PORTRAITS OF A MIND
October 7th, 2020.
Christie’s New York.
NEXT AVAILABLE WORK

Block 22
(42.435948° N, -71.154904° E)

October 7th, 2020
Christie’s New York
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The first half of Satoshi’s codebase has been decentralised.

You decide where the second half goes.
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01 / 04

The largest work of art in Bitcoin’s history

Portraits of a Mind (2019) is a global art project to decentralise the founding code behind Bitcoin into 40 fragments.

Monumental in scale, it is the largest work of art produced in Bitcoin’s history. Distributed globally, Robert Alice is reaching out to the blockchain community to help realise this major art project.

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A symbol of decentralisation

Each of the 40 paintings holds exactly 322,048 digits of Satoshi Nakamoto’s original code.

Once distributed globally, these 40 fragments of the code will decentralise the artwork — drawing up a global network of collectors, where no one central authority will hold all the code.

The work is a symbolic expression of Satoshi’s vision, forged out of the very code that lies at the genesis of it all.

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A portrait of Satoshi Nakamoto

A digital fingerprint carved out of paint, Portraits of a Mind explores the multi-faceted identities of Satoshi Nakamoto, in turn reflecting on the nature of both identity and portraiture in a newly decentralised age.

The works explores the politics and aesthetics of code while mining the visual histories of cryptography, cartography and coinage. Reminiscent of cipher wheels and rai stones, the work’s shape is physically decentralised. Encased by hundreds of thousands of digits of their code, it is through this void that a space opens up to reflect on the identities of Bitcoin’s founder.

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A 5,000 year history of Bitcoin

Inscribed into the codebase of each painting is a constellation of thirty-two digits encrusted in gold. Forming a longitude and latitude, each set of co-ordinates refers to a location of historic importance to the creation of Bitcoin.

From the codebreakers of Bletchley Park to the exact location of Hal Finney at the time of the first Bitcoin transaction, these 40 locations together form their own network, covering 5,000 years of human history and act as proxies for the ideas, movements and people that fed into Satoshi Nakamoto’s revolutionary creation.

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