fud is a new three-part series by Gary Zhexi Zhang, taking place over 18 months both online and at Bloc Projects. Over the past year, Zhang has been researching the "catastrophe industry", the billion-dollar market for insurance against hurricanes, earthquakes and droughts, priced through climate simulations and financial modelling. fud explores the catastrophe industry as an elaborate work of science fiction.
Episode 1: The First 10,000 Years
Digital artwork – online from 16 October 2020
The First 10,000 Years is a digital simulation narrative by Zhang and hardware and software developer Agnes Cameron. The work comprises a live "catastrophe insurance marketplace". Based on statistical climate simulations used by the insurance industry to calculate future catastrophic losses (typically by simulating 10,000 years of speculative global weather activity), The First 10,000 Years is a hurricane observatory, financial exchange and chatroom in which human and non-human players place their wagers in a marketplace for systemic uncertainties.
Episode 2: Exhibition at Bloc Projects – April 2021
The exhibition will bring together real and fictional artefacts gathered over the course of Zhang’s research and interviews with simulation engineers, existential risk analysts, loss adjusters and financial astrologists. Come back soon for more details.