Depicting tulips blooming and their colors changing, Mosaic Virus brings the historical phenomenon of Dutch tulip mania into connection with present-day speculations about blockchain technology.
In the 1630s, the obsession with rare and exotic flowers that spread across the Netherlands and Europe caused a financial bubble. When the unprecedented cost for a single flower –which could exceed a skilled worker’s annual income – collapsed over a week, many collectors went bankrupt. The title of Anna Ridler’s work evokes the viruses that caused petals’ colors to break into stripes, which boosted tulip prices among seventeenth-century collectors.
Ridler draws historical parallels between tulip mania and today’s hype and concerns around crypto-currencies. She applies a computer vision algorithm that imagines the flowers blossoming and decaying, whereby their appearance depends on the value of bitcoin, changing over time with market fluctuations.
This work is funded by the EMAP/EMARE program (part of Creative Europe) and commissioned by Impakt.
Shown at Seasons of Media Arts – City of Participative Visions (2019).
Time: 08.08.2019 – 15.09.2019
Location: LED-Screen at the Badisches Staatstheater