Herengracht, one of Amsterdam's famous canal areas, has been illuminated with a curious combination of letters and numbers.
The well-lit 34-character display is raising curiosity, with its installation provoking interest and to an extent, confusion. However, most are aware that the illumination is part of the artworks for the Amsterdam Light Festival currently happening.
The Cryptographic Code imagery
The gaudy installation is, in fact, an artwork set to resemble a Bitcoin address with a charitable cause attached to it. The artwork dubbed “Code” is an eye-catching submission by Dutch designer, Frederike Top, in this year’s Amsterdam Light Festival. The 37-year-old professional designer is an alumnus of the Utrecht School of Arts, with considerable influence in designing interiors and public spaces.
With the crypto-wallet-code of light, Top aims to take her creativity to a new level by characterizing it with an element of user interaction. Since cryptocurrencies are presenting a financial system at odds with the existing monetary policy, the artwork seeks to portray the significant contrast.
According to the Amsterdam Light Festival, the positioning of the artwork is also affixed to the threat crypto presents to government and banks. Apparently, “Code” is located at a former bank building to highlight the growing power of crypto over the financial system.
The event's website explains:
“Central control is no longer needed for digital transactions as opposed to the traditional financial world. Cryptocurrency is a real threat to governments and banks as Top highlights in her installation by positioning it in front of the enormous, closed former bank building.”
What's behind the inspiration?
The BTC address in use (1MA8Wopde19HbANkJHnuu76LGbooQHLnuP) even possesses the name word “bank” which is no coincidence since it has a charitable purpose. The apparent Bitcoin address is set to receive contributions on behalf of the Huis van de Tijd, a foundation for the elderly with dementia. The crypto contributions-14 so far- will go into funding the foundation's needs and services.
Also, Amsterdam is also home to a strong Bitcoin heritage, with the city housing its very own Bitcoin Embassy. The city recently saw the opening of the House of Nakamoto, an information and retail store for cryptocurrencies with a Bitcoin museum.
Interested Amsterdam Light festival attendees can view Frederike Top's Crypto wallet artwork till January 20, 2019, when the event officially ends. Furthermore, Top's Bitcoin submission is only a handful of the artworks available in the Amsterdam Light Festival.
The event hosts 29 illuminated artworks and ten city stories submission from different designers, and artists. This year marks the seventh edition with walking, bicycle, or boat tours available around the installations.
Who is Frederike Top?
Frederike Top is a product designer for interiors and public space, with her design agency. She is known to bring poetry into the contemporary urban landscape with her “Street Sentences”, a series of poetic texts in Amsterdam's streets. Modern art inspires most of Frederike artwork with most of her projects dwelling on how a material, an image or an element works with light and darkness.