praying.

The artist creates a scenario showing the existential orientation of the world, a movement that is variable but which is primarily to be measured according to the scale that is present. Seen like this, the screens are stuck like seismographs in the earth, providing readings for this existential orientation: the relative values of time, money and the stock exchange. In the installation their figures and symbols pump continuity and variability into the exhibition space ? time, value and evaluation working relentlessly as a visual interface.

Confronted with this, the viewer finds themselves caught up in the interpassivity of praying and counting; both are being attended to for them. In any of the Tibetan monasteries, on any of the markets.

Rosa Suess


Messages from Heaven, 1994

Institut Francais de Vienne Clam-Gallas, Wien, Austria


stereo color/bw PAL

Technical protocol

Artstar (Programming); Beta SP (Master).

Post production

Nachbearbeitungsstudio Houdek & Kurek, Wien


Bundesministerium für Unterricht Kunst und Sport (Österreich)


Romana Scheffknecht

Copy to see

Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum, St. Pölten; Medienkunstarchiv Wien