In an art exhibition, artist Andy Bauch is bringing two very different subjects together: cryptocurrencies and art, a work that use abstract patterns constructed in Lego bricks
Each piece represents the private key to a crypto-wallet, and anyone can take that digital cash —if that person can decode it.
The cryptocurrencies can be seen as a great art, in a 'cryptographic' way. Some of these works of art inspired by the 'magic' money of the internet are a complicated puzzle and it has taken several years to solve them.
Bauch, a Los Angeles-based artist, has taken this concept to a whole new level with his latest exhibition, New Money, which is exhibited at the Castelli Art Space in Los Angeles.
The art featured in the show is created with 100,000 Lego bricks arranged in patterns meant to conceal the private keys to cryptocurrency wallets. According to Bauch, the patterns were generated with “human and algorithmic input.” In total, the artworks on display contain $10,000 USD in various digital coins, such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin.
"I am attempting to help those without computer science backgrounds visualize and understand the rather abstract concept of cryptocurrencies and simultaneously democratizing the potential and volatility that comes along with them,” said Bauch.
The title of each artwork tells the viewer which cryptocurrency is hidden in its pattern and how much it was worth at the time of its creation, which ranges from $10 to $90. At the show, the real time value of the artworks is displayed with a projection.
The value of the artworks is constantly changing along with the price of the cryptocurrencies they represent, but at any time a viewer could crack an artwork’s code and cash the cryptocurrency wallet it conceals. According to Bauch’s artist statement the exhibition is meant to push the viewer to confront two fundamental questions: What is the value of art? And, what is the value of money?
Bauch was asked if there was any additional incentive regarding the cryptocurrency for a potential purchaser of the artwork. Yes, there is, he said, “I will give them a hint,” refering to the code needed to open the wallet.
By Jorge Espinosa