the þit (pronounced thit |ˈθɪt|) is a self-sufficient system that produces natural and financial resources for local community use. The project started in April, 2014, at a rented 1,200 m2 private lot with a caravan surrounded by a green area in the center of Oer-Erkenschwick city. A sign was installed at the þit, declaring it a private reserve of natural heritage. This concept was imported from Brazilian law to encourage owners to open their properties as parks for communal use.
Three cryptocurrency mines were installed in the caravan to generate a fund that supported the creation of a temporary communal park and its activities, including paying rent. The rent was agreed to be one third of the produced fund, to be paid monthly in bitcoins.
The lot #7 of Ludwigstraße had little activity for a long time. By evoking characters from local mythology and history and by engaging citizens of Oer-Erkenschwick, authorities, and groups from the Ruhr, the þit explored the lot’s strong potential for being a vivid place again. From April to July, five open events took place at the þit.
This venture, initiated as a work of art, will continue. Although the þit ended in August, the self-financing model for communal spaces goes on. One mine flew to Brazil and will be used there by the artists in future experiments. The other two were handed over to two different initiatives in the Ruhr that were selected through online voting.
Bitcoin (฿) is a currency based on distributed computing. It is decentralized, digital, and global. Bitcoins are created without banks’ or states’ control. They are traded online and can be spent worldwide. All transactions are fast and of low cost.
A developer with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto created the original bitcoin algorithm in 2008 and published it in a discussion forum. However, the currency itself is created, traded, and controlled by bitcoin users, rather than by a central authority like a bank or a government.
Bitcoin is based on the principle of public verification of transactions: if many users see that a certain number of coins have been given by A to B, then this transaction is verified and recorded in a general ledger (the blockchain).
People who do this virtual bookkeeping are called miners. They have two crucial roles: to maintain the security of the system and to create (mine) new bitcoins.
Each bitcoin transaction is encrypted into a mathematical problem that the miners need to process. This work involves millions of calculations per minute, thus requiring strong mining hardware (or ‘rig’).
Maíra das Neves was born in São Paulo in 1978. She is an artist, translator, foreign language teacher, and witchcraft apprentice, based in Rio de Janeiro. She develops actions, apparitions, and gatherings. She is interested in triggering collaborative practices as well as in nourishing the unknown we wish to make exist. Therefore, she focuses on establishing non-hierarchical networks of artists, activists, hackers, and people from surrounding communities. She experiments with modes for financing, supporting, and developing cultural activities, while blurring the boundary of public and private spheres. She is also an Agent Spæcial of Agência Transitiva, a space-vehicle for actions and non-conventional studies in art, politics, and history of ideas.
Pedro Victor Brandão was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1985. He is a visual artist, working with photography, performance and social practices. He graduated in Photography from UNESA (2007-2009) and has attended free courses at Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (2005-2010). Since 2003, he has developed works on the possibility of new meanings for the technical image today; he is researching iconoclasm, oblivion, and the relation between truth and image among different political landscapes. His work has been shown in many institutions in Brazil and abroad, including Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Casa França-Brasil, SESC Vila Mariana, Portas Vilaseca Galeria, Niklas Schechinger Fine Art, among others. As artist-in-residence, he went to Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, France, 2012), Terra UNA, (Liberdade, Brazil), and ZK/U (Berlin, Germany, 2014). In recent works, he has been investigating the production of commons in precarized contexts, followed by studies on accelerationism, social cybernetics and post-scarcity economics. From 2007 to 2012, he collaborated with different collectives (Laboratório Tupinagô, OPAVIVARÁ!, and Epistomancia). Since 2013, he has been part of Agência Transitiva as Agent Data, collecting, storing and bringing interpretations to raw information.