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F for Fibonacci

Beatrice Gibson

United Kingdom, United Kingdom, 2014
16 minutes, 25 seconds, Colour, 5.1 Surround, 16:9
Original format: 35mm / video
Available formats: HD Digital file / DCP

F for Fibonacci takes as its departure point American author William Gaddis’ epic modernist novel JR (1975). An eerily prescient, biting social satire, JR tells the story of a precocious 11 year-old capitalist who, with the unwitting help of his school’s resident composer, inadvertently creates the single greatest virtual empire the world has seen, spun largely from the anonymity of the school’s pay phone.F for Fibonacci develops a particular episode from JR, in which a televised music lesson is scrambled with a maths class on derivatives inside the mind of its child protagonist. Musings on aleatory music become muddled with virtual stock pickings and a theory of ‘market noise’. Unfolding through the modular machine aesthetics of the video game Minecraft, text book geometries, graphic scores, images from physics experiments, and cartoon dreams, blend with images from wall street: stock market crashes, trading pits, algorithms and transparent glass.As well as the writing of Gaddis, the film draws on the work of little-known British experimental educator and composer John Paynter, who infamously took Cornelius Cardew, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen into primary schools, and who, along with better known figures such as art critic Herbert Read, was at the forefront of utopian post-war pedagogical movements orientated around child-centerededucation. Following Paynter’s lead, Gibson worked closely with 11 year old Clay Barnard Chodzko on a number of the film’s production elements, commissioning him to design an office in Minecraft and develop an existing character of his, Mr Money. Gibson and Chodzko’s ramblings on the subject of his protagonist lead the viewer through F for Fibonacci’s hallucinatory soup.