Traders, prices, spaces: images of exchanges around the world
September 29, 2007
A timely photo essay has just landed on the newsstands of New York City. Portfolio magazine, the glossiest newcomer to American business publications, features a striking photograph of Kuwait’s Financial Market: men in white Arab robes lounging about a carpeted room with red bench seats, all of it surrounded by electronic price boards. A strange crossover between airport and trading pit.
The photograph is followed by a terrific photo essay. Dramatic photographs of exchanges around the world, taken by artist-photographer Robert Polidori. The piece is a very timely addition to our discussion on the rapidly-shrinking NYSE. From Chicago to Sao Paulo, Tokyo to Nairobi, Polidori’s shots provide a window into the tremendous multiplicity of exchange assemblages. In Nepal, prices are still written on the board like they used to in New YOrk eighty years ago. London’s exchange has added activity to its static computers by planting a four-story high art installation in its lobby. Kuwait looks like an airport lounge. Nairobi and Tehran both look like Internet cafes… brokers sitting on chairs, staring at a PC screen… and separated by mysterious partitions for confidentiality. Hong Kong is organized as concentric circles of benches. Chicago’s pit traders wear colorful jackets, whereas Sao Paulo’s counterparts show up to the pit in white shirt and dark tie.