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This Musical Instrument Tracks Cryptocurrencies in Real Time

Russian artist ::vtol::'s new experimental instrument makes music out of global financial markets.
Images courtesy the artist

Moscow-based artist ::vtol:: (a.k.a. Dmitry Morozov) is pretty resourceful hacker artist, whether he’s making 8-Bit photo guns or turning tattoos into experimental instruments. For his latest project, silk, co-commissioned by Laboratoria Art&Science Space and Lykke AG, Morozov created a “cryptocurrency-tracking string instrument”.

“The instrument is tracking the real time changes in the market activities related to cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Litecoin,” ::vtol:: tells The Creators Project. “[The] constantly changing currency rate of Bitcoin against major world currencies is influencing the strain of strings in installation and the way the picks are hitting them.”

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::vtol:: silk from ::vtol:: on Vimeo.

As ::vtol:: notes on his website, silk works independent of and uncontrolled by any state peer-to-peer payment systems.

“The robotic system of the artwork is directed by a computer algorithm: influenced by dynamic changes of data, the installation sounds like a complex sound instrument,” he writes. “Technically, the installation consists of two poles of 2 meters height. Each stand sprouts 5 diagonal strings which correspond to 5 currencies (US dollar, Yuan, Euro, Canadian dollar and russian Ruble).”

“These strings are pulled on special automatic tuners moved by stepper motors directed by computer algorithm,” he adds. “Each motor features high precision of movement, which allows very precise tuning of string even with quite insignificant changes of parameters.”

::vtol:: explains that silk explores how new technologies and knowledge in cryptography, mathematics and computer science are altering the financial system, and in turn changing society’s social structure.

“The artwork also becomes immaterial: silk is transforming the network data of cryptocurrency, which looks very abstract for the spectator, into the string sound of no less elusive nature,” he writes. “The rules of the transformation are defined, and in future the artwork exists autonomously, generating infinite number of variations and harmonies.”

::vtol:: silk from ::vtol:: on Vimeo.

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