Inspired by Singapore’s position as a “garden city”, and a tech and financial hub, French artist Xavier Antin has created Vanishing Workflows, a mixed media exhibition at Aloft at Hermes’ gallery space that flirts with cryptocurrency. The art exhibition comprises two components: textiles printed with images created by digitally distorting videos of flowers shot around Singapore; and a bitcoin mining rig that generates an “income”, which is then used to buy a flower bouquet that’s also displayed in the space. It’s also possible to consider the entire exhibit as a single installation – every element relates to each other, as the work references the tension between nature and technology, the interplay between both old and new technology, and the rich symbolism of flowers.
To create the prints, Antin worked with an old large-format printer that was configured to print on textiles (according to him, he had to “physically fight the printer” to get it to work). The result: prints with a banding effect that are full of inconsistencies, and somehow recall both Indonesian Ikat weaves and Impressionist paintings. In juxtaposition, Antin’s sculpture-like bitcoin (a type of cryptocurrency) and flower bouquet setup acts like a living indicator of the bitcoin market: a “high-value” market will mean that the bouquet in the gallery gets replaced more often, while a “low-value” market will see the bouquet withering. At Antin’s current estimate, the rig will make enough money to buy a new bouquet in about two and a half weeks.
Vanishing Workflows will run until March 10 at Aloft at Hermes, Liat Towers.