Offshore Finance, Bataille, Xenospace, Murder!

With with Joshua Cohen, Bill Maurer & Martine Syms 4:00pm The Classroom, LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Triple Canopy celebrates the publication of Headless, a murder-mystery by the elusive author K. D., with a reading and a rumination on offshore finance and human sacrifice at the LA Art Book Fair. Headless is a delirious romp through the world of offshore finance, conducted by a British ghostwriter who seems to have uncovered a sacrifice-obsessed, Bataille-inspired secret society of global economic elites who will do anything to maintain their power. The ghostwriter, John Barlow, is hired by the Swedish conceptualist artist duo Goldin+Senneby to investigate Headless, an offshore firm registered in the Bahamas. Barlow happily agrees to write up his investigation as a mystery novel, to be published under the name K. D. But soon Barlow is implicated in the decapitation of a police officer in Nassau, and his novel becomes a matter of life and death. The more he struggles to grasp the plot, the further he slips into the dark world of covert capitalism.

Triple Canopy editors will be joined by artist Martine Syms, writer Joshua Cohen, and cultural anthropologist Bill Maurer; a discussion with Maurer—whose research focuses on law, property, money, and finance, and on the technological infrastructures and social relations of exchange and payment—will follow the reading.

  • Joshua Cohen was born in New Jersey in 1980. He is the author of seven books, including Book of Numbers: A Novel, forthcoming in June.
  • Bill Maurer is a cultural anthropologist who conducts research on law, property, money and finance, focusing on the technological infrastructures and social relations of exchange and payment. He is a professor at University of California Irvine, where he is the founding director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion. He is the author of Recharting the Caribbean: Land, Law and Citizenship in the British Virgin Islands (1997), Pious Property: Islamic Mortgages in the United States (2006), and Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason (2005).
  • Martine Syms is a conceptual entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. She uses publishing, video, and performance to look at the making and reception of meaning in contemporary America. She currently runs DOMINICA, an imprint dedicated to exploring blackness as a topic, a reference, a marker, and an audience in visual culture. From 2007 to 2011 Syms directed Golden Age, a project space focused on printed matter. She has presented her work at universities and museums internationally.