HARVEST is a work of critical engineering and computational climate art. It uses wind-energy to mine cryptocurrency, the earnings of which are used as a source of funding for climate-change research.
Taking the form of two 2kW wind turbines with environmental sensors, weatherproof computers and 4G uplink installed in an empty field behind the Musket Transport terminal, HARVEST “feeds” from two primary symptoms of our changing climate: wind gusts and storms. It does this by transforming wind energy into the electricity required to meet the demanding task of mining cryptocurrency (here Zcash), a decentralized process where computers are financially rewarded for their work maintaining and verifying a public transaction ledger known as the blockchain. Rather than filling the digital wallet of the artist, all rewards earned by the HARVEST mining machine are paid out as donations to non-profit climate change research organizations such that they can better study this planetary-scale challenge.
The second component of HARVEST comprises a live feed directly from the miners to a 40ft shipping container located at the front of the terminal, conveying real-time footage of the wind turbines and data relevant to the mining process. This data is visualised by Christopher Pietsch.