Raluca Croitoru: Immaterial Institute of Research and Experimentation

Immaterial Institute of Research and Experimentation

by Delaney Clark

The fourth presenter of the Artistic Interventions in Finance panel was Raluca Croitoru. In her performance piece, she took the stage as representative of the Immaterial Institute of Research and Experimentation. By looking at different methods of recording transactions that developed throughout time, the research collective investigates the history of documenting financial transactions. She then expressed that the collective is immaterial, and their main productions are expeditions through space. Documentation of these experiments is translated to digital tours, as in the virtual reality of websites, or in paper tours, as in published zines or booklets, and for this presentation the audience would be given a tour through a thermal printer.


Croitoru took us on an imaginary tour through a printer describing the mechanical processes of a thermal printer. Paper runs through the space, at which point heat is applied by another process enacted by a thermal unit. The circuit path then brings the paper to the cooling vents, located at the beamers on the ceiling of the auditorium. Throughout the printing process, Croitoru explains each step in detail with exaggerated hand motions, enlarging and magnifying the small-scale process of thermal receipt printing to the scale of the entire auditorium. The final solidification process puts the receipt into a metastable state. Croitoru explains that the downside of thermal printing is that it functions on heat rather than ink and will fade over time by exposure to light.
She continued by explaining that the Immaterial Institute of Research and Experimentation investigates receipts and their abilities to document a transaction. The Institute currently works on a new experiment: telepathic receipts. Rather than any material form to record a transaction, the future may rely on the connection between human minds to transfer contracts. As a document confirming our viewing of her presentation, Croitoru telepathically delivered a receipt to all audience members who agreed to receive one. After a few moments of transmission, she states that the telepathic receipt-giving process is still in research mode, therefore audience members may expect delays: it will take somewhere between one second up to one year to receive a full visualization of the receipt.