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Mind Maze by Denise Yap digital art

Mind Maze by Denise Yap

Issue 3

Blockchain

Blockchain destabilises the hyper-masculine space of cryptocurrency through a speculative mapping onto the Silk Road, via both its historical and contemporary manifestations.

Chapter 1: Depression

"Depression" introduces and frames the blockchain within the context of the current and last economic recession. The Issue will attempt a destabilisation of the male-dominated blockchain industry through the idea of silk, female voices, and the fictive. so-far asks a speculative designer and a sculptor who is also crypto-miner how they entered the space.

Slides from NEO TROPICALITY lecture by Tropical Futures Institute.
Ghost Source (The Gift of Automation)

Chapter 2: Kublai Khan

“Kublai Khan” looks at the historical precedents for global trade from the East to the West, as well as the abstraction and symbolism of money. A media artist excavates mythical links between a resilient race of cockroaches, an “economy of stones” in Minahasan culture, and its links to the Mongols. A writer provides a hallucinatory, magical realist narrative on the emissary Zhang Qian’s travels throughout the Silk Road. so-far interviews an artist on his fascination with the supernatural properties of coins.

Marco Cassani, Fountain (Gunung Kawi), 2017
Bank notes, and powder of bank notes, frame by acrylic sheet and metal box
Pictured are the society of cockroaches in the artist’s film Pest to Power having a Minahasan feast of roasted pork and the stone people from the film Wa’anak Witu Watu

Chapter 3: Marco Polo

"Marco Polo" unravels the dream of the west — neoliberalism and late capitalism — that created the conditions for blockchain. An artist continues the mystery of a lost police officer who was cerebrally connected to a global archive of big data. so-far asks an artist and curator on their development of a blockchain solution for our increasingly atomised society. Then several other curators speak about an art world think-tank that promises alternatives in resistance and collaboration. Finally, a curator speaks to a prescient artist and founder who predicted Bitcoin in 1999.

ReUnion App: View all P2P relationships
Variation No:2
Screenshot of CultureStake dApp
Uniform of Dorothy Officer

Chapter 4: Satoshi Nakamoto

"Satoshi Nakamoto" takes a deeper dive into the fictive undercurrents of cryptocurrency, the Dark Web, and other waves. A curator and an artist dwell upon the Dark Web as a site of speculation and privacy in an age of surveillance. An artist collective discusses their transnational billboard artwork, live-streamed ritual event and digital webpage at the intersections of crypto-culture and Eastern religion.

Day of crypt0ffering event by cypher billboard
Natasha Tontey - NeoFormal.Onion diagram

Chapter 5: Dread Pirate Roberts

“Dread Pirate Roberts” closes the Issue with open-ended questions as to whether a sense of justice, ethics, true accountability, or even a renewed social system along the lines of the blockchain is possible. An independent curator writes a story that encircles a whistleblower related to the decentralised structure “ANF (A Neutral Flag) Foundation”. The founder of a consultancy for transparency and a spatial designer discuss their efforts to shed light upon elusive supply chains.

Screenshot from Supply Chain Broadcast YouTube video.
Watercolour on UV print on paper