Mining Cards - Max Dovey

From March 28 to April 29, 2018

Mining Cards by Max Dovey is a collectable trading card series stored on the blockchain. Each card features a custom made mining rig together with its technical information, and like Top Trumps, they can be used to play and trade a gainst one another. The cards depict the material infrastructure of blockchain networks and show the often domestic environments where computer nodes are located. The mining rigs reveal the DIY engineering and amateur craft necessary to build a peer to peer, de-centralized computer network. Dovey collects the images from various online forums where hobbyists share pictures of their mining rig setups along with their instructions and technical specifications. The card game comments on the practice of re-purposing graphics cards, originally built for video gaming, into specialized mining computers; practice that created a shortage and increased market demand for gaming hardware. In the current protocol for mining crypto currencies on Ethereum, called proof of work, computers compete against one another to verify transactions made on the blockchain network and gain financial rewards for being the first to do so. By comparing each mining rigs attributes, individuals are encouraged to compete against one another, imitating the practice of computers competitively mining for profit on a blockchain network. Each card is digitally stored on a blockchain and contains a unique hash that can be used to identify limited editions of each card and turns the game of mining for profit into a crypto-collectable artwork.

Max Dovey [UK] can be described as 28.3% man, 14.1% artist and 8.4% successful. He is also an artist, researcher and lecturer specialising in the politics of data and algorithmic governance. His works explore the political narratives that emerge from technology and digital culture and manifest into situated projects – bars, game-shows, banks and other participatory scenarios. He holds a BA Hons in Fine Art: Time Based Media and a MA (MDes) in Media Design from Piet Zwart Institute. He is an affiliated researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures and regularly writes for Open Democracy, Imperica & Furtherfield. His work has been performed at Ars Electronica Festival, Art Rotterdam & many U.K based music festivals.