Developed to accompany The History of Financial Crises installation – for the duration of exhibition, Harrison sent an SMS message to the phone installed in the gallery every time she made an economic transaction. The Coke can dances with joy every time a message is received.

Transactions was made to accompany the large installation The History of Financial Crises as part of the exhibition Transfers and Actions at Mejan Labs in Stockholm, Sweden in April 2009. The idea was to begin to contrast the large seemingly removed global catastrophes within capitalism, with each individual’s complicit micro-involvement in this system.

Transactions also marked what could be seen as a minor relapse following Harrison’s decision to quit ‘data collecting’. For the duration of the exhibition, Harrison agreed to send an SMS message to the mobile phone installed in the gallery every time she made a financial transaction (large or small). As-and-when this occurred the phone’s alert triggered a movement from the dancing Coke can. The SMS messages containing details of the item / service purchased were archived in the phone’s memory for visitors to view.

A modified version of Transactions will feature as part of the Capitalyst programme at Catalyst Arts, Belfast in summer 2009. This time however, rather than Harrison collecting information about her own financial transactions the task will fall to the gallery’s seven directors and a record of the SMS messages they send to the phone will be archived on the Catalyst Arts website.

Photo: Ellie Harrison