Mosaic Virus (2018-2019)

Mosaic Virus (2018) and Mosaic Virus (2019) are a series of works that bring together ideas around  capitalism, value, and collapse from different points in history. The former is a single screen moving image piece displaying a grid of continually evolving tulips in bloom; the latter a three screen video installation, each screen showing a single tulip. In both pieces the tulips are controlled by the price of bitcoin, changing over time to show how the market fluctuates and making this connection explicit. Tulipmania was a 17th-century phenomenon which saw the price of tulip bulbs rise and crash: at the peak going for the same price as an Amsterdam townhouse before falling to the price of an onion. It is often held up as an instance of one the first recorded instances of a speculative bubble, and strong parallels can be made with the ongoing speculation around cryptocurrencies.  There is an obvious economic connection between the two systems –  both are often depicted as unstable frenzies –  but for me this association goes beyond how the prices of the two behave on a graph.
(Text by Anna Ridler)