April 23, 2019

RYBN talk art, algorithmic investment and offshore tourism at Dark Havens


RYBN walk us through the Offshore Tour Operator to explore local traces of the transnational and liquid financial industry, and introduce classic tax avoidance schemes the Double Irish, Singapore Sling, Bermuda Black hole and Dutch Sandwich. Offshore Tour Operator directs the user through addresses from the ICIJ Offshore Leaks database to discover & map the local premises of businesses listed in the Offshore Leaks, Bahamas Leaks, Panama Papers, and Paradise Papers.

A situationist GPS prototype for psychogeographic drift encouraging you to create concrete visual representation of the opaque and offshore, thus reshaping the imaginary around tax havens. Photographs of buildings listed at each address capture the offshore economies in the local landscape, architecture and environments.

Tax Haven Tourism + Algorithmic Investment + Psychogeography + Art as Financial Optimiser + #DNL15


Financial optimisation through art, it turns out only works for dead, (mostly) white & male artists, and collectors who can afford to stash excess cash in anonymous shell companies and complex trusts to hide their money through the acquisition of art. It doesn't work so well for living artists, who apparently can't transform themselves into tax havens to help offset billionaires income. I, like most artists could help you write off millions through conceptual art, feel free to call anytime!

ALGOFFSHORE TAX OPTIMIZER THROUGH ART is a system that generates tax optimization schemes, using art as a speculative vehicle. Taking advantage of every possible offshoring strategy to compute a personalised solution for any interested art collector, the user can customise the optimisation scheme with personalised parameters and dedicated algorithms.


Extra-disciplinary Artistic Research Platform, FR

RYBN.ORG is a Paris-based collective founded in 1999. The collective follows an extra-disciplinary investigation methodology on the functioning of complex and esoteric phenomena and systems - high frequency markets structure, algorithmic trading strategies, offshore banking networks, kabbalah hermeneutics, digital labor and human computers, computer viruses, etc. Their works have been presented in many art centers and festivals internationally.


Explore Psychogeographies of the Financial Imaginary uncovering  tax havens hidden in plain sight through counter-financial dérive.

RYBN Offshore Tour Operator

Offshore Tour Operator is a situationist GPS prototype, orientated toward a computer assisted psychogeographic drift, that dictates the walk of the user through the ICIJ Offshore Leaks database addresses - including the Offshore Leaks, the Bahamas Leaks, the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers. The prototype exists in two versions : a DIY open hardware version, using a raspberry pi 0 coupled to a GPS, and an android app.

Image credits: RYBN & LISTE BASEL

Offshore Tour Operator / Algoffshore - The Great Offshore, RYBN.ORG / Exhibition HeK at LISTE Art Fair Basel, 2018, curated by Boris Magrini - courtesy of Ivana Krešič.



RYBN.ORG (Extra-disciplinary Artistic Research Platform, FR) Moderated by Ela Kagel (Digital Strategist and Founder of SUPERMARKT Berlin, DE) RYBN presents the “The Great Offshore” project, an artistic investigation conducted in several tax havens.

The Great Offshore addresses the question of representation of offshore finance: due to its opaque nature and the secrecy that surrounds it, it is impossible to picture. The symbolic representations that are usually in use are, as many invitations to evasion, filled by colonial images of exotic islands, of palm trees beaches and golden sands, infinite walls of numbered mailboxes, that contribute to the aestheticisation of financial power. In a similar fashion, as Alain Deneault underlines it, the vocabulary in use to describe offshore finance is not neutral, and produces a positive, technical, legal and legitimate picture, that neutralizes critics.

As a consequence, either within semantics or semiotics, we face a representation crisis. To overcome this representation failure, The Great Offshore project seeks for traces of this transnational and liquid financial industry, to capture how it marks local landscapes, architectures and environments. The Great Offshore project aims to reshape the imaginary around tax havens, by re-engaging with the situationist strategies of psycho-geography, enhanced by digital and algorithmic means. During the talk, RYBN unfold the different chapters that composed the project and its artistic, semiotic and political dimensions.


+ Workshop / Psycho-Geographic Tour  of Berlin shell companies & shadow finance offices with RYBN.org.

What is psychogeography? :: an exploration of urban environments that emphasizes playfulness and "drifting," originating with the Situationist International movement. Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals." It has also been defined as "a total dissolution of boundaries between art and life," and "a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities... just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.

Psychogeography: delve into the soul of a city

Siobhan Lyons The Conversation 2017

Psychogeography, as the term suggests, is the intersection of psychology and geography. It focuses on our psychological experiences of the city, and reveals or illuminates forgotten, discarded, or marginalised aspects of the urban environment:

The transition of a space from one use to another undergirds much of psychogeography’s preoccupation; the notion of a palimpsest – an object or piece of writing with new material superimposed over earlier writings – is particularly important. Psychogeography thrives as an interrogation of space and history; it compels us to abandon – at least temporarily – our ordinary conceptions of the face value of a location, so that we may question its mercurial history.


Confronting Hidden Money & Power

#DNL15 DARK HAVENS brings together people from around the world who have been part of global investigations and leaks, have blown the whistle on corporations, been put on trial, and who have taken severe personal risks to confront hidden money and power.

15th conference of the Disruption Network Lab. Curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. In cooperation with Transparency International.

Disruption Network Lab: Dark Havens

Twitter: @disruptberlin


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#DNL15, Transparency, Panama Papers, investigative journalism, tax justice, offshore tax havens, disruption, network, Dark Havens, Disruption Network Lab, journalism, treasure island, finance curse, offshore tour operator, Paradise Papers, Lux Leaks, whistleblower, UBS, ICIJ, OCCRP, Berlin, transit lounge, radio, podcast, conversation, RYBN.ORG, offshore tour operator, algoffshore, algorithmic trading, economic art, psychogeography, offshore tourism, art investment, Art Basel, international art market

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