Visual artist, Andy Bauch is using his upcoming exhibition as a platform to explore two things with hard to define value. Bitcoin and art.
For the exhibition, titled New Money, Bauch has created over a dozen pieces of art that visually represent the private key to a crypto-wallet. Each wallet has some amount of cryptocurrency inside it and anyone can steal the funds - if they can decode the art.
Artwork cryptocurrency valued at close to $10,000
Bauch bought various amounts of cryptocurrencies and placed them in individual wallets. Each wallet is protected by a private key that is made up of a series of letters and numbers.
This key was fed into an algorithm that turned the sequence into an image. Bauch then adjusted that image until he was happy with the visual composition.
He has tested the artworks and each one if successfully decoded will produce the key that can unlock the wallets. “A lot of the work that I’m doing is trying to span this gap that often exists between new technology and humanity,” Bauch said.
Lego mosaic make the abstract understandable
Each image is made from Lego bricks arranged into the abstract patterns that represent the keys, the completed abstract mosaics are placed in frames.
"I am attempting to help those without computer science backgrounds visualize and understand the rather abstract concept of cryptocurrencies and simultaneous democratizing the potential and volatility that comes along with them," Bauch explains.
Value of artwork questioned
The artworks are also individually available for sale at a set price, but the value of the cryptocurrency inside the wallets is constantly fluctuating according to the market. Bauch will project a live feed of the changing value into the gallery.
The work playfully explores the unknown value of art by valuing both the object itself and its ‘contents’ on two very different volatile scales. The public exhibition took place at Hijinx Gallery in Los Angeles from Mar 23rd – 25th.
If you are keen to try and crack the code the complete series can be seen at Artsy. Each artwork shows which cryptocurrency it represents and what the initial value of the coin was.
The keys for the artworks that show the current value of the cryptocurrency can be found here. Any Bauch is best known for his Lego artworks that use the tiny bricks as a way to represent the pixelated nature of digitization.
Lego used to visualize pixels
Bauch often uses computer algorithms and software assistance to create his Lego mosaics. The artist describes his practice as ‘work that reflects the physical manifestation of the abstract threat of technological singularity.’
He aims to open up discussions of serious issues by using the playful, colorful and familiar medium of Lego. Lego is a highly recognizable object that is a unifying way to start serious technological focused discussions.
Check out Bauch's website for more images of his previous work and exhibitions.