Harmen De Hoop "Permanent Education" from NUART on Vimeo.

Permanent Education (a mural about the beauty of knowledge): A cooperation between Harmen de Hoop (artist) and Jan Ubøe (Mathematics and Statistics Professor, Norwegian School Of Economics).

Jan Ubøe (Mathematics and Statistics Professor, Norwegian School Of Economics) gives a 30-minute lecture on the streets of Stavanger on the subject of option pricing.

Intended as a form of ‘knowledge propaganda’, the performance contrasts with the aesthetic values of mural art which is prevalent at street art festivals around the world. Here, the Professor’s equations – written in chalk on a public wall acting as a surrogate blackboard – allude to the dearth of interest in 'knowledge' or 'complexity' in the public domain.

Drawing on Black and Scholes explanation of how to price options, Ubøe will explain how banks can eliminate risk when they issue options. Black and Scholes explained how banks (by trading continuously in the market) can meet their obligations no matter what happens. The option price is the minimum amount of money that a bank needs to carry out such a strategy.

While the core argument is perfectly sound, it has an interesting flaw. If the market suddenly makes a jump, i.e. reacts so fast that the bank does not have sufficient time to reposition their assets, the bank will be exposed to risk. This flaw goes a long way to explain the devastating financial crisis.

This theory, and similar other theories, led banks to believe that risk no longer existed, so why not lend money to whoever is in need of money? In the end the losses peaked at 13,000 billion dollars - more than the total profits from banking since the dawn of time.

While the core part of the theory is incomprehensible to non-experts, the lecture will state the mathematical equations behind the theory and detail the construction of the trading strategy.


Harmen de Hoop is a conceptual artist whose work mostly takes place in the public space. He seeks out site-specific locations (from libraries to busy public squares) for his anonymous and illegal interventions and performances, which he then documents and presents in exhibitions after the event.

Through his work, Harmen de Hoop demonstrates the implicit tension between the ways in which the government would like the public space to be used and the ways in which citizens often unexpectedly use it. With his interventions he breaches authoritarian systems of control to bring forward another, often more humane, perspective. Ostensibly, de Hoop encourages us to look at ourselves and our environment with fresh eyes, and
a renewed sense of humour.


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