bureaucratic relationships

the rise of centralized institutions

(contracts, legislations, financial transactions )





in the mid-19th century,
society went through a tremendous change.

People moved to fast-growing cities such as London, Paris and New York. The local banker here was replaced by large corporations that didn’t
know us as individuals.

Impression, Sunrise - Monet

In this era, local bankers were often ship owners too, and the imagery of maritime industry used on paper money
illustrates the significance
of shipping, fishing and shipbuilding in local economies.

– Toronto Bank note

We started to place our trust into black box systems of authority, things like legal contracts, regulation and insurance, leaded to less
trust to other people.

Trust became institutional
and commission-based.

a new road 
was opened by industrial production in England.

the first

industrial revolution

Brought mechanical innovations and with it steam power, which brought the coal-powered external combustion engine. It started in the late 18th century with the mechanisation of textile industry and the birth of the factory.


Creation of mass markets

the Second

industrial revolution

It started in the second half of the 19th century, with the rising of oil-powered internal combustion engine and electrical communication. The electrification of factories and mass production were a precedent to the installation of assembly lines, designed by Henry Ford in 1913.



"Money offered a third

and completely novel

way to organize society. "

– The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz. 1915.

The unbearable

speed of progress

The first half of the industrial revolution saw just one individual running the companies, but as time went on shareholders and joint stock companies emerged, and management had to change to cope with specialized positions.


The idea o progress comes from an occidental conception. From this confrontation with what
was understood and exposed as primitive


Sale of Gold in the Last Days of the Kuomintang,
Shanghai, China, 1949 - Cartier Bresson.