Speculative: Futures, Origins, and Everyday Staples
Speculative: Futures, Origins, and Everyday Staples, is a series of generative soundscapes, visuals, performances, and reports about the origins and future of the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Bitcoin led by Electronic Countermeasure’s co-founder Emery C. Martin. The works explore the feasibility of Bitcoin as a daily currency, the long term future of the currency, its impact on monetary exchanges, nation states, and food staples along with its shadowy origins. The series of works occupied the E-11 store front space at Olvera Street in Los Angeles, CA from June 13-29th 2013.
The show included two channels of projection running off a single 1U Ubuntu server aka Miner One suspended from the ceiling in the center of the gallery. Miner One, runs a Processing sketch that parses current Bitcoin exchange rate data from ounce.me that is then displayed as one of the projection channels in addition to scrolling news ticker. The second channel shows the interface of the Bitminter Bitcoin mining software.
Ambient sound for the space is generated by mapping the Bitcoin exchange rate data collected during the run of the show to different frequency ranges. These mapped numbers are sent via OSC to a second computer that generates sine wave tones for each of the 7 exchange rates that are tracked and pans them within the stereo field.
Three sets of sound performances on the origins, present, and future of Bitcoin were performed during the run of the show. The performances brought in additional artists including Sam Bruce, Sean Buckelew, Robert Dansby, Kerstin Hovland, and Jason Kunke to contribute sound, network attacks/disruptions, written scripts, and improvisational sonic elements that were performed atop the ambient Bitcoin market sound. The collective members rotated in and out and performed under the fictitious corporate sponsorship of the Yáuhjagwái Holdings Limited holding company.