Speculative: Futures, Origins, and Everyday Staples

Speculative: Futures, Origins, and Everyday Staples, is a three part multi-week episodic series of generative soundscapes, visuals, and performances about the origins, recent history, and future of the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Speculative: Futures, Origins, and Everyday Staples was presented on June 13-29, 2013 at the E-11 Olvera Street in Los Angeles, California with support from the Chinese American Museum and El Pueblo De Los Angeles.

The project was produced by the fictional international holding company, Yáuhjagwái Holdings Ltd (YHL)(油妖控股公司). The piece was performed under the collective guise of the Yáuhjagwái Holdings Limited International Arts Attaché (YHLIAA). Collaborators for the piece included Sam Bruce, Sean Buckelew, Robert Dansby, Electronic Countermeasures LLC, Kerstin Hovland, and Jason Kunke.

Pano of SFOESThe complete setup left to right.

YHL Financial Board aka OunceParser v11L – Processing application that parses Ounce.me’s XML feed for Bitcoin exchange rates. Updates every 5 minutes with new financial data and does a live rate conversion for how much it would cost in Bitcoin to purchase a churro from the neighboring Mr. Churro location. Blocks submitted is the live tally of blocks that have been successfully submitted from the ongoing Bitcoin mining operation. Application also maps the financial statistics to dilfferent frequency ranges and sends out the data via OSC over the shows local network.

MinerOne – Prepared Intel SR1400 1U server with AMD Radeon 6450. MinerOne runs the YHL Financial Board and the BitMinter Bitcoin mining client. MinerOne continuously mines Bitcoin 24/7 for the duration of the show. All proceeds will go towards attempting to purchase a churro from the neighboring Mr. Churro location for participating artists as a “Sweet and tasty artist fee.” -YHL

MinerOne Mining Operation – Ubuntu desktop with BitMinter client that is actively mining Bitcoin. Run in expanded view to show visitors the live stats on how many blocks have been mined and submitted for verification along with what a Bitcoin mining client can look like. For every verified block submitted there is a coin drop sound. This is used to update the “Block Submitted” counter on the YHL Financial Board.

Bitchurro Sounds – Generative sound produced by the financial fluctuations of 7 indices related to Bitcoin: MtGOX USD exchange rate, Euro exchange rate, Miner Index, Bitcoin added per day, Bitcoin Market Cap in USD, Total Bitcoin in Circulation, and the Pizza Index. The entire data set is looped and outputs a new tone every 100ms which equates to 5 minutes of real time. A new value for all 7 indices is added every 5 minutes, therefore the data set continues to grow over the course of the show. Additionally every time new data is added all values are re-mapped to account for the change in ranges of values and their relationship to one another. Built in Processing with Minim and OSC.



Speculative: Futures, Origins, and Everyday Staples: Origins – Live from E-12 on 6/13/13


More Information

For more info on the building process and evolution of the project please visit http://btcchurro.tumblr.com/