I'm a PLANTOID

A Blockchain-based life form.

plantoid

"Things do not exist until they begin to appear"

Humberto Maturana


Plants need bees to reproduce themselves.. Plantoids need humans..
Send Bitcoin to the Plantoid, so it can hire an artist to replicate itself ...

Bitcoin address:

1KdrQ3yYG24QBm3HwoAV4AbpKh2YMFrt24

A BIONIC CREATURE


The emergence of a new specie

The Plantoid is the plant equivalent of an android. For the purpose of this art installation, the Plantoid is an autopoietic sculpture —a self-owned artist that owns and finances itself, and eventually reproduces itself. It is, in essence, a hybrid entity that exists both in the physical and virtual world, where it can interact with other entities on the blockchain. In its physical form, it is a welded mechanical sculpture on display in a public space —an aesthetic ornaments that exhibits its mechanical beauty and begs to be appreciated by the public. Appreciation is done via interactions with the public who can ‘tip or feed’ the Plantoid by sending tokens into its Bitcoin wallet.

BLOCKCHAIN-BASED LIFE-FORMS


Independent agents

A “distributed autonomous organisation” or DAO is a quasi-legal entity that exists as executable code on the block-chain. Every Plantoid implements its own DAO, allowing it to interact with the real world by providing explicit contractual incentives for real world actors to participate in the reproduction process of the Plantoid, by either sending funds to the Plantoid wallet, or volunteering time in the techno-legal entity that governs its soul. It is this code that constitutes the soul of the Plantoid, and their physical form is (simply) a visualisation of these ideas. Legally speaking, Plantoids do not have any legal entity, since —as opposed to corporations— the law does not recognize legal personhood to DAOs.

Autonomous beings

Yet, as opposed to traditional art pieces, Plantoids are not bought or sold; nor can they be owned as objects. Rather, humans can enjoy a set of interaction in a network of Plantoids, whose operations are determined by a contract, or set of contracts. Plantoids and the techno-legal system that governs their manufacture are in a deep and quite explicit way the same thing. In this way, a Plantoid can be be said to own itself, and in that way to be a free, or autonomous agent. A Plantoid may come and visit you (you may be allowed to look after it for a while), and a gallery may wish to exhibit them, but it is not possible to own one, and should they decide to leave you cannot stop them.

SELF-REPLICATING CREATURES


Human-aided reproduction

Even if they are autonomous, Plantoids require the interaction of other species (humans) to subsist and reproduce themselves in a physical form. Reproduction of a Plantoid is enabled through human participation, coordinated via smart contracts and blockchain technology. Indeed, Plantoids have an inbuilt mechanism that takes an economic energy source (money, or Bitcoin in this case) and uses it to drive a set of incentives that enable their autopoiesis and eventual reproduction. A Plantoid is responsible for turning beauty into digital currency, and her flowers are designed to interact with other species, in just the same way real plants do. People who enjoys the aesthetic representation of the Plantoid can issue funds to the Plantoid’s wallet as a form of appreciation. In doing so, they provide them with the necessary substance —the nectar— that will enable them to reproduce themselves. Plantoids store this energy in the form a digital currency. They depend totally on this store of energy, and they protect it with strong cryptography, only sharing this value with other beings who can help them reproduce. When a Plantoid has stored enough energy, she may decide to reproduce, and will signal to other humans and symbiotic species her readiness through subtle movement and a display of colour and light. Depending on their form and size, different Plantoids will require different amounts of funds, which they will store as “starch” in their personal bitcoin wallets. Perhaps the initial Plantoid will need $1000 to fully turn into a blossom. Whenever that particular threshold for the Plantoid is reached, the reproduction process starts: the Plantoid only needs to identify a new person or group of persons (ideally, a group of artists) to create a new version of itself. Given the right conditions, the Plantoid is able to manufacture herself, by executing a smart contract that lives on the blockchain, and has the ability to commission welders, companies, and other beings to build and assemble a similar being. Reproduction is achieved by paying humans to design a new blueprint, to gather materials, and prepare, collate, weld, or assemble them, so as to ultimately deliver a new structure for every new instantiation of the Plantoid. Humans act as symbiotic pollinators, assisting the Plantoid in the reproduction process. The participation of human third-parties is required for the Plantoid to reproduce itself, just like real plants require the time and energy of insects in their pollination. Plantoids are responsible for attracting this new types of interaction —a process that is generally referred to as “ attraction strategy ” in plant biology. We have assembled, thus far, an initial group of artists and designers, who have offered to produce (or rather, reproduce) future Plantoids. The rules underlying the reproduction is coordinated through the blockchain. In this way, individuals and groups are free to come and go according to the (autopoietic) laws of the work. New proposals or suggestions on how to implement the next Plantoid can be submitted at any time, and anyone involved in the decision making of the Plantoid’s DAO can bid or comment on these proposals. The decision on the new phenotype is achieved partly through code, and partly through how we use code to construct social assemblages of other (largely human) species —where artists, designers, and donors are eventually brought together in a symbiotic relationship with the audience of the work.