Kadist hosts Alexey Buldakov of Urban Fauna Lab after spending several months with us in San Francisco to develop a new artwork, Misting Miner. This active sculpture materializes the invisible phenomenon of mining cryptocurrency. The excess heat produced by the machinery as it performs this process is a latent and untapped source of energy. As such, the artist seeks to harness that energy and reveal its transformative potential by turning it into fog through the water cooling system inside it, which he reroutes to follow a cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
Unlike banks and other like financial institutions, digital currencies such as Ethereum–the type used by the Miner–rely on encryption techniques to generate ‘coins,’ which are then bought and sold. For Buldakov, these new systems of generating value exist much like a virus, replicating their genetic codes by hashing long mathematical equations which populate servers producing more and more excess heat around the world. As bitcoin ATMs slowly roll out across San Francisco, the Misting Miner reveals hidden dimensions of online economies and cyber-punk utopias through the alchemical process of mining digital gold.
You can find out more about Urban Fauna Lab here: urbanfaunalab.com/
This interview was conducted by Pete Belkin, shot and edited by Stijn Schiffeleers
This interview was shot at Cattown Cafe in Oakland, the oldest Cat Cafe in the United States (est 2014)