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‘Proof Of Work’ Exhibit To Visualize Blockchain Technology




An upcoming art exhibit will engage with crypto culture. One of its main attractions is a machine that supposedly burns paper money.

The blockchain and art spheres converge again – this time in Berlin. An exhibition titled "Proof of Work" debuts on Friday, September 7, in the city's Schinkel Pavillon, an institution dedicated to contemporary sculpture, installation, and media art. Unlike other art exhibits in the space, though, this one is focused exclusively on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

According to information shared with ETHNews, the exhibit will feature "artwork made by crypto builders, crypto experiments built by artists, and paintings and drawings that resonate with cryptocurrency but predate the invention of Bitcoin." The title of the exhibit itself not only refers to the common consensus algorithm employed on blockchain networks but also the "curating protocol" followed by the exhibition's curator, Simon Denny. Under this protocol, there are "distributed decisions regarding the inclusion of artworks and artists across a group of artists, curators and technologists."

Denny is known in the art world for his blockchain-centric creations. His work "Blockchain Future States" debuted at New York's Petzel Gallery in 2016, but it recently appeared at Karlsruhe, Germany's ZKM Center for Art and Media in the "Open Codes" exhibition, which attempts to explain the complexity of digital codes.

One of the key components of the upcoming "Proof of Work" exhibit will be a new piece titled "Chaos Machine" created by Distributed Gallery, a blockchain-focused art gallery. The artwork includes a jukebox that, according to the gallery crew, "burn[s] banknotes and turn[s] them into cryptocurrency by playing music." The machine has been called the "Exterminating Angel" because it "shows the vacuity of another object [the banknote] it intends to destroy," the team said.

"Chaos Machine," Distributed Gallery
"Chaos Machine," Distributed Gallery

Additionally, Distributed Gallery recently asked its Twitter followers to provide suggestions for songs that the jukebox should play while burning banknotes. Although individuals suggested tracks from artists like Pink Floyd, AC/DC, and John Cage, the CryptoKitties team suggested the sound of a cat purring. The gallery responded:

Besides "Chaos Machine," the exhibit will include artwork from at least 19 artists or groups, including Rob Myers, Kei Kreutler, and the CryptoKitties team. In fact, digital canvases of the pixel-based cats were recently included in the "Open Codes" exhibition at the ZKM Center.

"Proof of Work" will be available at the Schinkel Pavillon for individuals' viewing pleasure until December 21.

Dani Putney

Dani is a full-time writer for ETHNews. They received their bachelor's degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where they also studied journalism and queer theory. In their free time, they write poetry, play the piano, and fangirl over fictional characters. They live with their partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

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