BLOCKCHAIN (2019)

– sound and light art installation –

Blockchain was declared the buzzword of the year 2017 as conferences, books and all sort of events were organised around this term. At the very basic level, is a way of digitally storing a chain transactions in multiple copies on different nodes around the planet. It allows for an open, decentralised, and therefor safer, way of storing data. No individual or organization has the control over what is being stored as every new block of data needs to be approved by the majority of the other nodes. A sort of data storage democracy.

Initially developed for Bitcoin transactions, it can be applied in many other areas of the IT industry for storing sensitive data and has opened the doors to the Web 3.0. Advocates of blockchain technology, inspired by cypherpunk and crypto-anarchist philosophies, consider it as a revolution and the key to the future of social organization, ultimately replacing every intermediary, every centralised institution and therefor every political structure. But over the recent years, far from its original intent and mainly driven by greed, it has been merely used as a modernised way of speculation and profit, creating cryptocurrency financial bubbles and scams, escaping the control of governments and taxation institutions.

Blockchain is an art installation inspired by these technical developments. It is intended as a “walk-through” object where the visitor activates the movement of chains and a reaction of tingling sounds and light reflections, serving as a metaphor for the instability of the system when a new set of data is being recorded. When the chains stop moving, the system goes back to its stable silence state. The low-denomination coins lying on the floor represent the speculation and greed involved in the cryptocurrency trade as well as the will to secure one’s own property by standing on it. Blockchain creates a multi sensory  experience from above (light), the sides (chains) and floor (coins).

Materials:

Wire rope, steel chain, steel grid, LED panel and low-denomination coins