Rational Inattention (work in progress) 2015–2016, Rosie Heinrich
This choral scene is part of an ongoing research into the effects (and potential) of crisis and the rupture of collective narratives, centred around the 2008 Crash in Iceland.
The Icelandic chorus are singing a basic formula of the economic behavioural model Rational Inattention to the melody of the much-loved lullaby Sofðu unga ástin mín (Sleep, my young love).
Essentially, the model attempts to break away from the long used assumption that people working in the financial markets are ‘rational beings’ and embrace uncertainty as an intrinsic factor of economic behaviour, given the workers’ inherent limited capacity. As might be expected, despite decades of work, this model doesn’t function yet.
The lullaby is about a mother leaving her child out to die of exposure, bera út, something that had been commonplace in Iceland’s history. An oxymoronic act, letting go of a family member due to the untenable economic conditions and climate; a crux that in some ways has been revisited in recent years.
With many thanks to the wonderful chorus (in the video work) Rannveig Iðunn Ásgeirsdóttir, Þorsteinn Magni Björnsson, Birna Bragadóttir, Jakob Falur Garðarsson, Gerður Gestsdottir, Ólafur Þór Gunnarsson, Sigurður Vignir Jóhannsson, Ana Stanicevic, Frosti Friðriksson (substitute), and their conductor Hilmar Örn Agnarsson.
And for the generous support of the Dutch Mondriaan Fund and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.