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“Orogeny” [2019]



The monitor embedded into the canvas displays an image similar to the cross-section view of a mountain range. This is a chart showing recent changes in the market price of a virtual currency, based on data captured in real time. The integrated technology that creates the image, Raspberry Pi, is also running a virtual currency data mining software at the same time. This means that the work is, as long as it is connected to a power supply, continuing to raise its own value in small increments. The financial value of a work of art is not always aligned with academic assessment of its worth. Virtual currencies are typically decentralized, not relying on a single authority or repository, and their values as speculation can fluctuate wildly. Orogeny is a term from geology, referring to a process in which a section of the earth’s crust is folded and deformed by lateral compression to form island arcs or mountain ranges on landmasses. Likening the shifts in virtual currency prices to this crustal deformation, the artist attempted to respond with a degree of irony to questions about the “value” of works of art and the influence virtual currencies may have on society.

Programming: TARUMI Goteki



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