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Everything Ends in Chaos

Everything Ends in Chaos sets out to reverse-engineers a fictive global financial catastrophe, tracing the intricate trajectories of people and things implicated in the unfolding disaster, in ways that are cinematic, but that narrative film disallows.

As functioning humans beings, psychologically we are collectively and individually blind to uncertainty, and therefore often unaware of the impact that singular events can have on our lives: economically, historically and scientifically, until after their occurrence. Some of us die by this mistake and some of us profit beyond our wildest dreams from it. It began as an attempt to design a ‘black swan’, a term popularized in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book of the same name, in which it stands for an unpredicted event that results in a moment with a large impact. The image ‘A Black Swan’ itself is an older philosophical saw, relating to the encounter with black swans by the first Europeans to reach southern Australia. Before then, every swan they had ever seen was white; but the generalisation ‘swans are white’ was wrong, despite all the evidence hitherto.

The plot begins with the kidnapping of the wealthy wife of a senator, Mrs Henderson, which sets in motion a series of events that accumulate to create a global economic disaster. Working with bankers, brokers, loss adjustors and risk strategists, the scenarios depicted were passed through actual actuarial assessment as to their probabilities and financial implications toinvestigate the points at which economic and architectural fact collide with fiction, detailing the various modes of precision that are at work, from insurers’ assessments of the value of individual body parts in the case of their loss or destruction, to the specific location of people and devices in a series of environments that allow the catastrophe to emerge.

The work is presented as a mixed-media collection of objects, narrative texts and films designed to pertain to an aesthetic of precision, precision that does not only obtain a rendered final product, but also encompasses the devices that go into creating it; that is, the systems that allow precision to be achieved – strategies and techniques of modelling events, rehearsal, as anticipatory entertainment of multiple possibilities.

We MakeMoneyNotArt, Beyond the Beyond - Bruce Sterling,
The Financial Times, Architectural Design Magazine,
BLDGBLOG, Domus, Liberation, Emergence Conference,
The Future of New Governments and Economic Models,
Oxford University, Design Indaba, Demos Think Tank,
Museum of Moving Image, Forbes, Blueprint Magazine.
Winner of the Sir Ridley Scott Award, 2011







© Ilona Gaynor 2011

Design, Direction, Animation: Ilona Gaynor
Film Lighting: Diego Trujillo
Stylist: Maki Lou Lou
Make Up Artist: Jessica Cheetham
Assistants: Simon Jeal and Ben O'Dell
3D Film Models: Tommaso Lanza
3D Prints: Matt Sinclair
Book Design: Gabriel Wiechert
Doves, Animal Handler: The White Feather Company
Advisors: BPL, Lloyds of London, Hiscox and Merrill Lynch