Oceanic Horror unfolds within the realm of finance. The market and its dream of deregulation forming an absolute capitalism is the setting in which the transrealist narratives of this artistic research project unfolds. In this group of islands I reflect on this setting and its implications in the tempor(e)ality surrounding and seeping into this artistic project.

I begin with laying out the way I make use of the word financialisation in this research, drawing on the work of geographer Brett Christophers, arguing that the term financialisation comes closest to the understanding of finance as something both informing and penetrating every aspect of our society and every day life, that forms the premise of this research project.

This form of absolute capitalism is something I then go on to frame through the work of  Italian thinker and activist Franco “Bifo” Berardi. I underpin the absolute, limitless (as in beyond regulation) space that capitalism shapes with the help of Mark Fisher’s writing on capitalist realism, further unraveling the all-encompassing state of capitalism all the way out into the absorption of anti-capitalist critique. Finally, I bring in Byung-Chul Han and his thinking on psycho-politics, framing absolute capitalism as a internalised state that is willingly submitted to, in the guise of freedom to pursue the project of oneself. As a possible way out of this total assimilation I turn to “Bifo”’s notion of Dyst-irony as a door that opens towards the potential of joy and the excessive nature of the imagination. His idea of an independence of mind from knowledge is echoed in Byung Chul Han’s call for stupidity - as de-psychologisation freeing one from the tyranny of freedom under the psycho-politics of the self as project and as resistance against the violence of consensus.

In another note I reflect upon using the realm of finance as a horror stage, arguing that the atmospheres and moods playing out in the realm of finance mirrors those of horror fiction. I also highlight that finance in this project serves as a backdrop, a setting, and not as the main focal point of my research.

The last note in this island cluster contains a reflection on the work of visual artist Melanie Gilligan and her work ‘Popular Unrest’. I describe how the artistic practice of Gilligan resonates with my own and highlight places of both similarity and difference in approach.