Vanishing Workflows

[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]nspired 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.

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In Process

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.

(RELATED: How cryptocurrency is upending the way art is priced and sold)

Vanishing Workflows will run until March 10 at Aloft at Hermes, Liat Towers.