Chaos Machine

The Chaos Machine is the second blockchain-based artwork of the Distributed Gallery deepening the links between art and money. One year after the poker-like joke of the Ready-Made Token, the Distributed Gallery engaged in a more physical artwork.

You have already burned a Banknote and want to upload your favorite song with your QR-code ? Just click bellow.

In one word, the Chaos Machine allows anyone to insert a banknote inside; once inserted, this note falls into the window space and is deposited on a heating resistor, In exchange? The machine will randomly play music and offer the user, via a smart contract, the possibility to integrate a song to the playlist. At the moment, this machine exists in two copies. One is display at Schinkel Pavillon the other at FullNode (Berlin). As soon as a ticket burns on one of these Chaos Machine, music is played on each one. So, if one hear music coming out of the Chaos Machine but no bills are burning, then it means that someone else is burning bills on the other Chaos Machine.

Is it a crypto-jukebox? Or a sophisticated toaster ? In the special edition of the Chaos Machine, published on summer 2018 by R.U.S.T editions, Bernard Aspe, a french philosopher call it the Exterminating Angel, maybe because the Chaos Machine shows in a spectacular way, either the passage from a fiducial currency to a cryptographic currency, or even the emptiness inherent in any monetary abstraction.

Unlike the Ready-Made Token, the Chaos Machine is a physical artwork, designed to be reproducible. In order to become a virus-like machine, the Distributed Gallery left the plans and the code available for anyone to built their own Chaos Machine.

To explain the phenomenon more precisely, during the ignition of the banknote four things happen ;

First, The LCD screen displays a loading-bar representing the Chaos Machine generation of a Chaos Coin. Secondly, music comes out of the chaos-machine through the loudspeakers inside the cabinet. But this is not only a sophisticated jukebox. At that point, a small fan is switched on to diffuse the slight smell of burning. Last but not least, a ticket containing the private key which allows you to identify yourself on the Blockchain comes out and represent your right to insert a new song in the playlist.

So this is definitely not a sophisticated machine of chaos. The Exterminating Angel, that’s the important, might demonstrate the transition, not symbolic but sensitive, a fiduciary currency to a society of the code (private key / public key) characteristic of an economy where the monetary transactions are carried out in cryptocurrencies. It’s thought to be spectacular, that is to say acoustic, cinematic, odorous or visual.

But a work such as the Chaos Machine implies to disturb interpretations. Maybe the true significance of the machine is summarized by this words of Bernard Aspe : “The Chaos-machine exhibits the nothing. The aim is to show what the transactions that guide our lives are made of, to make visible the background on which they operate. It is not about celebrating the change from one type of currency to another. The new currency necessarily reproduces, for the most part, the aberrations of the previous one. Its main merit, however, is that it is more open about what is nothing to the principle of social interaction”.