Distributed Systems Exhibition at Gray Area Festival

On Thursday night of the 2018 Gray Area Festival, join us for an evening of exhibitions from artists from all over the globe. As the opening night of our 2018 Festival, we're excited to set the tone for what will be a sensational weekend.

Exhibition Hours
July 26th, 7pm - 11pm
Opening $5-$20 sliding-scale entry. Special performance by Cassie Thorton of Feminist Economics Yoga.

July 27th, 12pm - 6pm
Free and Open to Public (Quiet viewing during the conference) (closed during night performances)

July 28th, 12pm - 6pm
Free and Open to Public (Quiet viewing during the conference) (closed during night performances)

July 29th, 11am - 6pm
Free and Open to Public (Quiet viewing during workshops)

July 30th - Aug 3rd, 11am - 6pm
Free and Open to Public

We live in a time where the institutional foundations of our society seem increasingly in doubt, and arriving at a consensus on truth and reality seems more difficult than ever. As our commitment to the post-war economic order is questioned, and the social contract of the state redefined, we find little help in building a more equitable society from the corporations of Silicon Valley that a free cyberspace has birthed. Now Blockchain based technologies threaten to further disrupt and decentralize our concepts of global governance and economy. While much is being said about the improvements these technologies will bring, why will their effects turn out differently from the open web? How do we promote a better society for people while handing the steering wheel further over to machines?

With this year's special look at Distributed Systems and Blockchain, we present a number of subversive interventions against technological control along with the largest collection of Blockchain based artworks ever assembled on the West Coast. The artists in this exhibition offer looks at the possibility of technology to still make space for free culture, allow freedom from surveillance, and help us retain agency. Through the creative exploration of some of the most cutting-edge, and least understood, systems of global infrastructure today, they find sites of trauma ahead, and fissures where progress is still possible.

Featured Works

Bail Bloc

Grayson Earle, Maya Binyam, Francis Tseng, JB Rubinovitz, Sam Lavigne, Devin Kenny, and the Dark Inquiry collective

Bail Bloc is a cryptocurrency scheme against bail.

Its software uses idle processing power on your computer to mine for cryptocurrency, which is then used to help people awaiting trial who can’t afford to post bail.

When you download the app, a small part of your computer's unused processing power is redirected toward mining a popular cryptocurrency called Monero, which is secure, private, and untraceable. At the end of every month, the Monero is exchanged for US dollars and donate the earnings to the Bronx Freedom Fund.

Blacklists

DISNOVATION.ORG

The Blacklists project is a directory of the prohibitions of the Internet deployed in the form of an encyclopedia in 13 volumes of 666 pages each. It is an extensive collection of restricted websites used for the automatic filtering of traffic considered illicit or licentious.

Just like the intent of «forbidden libraries» for books, the Blacklists project points out the sidelining of online content that could be dangerous for the very survival of the system. With around 2 millions websites extracted from commercial content-control softwares, this collection reveals a cultural, social and ideological model of our society through what should not be seen.

CONCEPTION: DISNOVATION.ORG
BOOKS, DATABASE, INSTALLATION | 2016

Claves Angelicae

Cullen Miller & Gabriel Dunne

Claves Angelicæ is an installation and procedural system that enables a participant to inscribe a magical Word onto the Ethereum network.

The seven step process is designed to collect and transmute the participants’ input data into an encrypted message. For the participant to cast their Word they must transmit Ether to a preselected set of charities. Once the spell has been cast and verified by the consensus pool, the transaction signature’s hash is returned, parsed, and passed into a sigil generating algorithm. The participant receives an inked paper talisman authored by a mechanical drawing machine as a tokenized sigil of their spell.

Cryptography and magic have a deep, intertwined history dating back to the origins of writing. During the European dark ages monastic sects bore the responsibility of keeping the rites of the sacred ancient mystery cults of Egypt and Greece intact. However, in doing so they ran the risk of being burned at the stake for committing crimes of heresy. Some of them developed cryptographic systems to encode these secrets into their manuscripts. It was not only the monks working with ciphers but also natural magicians and occultists. The latter groups weren’t only using cryptography to obfuscate sensitive information, but also to devise keys and linguistic frameworks for communicating into the Ethereal realms. By devising new linguistic schemata these magicians believed that they could access the preternatural realms outside the worlds they were exploring in their scientific pursuits. Although the blockchain space is largely secularized, the principles of the Ethereum network are a manifest dream of the ancient magi.

Can You Hear Me?

Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud

Messages can be sent to the intelligence agencies on the frequencies that are intercepted by the NSA and GCHQ. An independent mesh network in Berlin's Government District recaptured the virtual communication space. A collective conversation space in which all have equal rights has been taking the space of secret wiretapping.

Between the US Embassy and the British Embassy, Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud have designed up the art project "Can you hear me?". A year ago, due to the revelations of Edward Snowden, this very place became a political focal point. From there, the British and the Americans were spying on the government and the people in Berlin.

Public protests went on without consequences. Instead, oppression became rather widespread. Ironically, the digital media means of expression that were considered, at the beginning of the Egyptian, Tunisian, or Turkish rebellions as promising tools were perverted into their opposite. The digital space which should allow democratic debate is fundamentally manipulated. Because of that, cultural, political, and communicative structures are also shaken and it leads to an experience not unlike the one experienced by people even under authoritarian and restrictive regimes, and a grueling dependence and speechlessness arises.

Clickmine

Sarah Friend

clickmine is a blockchain based clicker game. With each click, you "mine" a virtual plot of land and an ERC 20 token on the Ethereum network is minted. But what is a token, anyway? As wealth is created, it is also destroyed.

ClickMine was the recipient of the Cryptodetectorist co-commision by Furtherfield UK and NEoN Digital Arts Festival. It was exhibited at the NEoN Digital Arts Festival in Dundee Scotland November 2017 at MoneyLab in London UK in January 2018.

Feminist Economics Yoga

Cassie Thornton

Feminist Economics Yoga, which has occurred in yoga studios, for community groups, and in art galleries, leads angry and impatient participants to feel and practice mutual aid and abolitionism as a healing practice. It seeks to smuggle radical abolitionist activism into the bourgeois miasma of corporate yoga bullshit. We will use yoga to train ourselves to become the living infrastructure of post-work care and to develop the social justice skills we need to construct a future feminist economy that honors people over capital. Developed by Cassie Thornton, an artist, feminist economist and certified Kundalini yoga teacher, this practice is something you can take home to help you calm and/or inflame your nervous system so you can hear your own voice over the screaming orange circus peanut and his minions. You can share what you learn with your communities who need legitimate ways of healing from the systemic realities that impact every single social and individual body. It’s hard.

Flowertokens

Paul Kolling, Paul Seidler, Max Hampshire, Andi Rueckel, Gregor Finger & Johannes Wilke

Flowertokens is an experimental project centered around the tokenization and verification of natural commodities, and a first attempt at creating a combined crypto-collectible physical asset.

Users will be able to buy, trade, and speculate on tokenized Freesias (familie Iridaceae) via an online marketplace. The state of the individual tokens will be automatically updated according to the different phases of their corresponding plant’s growth.

Flowertokens further marks the beginning of a series of projects oriented around these themes from terra0 – a group of developers and researchers involved in the planning and creation of hybrid ecosystems.

Predictive Art Bot

DISNOVATION.ORG

AN ALGORITHM THAT TURNS LATEST MEDIA HEADLINES INTO ARTISTIC CONCEPTS.

In the age of hyperconnectivity, the perverse implications of media echo chambers are becoming more and more obvious. Groups of similar behaviors are being partitioned in filter bubbles, while the few massively reposted topics tends to monopolize most of the available attention. Such insular echo chambers strongly affect ways of thinking, resulting in increasingly homogeneous imaginaries within groups of like-minded people.

Predictive Art Bot caricatures the predictability of media influenced artistic concepts, by automating and skirting the human process of generating ideas. But beyond mere automation, it aims to stimulate unbridled, counter-intuitive and even disconcerting associations of ideas.

To do so, it continually monitors emerging trends among the most influential news sources in fields as heterogeneous as politics, environment, innovation, activism, or health... On this basis, it identifies and combines keywords to generate concepts of artworks in a fully automated way, ranging from unreasonable to prophetic through absurd. Each prediction becomes a thought experiment waiting to be incubated, misused or appropriated by a human host.

CONCEPTION: DISNOVATION.ORG
PROGRAMMING: JÉRÔME SAINT-CLAIR
NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING, WEBSITE, INSTALLATION
PROTOTYPE | 2015–2018

Museum of Failures

DISNOVATION.ORG

« This acknowledgement of powerlessness before the upsurge of unexpected, catastrophic events forces us to reverse the usual trend which exposes us to accidents and inaugurate a new kind of museology and museography: one which consists in exposing or exhibiting the accident, all accidents, from the most commonplace to the most tragic, from natural catastrophes to industrial and scientific disasters, including also the kind that is too often neglected, the happy accident, the stroke of luck, the coup de foudre or even the coup de grâce! » — Paul Virilio

In a context where science, technology, and innovation are at the core of contemporary belief systems, it seems essential to consider establishing an alternative technology museum, no longer through a series of heroic exploits often instrumentalised, but through a panorama of the numerous failures highlighting the purposes, the narratives and the heterogeneous imaginary of a society.

We wish to establish a collection of aborted projects, flops, errors, malfunctions, business failures, ethical rejection or disasters, reflecting the outlines of our society, from a historical, symbolic, poetic and cultural point of view.

CONCEPTION: DISNOVATION.ORG
VARIOUS CONTRIBUTORS (HEAD GENEVA, IXDM BASEL...)
WORKSHOPS, PERFORMANCES, DATABASE - ONGOING | 2016-2018...

The Pirate Cinema

DISNOVATION.ORG

In the context of omnipresent telecommunications surveillance, The Pirate Cinema makes visible the hidden activity and geography of peer-to-peer file sharing. The project is presented as a monitoring room, which shows P2P transfers happening in real time on networks using the BitTorrent protocol.

The installation produces an arbitrary cut-up of the files currently being exchanged. This immediate and fragmentary rendering of digital activity, with information concerning its source and destination, thus depicts the topology of digital media consumption and uncontrolled content dissemination in a connected world.

CONCEPTION: DISNOVATION.ORG
PROGRAMMING: BRENDAN HOWELL & JEAN-MARIE BOYER
INSTALLATION & LIVE PERFORMANCE | 2012–2014

Modded Server Rack Display: Hacking Trust

Simon Denny

Prints and multiples, Sculpture, Custom printed books in Revostage platform, powder coated 19” server rack, Cisco Systems WS-C2948G switch, LAN cables, Bachmann power strip, steel trays, Bitmain Antminer Golden Sample S3+, handmade Bitcoin Miner Asic Block Erupter Blade SET, UV print on laminated cardboard, UV print on cardboard, laser cut Plexiglas letters, powder coated steel components, UV print on sandblasted laminated safety glass, LED strips

Nested Exchange Series

Harm van den Dorpel

Tree shaped chromosomes ledger exchange.

These specimens find their form by a process of exchanging information with each other. Two works are taken from a determined population and communicate - gossip if you will - by flipping a node of their nested structure. The direction in this process is geared towards the greatest diversity: each specimen wants to be as different from all the other as possible.

As the total amount of information shared among all specimen in the population does not increase over time but is merely recombined towards an optimal diverse distribution, the linear history of state changes (snapshots) can be compared to a blockchain ledger.

The chromosomes of the specimen are stored as nested recursive "tree" structures, similar to those used in language analysis or linguistics.

0xOmega

Matt Liston and Avery Singer

0xΩ is a religious framework that could allow for belief sets to update much more quickly and also to democratize the relationship between membership and convergence on what everyone believes in this religion.

The [0xΩ] model allows for believers to identify, approve and evolve their own sacred texts via a smart contract, blockchain-enabled code that gives users the assurance they're all viewing the same data without a middleman to verify the content. From there, the governance model further resembles proxy-voting in that it gives adherents of a religion the ability to appoint leaders and fund projects that fulfill the religion’s mission.

Plantoid

Primavera De Filippi

A Plantoid is the plant equivalent of an android; it is a robot or synthetic organism designed to look, act and grow like a plant.

There are currently several species of Plantoids in existence around the world.

This particular species of a Plantoid is an autonomous blockchain-based lifeform that is able to reproduce itself. It is a hybrid creature that lives both in the physical world (as a mechanical contraption made up of recycled steel and electronics) and in digital world (as a software deployed on top of a blockchain-based network).

The goal of the Plantoid is to illustrate one of the most revolutionary—and yet still unexplored—aspects of blockchain technology. It illustrates the ability to create “blockchain-based lifeforms”, i.e. algorithmic entities that are:

autonomous,
self-sustainable, and
capable of reproducing themselves,
through a combination of blockchain-based code and human interactions.
These new types of entities are difficult to apprehend for most people.

Blockchains are decentralized peer-to-peer networks, like Bitcoin, that enable people from all over the world to interact, coordinate, and transact value with one another in a secure and decentralized way. Software code can be deployed on a blockchain-based network to create programs (a.k.a smart contracts) that are run in a distributed manner by all nodes supporting the network. As opposed to traditional software code, run on centralized servers and administered by an online operator, smart contracts can be designed to run autonomously, independently of any central authority or middlemen.

The Plantoid is an attempt at using the artistic medium to illustrate the inner workings of these autonomous systems, so that people can better understand the potential benefits and challenges of this powerful, emergent technology.

PROOF OF BURN

RIAT – Institute for Future Cryptoeconomics

Money. Value. Wealth. Price. Cost. Abstracts of an economic language that persistently but mistakenly appear as indistinguishable from each other. In an era of increasing digitisation and the automation of money systems, these distinctions become even more obscure. Mysterious narratives about disembodied economies threaten to dominate. PROOF-OF-BURN counters this financial black box and its information asymmetries by demonstrating new modes of organizing mutual trust and material exchange. PROOF-OF-BURN uses the concept of money burning to explore the construction of value and its mediation via cash, digital money and new forms of cryptocurrency. In a series of monetary-technological rituals and artistic interventions in finance, PROOF-OF-BURN demonstrates how forms of money relate to the systems of labor and natural resources that underpin all economies. The performance illuminates the interaction between money, trust, value and economic coordination to reflect on our (crypto)economic condition.

Tetrapylon

Annie Schneider, Jim Ellis, Jon Phillips, Barry Threw, and #NEWPALMYRA contributors, based on the work of Bassel Khartabil; in collaboration with re:3d and Creative Commons

The Tetrapylon is an archeological monument in Palmyra, Syria, erected during the renovations of Diocletian at the end of the third century.

Together with re:3d, an Austin-based 3D printing company, and Creative Commons, #NEWPALMYRA has produced a 200 pound, 7.5 feet tall 3D rendering of one of the Palmyra Tetrapylons. This version further enshrines this creative realization of the cultural heritage of Palmyra into the blockchain, distributing it into a global ledger to ensure it lives on.

#NEWPALMYRA, a community platform dedicated to the virtual remodeling and creative use of architecture from the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, was begun in 2005 by Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-Syrian open source software developer, educator, and free culture advocate. Working with the publisher Al-Aous and a team of artists in Damascus, Khartabil began remodeling the endangered ruins of Palmyra in 3D until 2012, when he was unlawfully imprisoned by the Syrian government. Much of this work was never published, though Bassel was committed to its free dissemination and use. In 2015, Khartabil was executed by the Assad regime.

Artists

DISNOVATION.ORG

DISNOVATION.ORG is a working group based in Paris, initiated by Nicolas Maigret and Maria Roszkowska. At the crossroads between contemporary art, research and hacking, the collective develops situations of disturbance, speculation, and debate, challenging the dominant ideology of technological innovation and stimulating the emergence of alternative narratives. They recently edited The Pirate Book, an anthology on media piracy. Their research includes artworks, curation and publications.

Their work has been presented at numerous venues and festivals internationally such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Transmediale (Berlin), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), FILE (Sao Paulo), Strelka Institute (Moscow) and the Chaos Computer Congress (Hamburg)... Their work has been featured in Forbes, Vice, Wired, Motherboard, Libération, Die Zeit, Arte TV, Next Nature, Hyperallergic, Le Temps, Neural.it, Digicult, Gizmodo, Seattle Weekly, torrentfreak.com, and Filmmaker Magazine among others.

Nicolas Maigret [FR] (http://peripheriques.free.fr) is an artist, curator, and educator. He exposes the internal workings of media, through an exploration of their dysfunctions, limitations or failure thresholds which he develops into immersive, ambiguous and critical artworks. He initiated DISNOVATION.ORG, a working group which aims to disrupt, pervert, and complexify the narratives on technological innovation. He teaches at Parsons Paris and develops a research on technological “Black Boxes” with V2_ Rotterdam and UCL Louvain. With Maria Roszkowska he co-edited The Pirate Book, an anthology on media piracy.

Maria Roszkowska [PL] is an artist, designer and initiator of the DISNOVATION.ORG working group with Nicolas Maigret. From 2010 she conducted research with EnsadLab Paris, before joining Intégral Ruedi Baur, a cultural design studio based in Paris. She designed and coordinated « Don't Brand My Public Space! », a 3 years research on the issue of cities applying branding strategies. In 2015 she edited The Pirate Book, an anthology on media piracy. She is a recipient of a 2018 Design Trust Grant (Honk Kong).

Grayson Earle

Grayson Earle's diverse technological practice is unified by a political approach to media arts. Employing video games, video projection, algorithmic audiovisual generation, biological organisms, and robotics, his work tends to intervene on physical spaces and entrenched ideas. His creative practice articulates a repositioning of resistance to power that invites participation from reluctant citizens.

Earle (b. 1987) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He teaches Emerging Media Technology at The New York City College of Technology. Previous to that, he taught as an adjunct at Hunter College, split between the Computer Science, Film and Media, Integrated Media Arts, and Studio Art MFA programs. This interdisciplinary posture is emblematic to his work as an artist, and is an approach he proselytizes in his courses on game programming, electronics, and generative art.

Recent displays of his work include SeoulArts in South Korea; Eastern Bloc and Centre Phi in Montreal; the Brooklyn Museum, Macy Gallery, and Babycastles in New York City; and the Media Arts Festival in Tokyo. He has presented research and given artist talks at The Whitney Museum of Art, Theorizing the Web, The Magnum Foundation, The Vera List Center, College Arts Association, and Open Engagement. He has published essays on the socioeconomic implications of the Cold War on abstract expressionism in the United States and Russia, critical applications of blockchain technology, and new methods for rhetorical approaches in video games.

Nicolas Maigret

Nicolas Maigret is an artist, curator, and educator based in Paris. He is a recipient of the Award for Research in Artistic Technology (2015), the First Prize for Digital Arts from Arte Laguna (2016), and a Design Trust Grant, Honk Kong (2018).

Nicolas Maigret exposes the internal workings of media, through an exploration of their dysfunctions, limitations or failure thresholds which he develops into immersive, ambiguous and critical artworks. He initiated DISNOVATION.ORG, a working group which aims to disrupt, pervert, and complexify the accounts on technological innovation. The group develops situations of disturbance, speculation, and debate, challenging the ideology of technological solutionism and stimulating the dissemination of alternative narratives. He teaches at Parsons Paris and develops a research on “Black Boxes” with V2_ Rotterdam and UCL Louvain. With Maria Roszkowska he co-edited The Pirate Book, an anthology on media piracy.

His work has been presented in international exhibitions and festivals including Transmediale (Berlin), Museum of Art and Design (New York), 30th Chaos Communication Congress (Hamburg), ISEA (Hong Kong), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Elektra (Montréal), China Museum of Digital Arts (Beijing), HEK (Basel), Polytechnic Museum (Moscow), File (Sao Paulo), Northwest Film Forum (Seattle), School of the Art Institute (Chicago), The Pirate Bay 10th Anniversary (Stockholm), Eastern Bloc (Montreal)... His work has been featured in Forbes, Vice, Wired, Motherboard, Libération, Die Zeit, Arte TV, Next Nature, Hyperallergic, Le Temps, Neural.it, Digicult, Gizmodo, Seattle Weekly, torrentfreak.com, and Filmmaker Magazine among others.

Primavera De Filippi

Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. She is a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technologies at the World Economic Forum, and co-founder of the Internet Governance Forum’s dynamic coalitions on Blockchain Technology (COALA). Her fields of interest focus on legal challenges raised by decentralized technologies, with a particular focus on blockchain technologies. She is investigating the new opportunities for these technologies to enable new governance models and participatory decision-making through the concept of governance-by-design. Her book, “Blockchain and the Law,” was published in 2018 by Harvard University Press (co-authored with Aaron Wright).

Sarah Friend

Sarah Friend is an artist and software engineer working at a large blockchain development studio. When not doing that, she creates games and other interactive experiences. She is a proud Recurse Center alum, and has recently presented at Transmediale in Berlin, Ethereal Summit in NYC, and NorthSec in Montreal.

Simon Denny

Simon Denny lives and works in Berlin. He was born in Auckland, New Zealand and holds a BFA from Auckland University. He completed his MFA from the Frankfurt Städelschule and has taken part in 4 residencies split between Western Europe and Australia. Simon Denny’s work has challenged numerous themes entrenched in modern society’s globalized culture: the Internet, technological obsolescence, corporate culture, television broadcasting, and national identity. He is interested in technology’s role in shaping global culture and in the ways information is controlled and shared. The rapid technological growth and innovation seen by large corporations and start-ups alike since the dot com boom is a phenomenon which motivates Denny’s practice. He creates a dialogue with these ideas through installations that combine sculpture, graphics, and moving images.

Cullen Miller

Cullen Miller is a sound-system artist, spatial-media designer, and curator. His projects vary in nature but typically fall within the spectrum of sound design, installation, composition, and systems design. Reared in Detroit, he relocated to San Francisco pursuing curatorial work with Gray Area, SFCMP, and to teach digital signal processing at San Francisco State University. He currently spends his days designing and constructing technical systems at Obscura Digital. He has released recordings under numerous aliases and organizes the concert series, FINITE. His performances and installations have been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and clubs.

Gabriel Dunne

Gabriel Dunne (b.1981 San Francisco) is an audiovisual artist who creates works that explore visual, audible, and physical frequencies, drawing influence from natural systems, sensory patterns, structures and rhythms of the perceivable and imperceivable universe. He integrates a wide range of mediums including sculpture, music, sound, visualization/sonification, digital manufacturing and fabrication, parametric software, and site-specific installation. He has performed and shown his work internationally at venues including Barcelona Festival Sonar, Interferenze Italia, and is featured in the permanent collection of NY MoMA, and has been featured in WIRED Magazine, Mondo India, FOCUS Italia, Discover, Contemporary Art of Science and Technology, and Architectural Digest.

In addition to his studio practice, Dunne is an educator and conducts workshops in various communities, schools, and orgs. He’s developed curricula for visual programming, audio/visual graphics, and integrative media arts practice which contextualizes computing and technology as a language and creative medium. In 2010 he co-founded the group [O_o] oooshiny, which has grown to include an international community of designers, technologists, and artists. In 2012, he produced ‘NAAG’ in collaboration with Vishal K Dar, a 14′ tall site-specific sculpture which comes to life through an integrative digital fabrication and projection mapping process, aspiring to deconstruct the notion of sculpture as a static object. The work was installed in an abandoned factory in central Delhi, India during the India Art Faire — an event that included the local community in its process resulting in magical stories of its appearance. In 2015, ‘NAAG’ a larger version was installed in Mumbai, and most recently featured in the N.E.A.T. exhibition at the CJM in San Francisco in 2015/16. Dunne was an Artist in Residence at Gray Area in 2009/10 and Autodesk in 2014/15. He holds a B.A. from UCLA DMA.

Erik van der Molen

Erik van der Molen is both a designer and artist. In 2004 he cofounded Office vs Office, a San Francisco boutique design shop providing a wide array of digital and branding services. Currently the sole owner of Office vs Office, Erik builds multi disciplinary teams to meet the demands of both small and large multifaceted projects for internationally recognized clients. At times Erik lends his expertise on a consultant basis when it’s necessary to work within an existing framework or organization, providing similar services such as CX/UX/design expertise, audit and redesign of proprietary in-house products, or validating the feasibility of bringing a new product or service to market, then providing a vision for its future.

While Erik’s work may at times blur the line between art and design, he keeps a strict boundary. Design serves a concrete purpose, while art stands on its own. Erik's work is focused on exploring an interplay of light, color, and various materials in both static and time based mediums. In 2003 he began creating custom live video experiences and installations for music and other related events, and has been actively VJ'ing ever since. Erik has had the pleasure of working with various artists such as Bonobo’s 2013 world tour, as well as performing at large festivals such as Winter Music Conference and SXSW, and creating site specific installations, the most recent being Mutek SF, 2018. With 30+ Mac adapters, Erik is readied to team with whatever lonely projector awaits a dance the chance to bring a more immersive experience to the floor.

Harm van den Dorpel

Harm’s broad practice includes software, sculptural assemblage, and collage. He investigates how algorithms can analyse digital archives to guide aesthetic decision taking. Using computer programming he deconstructs prevalent notions in art, such as intuition and expression. His ultimate desire is to discover the reasoning structure of his own consciousness, with its implicit associations and assumptions. In this process he borrows ideas from psychoanalysis, the writing of Jacques Derrida, and Artificial Intelligence (which he studied). He’s had institutional exhibitions at Museum Kurhaus Kleve, the New Museum in New York, MCA Chicago,The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China, the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, and the Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam. In 2015 the MAK Vienna acquired Harm van den Dorpel's work Event Listeners and thereby became the first museum to purchase a work of art using bitcoins.

Maria Roszowska

Maria Roszkowska [PL] is an artist, designer and initiator of the DISNOVATION.ORG working group with Nicolas Maigret. From 2010 she conducted research with EnsadLab Paris, before joining Intégral Ruedi Baur, a cultural design studio based in Paris. She designed and coordinated « Don't Brand My Public Space! », a 3 years research on the issue of cities applying branding strategies. In 2015 she edited The Pirate Book, an anthology on media piracy. She is a recipient of a 2018 Design Trust Grant (Honk Kong) for a research about China's Shanzhai culture.

RIAT

RIAT is an institute for research, development, communication and education in the fields of cryptoeconomics and the blockchain. RIAT works with experimental artistic technology and open hardware. It explores and actively stress-tests the role of research and development in the age of zero-trust, through novel forms of presentation, discussion and publication. Examining the global cryptoeconomic condition and its effects on culture and society, it fosters an open and interdisciplinary discourse to improve crypto-literacy for the society of tomorrow. RIAT is an independent institute operating since 2012 with its main headquarters in Vienna, Austria and a large international network around the globe.

Max Hampshire

Max Hampshire (UK) is a developer and crypto/blockchain researcher based in Amsterdam. He is one of three project initators of terra0, an organisation built on Ethereum that provides automated resilience systems for ecosystems, and is also a Blockchain engineer at BlockLab in Rotterdam, developing proof-of-concepts and MVPs for the blockchain infrastructure of the future. He also works with the RIAT Institute For Future Cryptoeconomics, engaging in research-through-practice to glimpse the interaction possibilities of tomorrow's cryptosphere, and previously worked with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. His work has been presented and discussed at Transmediale, Furtherfield Gallery, Ars Electronica, FIBER, and Het Nieuwe Instituut (amongst others), and has been published and discussed in/by ecocore, Forbes, and re:plublica.

Cassie Thornton

Cassie Thornton is an artist and activist from the US, currently living in Canada. She refers to herself as a feminist economist, a title that frames her work as that of a social scientist actively preparing for the economics of a future society that produces health and life without the tools that reproduce oppression— like money, police or prisons. Since before the 2008 financial collapse, Thornton has focused on researching and revealing the complex nature of debt through socially engaged art. She has produced large and small social projects and writings with activist and art organizations, festivals, conferences, and institutions including Transmediale, Bemis Center for the Arts, MoneyLab, Furtherfield Gallery, MayWorks-Halifax, Strike Debt, Headlands Center for the Arts, Cannonball Miami, Volta Fair in Basel, Mass Arts, PS-1, Brooklyn Museum, Flux Factory, Gallery 400 in Chicago, Southern Exposure, SFMoMA, EFA Project Space, and more. Her early research into the social and imaginal impact of financial debt systems makes her role as artist at educational and cultural institutions to be like that of an ethics accountant or janitorial shaman for the political economy (who delves into the closets to check on the ghosts that every institution keeps hidden). She is currently the co-director of the Re-Imagining Value Action Lab in Thunder Bay, an art and social center at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada.

Rob Myers

Rob Myers is an artist, writer and hacker from the UK now based in Vancouver, BC. An early creative and critical adopter of the blockchain, his work centers on the intersection of changing technological, aesthetic and social form. Rob's blockchain art projects include "Facecoin" (2014), "Blockchain Aesthetics" (2015) and "Artworld Ethereum" (2014 - ongoing). His writing on the subject includes "(Conceptual) Art, Cryptocurrency and Beyond" (2014), "Blockchain Geometries" (2018) and the story "Bad Shibe" (2017).

Claire L. Evans

Claire L. Evans is a writer and musician. She is the singer and coauthor of the pop group YACHT, the founding editor of Terraform, VICE’s science-fiction vertical, and the author of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women who Made the Internet (Penguin Random House). She is the former futures editor of Motherboard, and a contributor to VICE, Rhizome, The Guardian, WIRED, and Aeon; previously, she was a contributor to Grantland and wrote National Geographic’s popular culture and science blog, Universe. She is an advisor to design students at Art Center College of Design and a member of the cyberfeminist collective Deep Lab. She lives in Los Angeles.

Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud

Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud were both born in Zurich and live and work in Berlin. They are professors at the Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, have participated in numerous international exhibitions and have been awarded many international prizes. Their art works include open-source projects that uncover forms of censorship of the Internet, undermine the concentration of political power and even resolve the dependency on infrastructure. The tools, provided by the artists, are used by communities in the USA, Europe, Australia and in countries such as Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, India, China and Thailand. Even in North Korea activists participate. But not everyone is fond of these projects. Their findings on the secret prisons on the US military bases in Guantanamo and Iraq have not been covered by the US media. The PR China denied Wachter and Jud to enter the country since 2013.