NEoN Digital Arts Archive

Warehouse bathed in red light



For NEoN Festival, Vienna-based artist group UBERMORGEN are making a brand new video installation, following on from their long-term research into digital economies in China. More than ten years ago UBERMORGEN began investigating Chinese ‘gold farming’ – wherein labourers play games such as ‘World of Warcraft’ day and night to gain in-game currency, equipment, and levelled-up characters, which are then sold to American and European gamers via eBay. NEoN presented UBERMORGEN’s work ‘Chinese Gold’ at DARE this past summer introducing Dundee to their influential art practice, and is now commissioning new work, ‘Chinese Coin’, in which the artists explore crypto-currencies.

In China, making money using manual human labour in videogames is being increasingly replaced by large, machine-driven crypto-currency mining ventures created to generate Bitcoins. No one really knows the true identity of the person (or group of people) who invented Bitcoin – a truly decentralised virtual currency – known only as Satoshi Nakamoto. Working with video footage they have taken from a Bitcoin generating factory, UBERMORGEN are creating a loud, immersive view onto a site not often seen and about which very little is known, where power has been devolved to a few humans – the owners and the on-site mining engineers – and to very large numbers of highly specialized custom-built computers.

UBERMORGEN is an artist duo registered in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Hans Bernhard and Maria Haas (aka lizvlx) founded it in 1995. Their open-ended investigations focus on the concept of corporate and governmental authority, power structures, and institutional and individual responsibility. Influenced by Dada and the Viennese Actionists, UBERMORGEN’s ‘digital actionism’ utilizes modern technologies and performance-based strategies to devise multi-layered, flexible narratives.

Venue: Hannah Maclure Centre Cinema
Where: Abertay University, Bell Street, DD1 1HG
Preview: Sunday 8th November, 2pm – 4pm
When: Continues until Friday 13th November 2015
Gallery opening times 2pm – 4pm, Mon – Fri
This event is free but booking for the preview is essential – book here