Michael Mandiberg: FDIC Insured


Starting in 2008, Michael Mandiberg methodically downloaded the logos of the many banks that failed during the Great Recession, and were taken over by the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). During this process, these corporate visual identities were erased from the web. Except that every Saturday morning the artist downloaded the logos, preserving an otherwise lost history. Since then, more than 500 bank logos were saved on his computer as low resolution images, which he carefully recreated as vector files.
As Domenico Quaranta notes in his intro text:

“In the free market ideology, the state should leave the market free to regulate itself, such that any state intervention is perceived as an attempt to control and set a limit to freedom. In this perspective, an institution that was founded to save the financial system when it is collapsing onto itself is seen as a necessary evil, that should be preserved by kept unseen. By putting it under a spotlight, and saving and restoring these icons of failure, FDIC Insured questions late capitalism and offers a small act of resistance against its ability to resurrect from its own ashes.”

Michael Mandiberg is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and educator. His work traces the lines of political and symbolic power online, working on the Internet in order to comment on and or intercede in the real and poetic flows of information. He lives in, and rides his bicycle around, Brooklyn. His work lives at Mandiberg.com.

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Michael Mandiberg
FDIC Insured
500 pp,
Perfect Bound Paperback
ISBN 978-1-326-65189-3

Link Editions, Brescia, 2016