Anna Ridler & David Pfau
Bloemenveiling was an online auction of short GAN (generative adversarial network) generated videos of tulips; it used smart contracts on the Ethereum network to sell the work, and bots helped drive speculative prices. The contracts showed the video for a week – approximately the same amount of time a cut tulip lasts – before the tulip became ‘blighted’ and disappeared from the owner’s view, mirroring how real tulips behave and bringing the decay and impermanence of the natural world into the digital. This allowed the viewer to appreciate it as a work of art as opposed to a commodity, by making it temporary and therefore difficult to trade, activating a possibility that buyers did not anticipate that had been built into the protocol – and thus kiboshing attempts to trade NFTs as speculative assets.
Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher who works with systems of knowledge and how technologies are created in order to better understand the world. She is particularly interested in ideas around measurement and quantification and how this relates to the natural world. Her process often involves working with collections of information or data, particularly data sets, to create new and unusual narratives. Her work has been exhibited widely at cultural institutions worldwide including the Barbican Centre, Centre Pompidou, HeK Basel, The Photographers’ Gallery, the ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Website, smart contracts, NFTs, GAN generated video and bots