Ivar Veermäe

The Flood

FILE Sao Paulo 2019 | Videoart
Electronic Language International Festival



‘The Flood’ is both research into cryptocurrency, its mining and energy needs and an abstraction based on its forms, concepts and ideas. The work resonates between documentary images and simulated 3D objects in a virtual environment. Although cryptocurrency is coded and immaterial, it needs a powerful material infrastructure to exist – video cards and specialized devices to encrypt and decrypt the transactions and keep the network running; huge amounts of energy, which is often carbonbased, to keep these machines working; rare earth minerals to create the devices and so on. A continuous shot from one of the biggest Estonian crypto mines, which is located in a former prison shows the nature of this kind of space. The second video is a combination of the footage from the cryptocurrency and oil shale mines in Estonia mixed with 3D animations. This material is connected because oil shale is Estonia’s main energy resource and is also used to mine cryptocurrencies. The third video is of interviews with various people operating smallscale mines. It is made before and after the boom in cryptocurrencies.


The art of Ivar Veermäe (born 1982 in Tallinn, lives and works in Berlin) evolves similarly to the thread of a networked world while keeping a sharp eye on the functioning of an uncontrollable whole. The artist documents individual parts of this whole; adds to and nuances the themes under examination; it uses diverse images in different combinations; changes measurement scales and presentation blueprints; and confirms the inevitability of universal interconnectedness.