The Stock Is Rising operates with the notions of collective willpower and how faith creates reality. The financial sector’s use of, and faith in the index graph undeniably creates an economic reality for everyone, but the faith of a determined community of levitationists using a different set of values can also create an ethical and political reality.
On the one hand; stock brokers frantically preoccupied with stocks, options and funds representing only a fictitious value. One the other; a group of people focusing their mental powers to challenge the way this system affects democracy. Which, after all – is the more absurd idea? This project is also a tribute to Abbie Hoffman and his Pentagon-levitation during the Vietnam protest in 1967.
The Stock Is Rising was carried out in two steps. The first was a web-based part, launched on August 21, inviting the audience to participate in an online-meditation by contributing mental power over the net. The second had the form of a live event, taking place in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Alte Börse) in the afternoon of September 21. Here, the public was invited to join in a meditation session, attempting to get the building in the air before 17.35 (5.35 AM) when the trading closed for the day. The event was livestreamed to The Stock Is Rising website, and followed by participants on the net from all over the world. As the project was concluded, it counted contributors from the US, Canada, South Africa, South America, North Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Israel, Australia, Russia and all over Europe.
Abbie Hoffman was born on November 30, 1936. A radical American social and political activist with a BA in American Studies and an MA in psychology, he was a co-founder of the Youth International Party (the Yippie Movement), and was deeply engaged in the protests against the Vietnam War. During the mass demonstration in Washington D.C. on October 21, 1967, Hoffman led 50.000 people to the Pentagon and organized a group meditation aiming to levitate it 90 feet into the air, spin it around once, vibrate it and turn it orange – all in order to perform an exorcism of the building. The event was aided by the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, leading Tibetan chants, and by Ed Sanders and his band The Fugs, calling on “the demons of the Pentagon to rid themselves of the cancerous tumors of the war generals.”
As to whether or not the building in fact moved witnesses disagree. Regardless, the fact that the story lives on is testimony to the very real effect that Hoffman’s conviction produced; a strong statement against human oppression was inscribed in history on that day. Other memorable accomplishments by Hoffman include his work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, his protest action at the New York Stock Exchange and his 1971 publication “Steal This Book”. Hoffman died in 1989, at the age of 52, from an overdose of pills which was officially ruled a suicide. At this time, the FBI Hoffman file was 13.262 pages long in his capacity of a security risk and a threat against the system.