“Currency” is an electronic game and custom game console constructed from an obsolete 1917 Burroughs adding machine and a microcontroller. The console monitors the exchange rate of bitcoins to US dollars and uses this data to generate a game level that prints out on a roll of receipt paper. Using the adding machine’s grid of numeric buttons, players attempt to pull two columns of printed ASCII symbols together while being either aided or impeded by the current Bitcoin value.
Type: other (exhibition of interactive artwork)
Length: N/A, this work can be exhibited for any length of time.
Additional considerations: [e.g., max number of participants, access]
“Currency” is a single-player game that takes roughly 3-4 minutes to play. However, the artists actively engage with the players and onlookers to help them learn the gameplay, to cheer them on, and to discuss the underlying considerations of virtual value and Bitcoin itself.
The adding machine, with its intricate mechanisms, gives the player a tactile portal into the complex systems that control the movement of bitcoins around the web and across the globe. Similarly, as consumers our understanding of and relationship with currency slips between physical pieces of metal that we can hold and virtual numbers on a screen that exist only in the binary ones and zeros of a computer.
At the conclusion of the game, the strip of paper is torn away and taken by the players, providing a record of their experience and a receipt for their interaction with the game system.
Material and Technical Requirements
This work requires:
2 electrical outlets
Wired Ethernet internet connection
A pedestal or small table at least 1m x 1m
The artists will provide all electronics and cables needed to exhibit this work and will be present to install the work.
Participants do not need to bring or provide anything to interact with this work.
As organizers we strive for low-cost pathways of participation, are you interested in a community billet program either hosting out-of-towners or staying with locals?
Yes, we are interested in staying with locals.
Sphere is an artist collective of Brian Patrick Franklin (MFA, New Media, Pennsylvania State University) and Chris Wille (MFA, Metals, Illinois State University) who explore the complex and often blurry relationship between virtual and physical objects, actions, and identities. Sphere’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions as well as being presented at prominent festivals and conferences including The World Maker Faire and The Digital Games Research Association Annual Summit.
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