Seeing Blocks and Crypto Bros

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Liat Rachel Berdugo
Emily Martinez

Abstract

How do cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work? What is a blockchain? And, what does a typical Bitcoin holder look like? The artist collective Anxious to Make commissioned sixty cloudworkers to draw their answers to these questions. Drawings range from the mundane and stereotypical—a Bitcoin owner depicted as a bearded hipster shouting, HODL!—to the complex and eccentric—the blockchain drawn as connected nodes of random numbers, presumably meant to represent cryptographic hashes. 


Like much technology, the inner workings of cryptocurrency remain “black boxes” of understanding to most users. As a collective, Anxious to Make remains cautious of any technological apparatus that is believed in without understanding. These series of drawings point to the absurdity and comic nature of technological beliefs and utopic, seamless crypto-fantasies. We offer a subset of the drawings here, together with an analysis of the ways artistic labor is changed by—or mirrors—the practice of outsourcing. 

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