Artist hides $10,000 in artwork for anyone to decode
An artist has created artworks that hold the key to a Bitcoin fortune for anyone who can decipher them.
LA-based artist Andy Bauch has created the unique works of art as a demonstration of the public’s interest in cryptocurrencies.
To demonstrate this, he’s embedded thousands of dollars worth of his own Bitcoin into his artworks.
Each of his works is actually visual representations of his cryptocurrency wallets made from Lego pieces.
Basically, if you can crack the code hidden in his artwork, you could unlock a small fortune in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Describing the rationale behind hanging his wallet encryptions on the wall, artist Andy Bauch explains:
“I am attempting to help those without computer science backgrounds visualize and understand the rather abstract concept of cryptocurrencies and simultaneous democratizing the potential and volatility that comes along with them.”
In Bauch’s latest show, New Money, the artist uses Lego bricks as his medium.
The show was first exhibited at Castelli Art Space in Los Angeles last week and was made up of over 100,000 of the tiny colored blocks.
For those able to crack the codes, the works can reveal the secret keys to his crypto wallets that contain, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Cannabiscoin.
Each work of art is also a reference to the artist’s original investment value and a subtle nod to the volatility in cryptocurrencies’ prices:
Bitcoin initially valued at $20, Bitcoin initially valued at $50, …$90, and so on.
The values may sound like small amounts now, but due to the meteoric rise in crypto prices since Bauch bought the cryptocurrencies, the value that each artwork holds has also increased.
That’s aside from the artistic value of the work, of course.
The work obviously has way more value for those who are handy with ciphers too.
Bauch revealed that to create the artistic encryption, he used a “combination of human and algorithmic input.”
As an incentive for possible art investors, the artist says he will provide a clue to anyone who purchases his work, to give them a helping hand in cracking the code.
But, as many have already realized, anyone who views the pieces can basically “steal the cryptocurrency from the art” by decoding the patterns themselves.
Bauch tested each by using reverse extrapolation to make sure the works of art were decipherable.
This testing confirms that each wallet code is available to anyone who can figure it out.
Sign of the times
The adverse effects that modern advances in technology like AI are doing to our culture, and specifically, our workforce are becoming a point of reference for artists.
Bauch’s series called Museum of Human Obsolescence featured work that made similar commentary.
In one of the works, Bauch depicts a Best Buy employee who slowly fades away into nothingness.
Hidden inside this Lego brick artwork, called COG, Bauch hid another Bitcoin wallet code.
The original value of this secret wallet is $13.07, which is a reference to the average hourly wage in retail.