The FT and Nikkei have commissioned Rhizomatiks, a Tokyo based arts collective, to create a new video artwork that explores the real life environmental cost of cryptocurrency. The video, ‘Watt is Money?’ demystifies the world of Bitcoin and takes the audience on a visual journey showing what mining Bitcoin really is and why it requires vast amounts of energy.
Rhizomatiks, the Japanese creative group known for innovative and data-led projects, created the video art work with data from the Cambridge Centre For Alternative Finance (CCFA), a research centre at the Cambridge University Judge Business School. In 2019, CCAF set up the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. Rhizomatiks have had early access to new data on Bitcoin’s electricity mix, with researchers' findings diverging from industry claims about the share of the cryptocurrency’s sustainable energy sources.
The work will be shown to audiences at the Wall & Wall Gallery in Tokyo on 27 and 28 September. The project is a collaboration between the two news groups and FT Standpoint, an award winning series of collaborations between the arts and the FT newsroom that explore the biggest stories of our time in original formats. The digital video will be free to view on FT.com and Nikkei and will be available across social media channels.
Juliet Riddell, Head of New Formats at the FT, said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with world-renowned artists Rhizomatiks to tell this important news story in a uniquely creative format.”
Ryoichi Emura, Head of the Data Visual Centre at Nikkei, said: “We are delighted Rhizomatiks has helped us create something that immerses the viewer into the world of Bitcoin. This project also expands the depth and breadth of our editorial collaboration with the FT.’
Rhizomatiks’s Daito Manabe said: “Technologies such as cryptocurrency and AI are being implemented into society at great speed. What is the impact of innovation on the environment? What actions should we take now to prepare for the future? We look forward to sharing with audiences these insights and important questions.”
Watch the video here.
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About the Financial Times
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of 1.2 million, more than one million of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.
Nikkei Inc. is a world-renowned media brand for Asian news, respected for quality journalism and for being a trusted provider of business news and information. Founded as a market news provider in Japan in 1876, Nikkei has grown into one of the world’s largest media corporations, with 37 foreign editorial bureaus and approximately 1,500 journalists worldwide. Nikkei acquired the UK-based Financial Times in 2015. Our combined digital and print circulation totals over 2.5 million, and we are continually deploying new technologies to increase our readership.
Rhizomatiks explores new possibilities of technology and expression focusing on experimental projects which involve R&D heavy approach, while taking responsibility in every process of the project from hardware and software development to operations. Rhizomatiks execute R&D projects and creation with elaborate research on the relationship between humans and technologies. Additionally, the company keeps presenting more cutting-edge research and works through collaboration with other artists, researchers, and scientists.