Face Trade – Art vending machine that trades mugshots for “free” portraits

Face Trade is an Art Vending Machine created by Matthias Dörfelt that dispenses unique prints of computer generated face drawings. Instead of paying with money, buyers trade a mugshot that is taken on the spot in order to be permanently stored in the Ethereum Blockchain, consequently turning the transaction into a semi-permanent Face Swap.

With Face Trade Matthias wanted to create a playful tension between what personal, biometric information people are willing to give up to be stored in a permanent and public storage in order to receive a “free” item. The free item in this case is a unique computer generated drawing of an expressive face that visually lives somewhat in a space between Mask and an actual face with an intentional redundancy in some of the facial features. Matthias wanted to create an ambiguity where it’s not quite clear weather the faces are happy, sad, deceiving or possibly trying to lure the visitors in. He wanted to capture the wide spectrum of things associated with blockchain which fluctuates between silk road, greed, gold rush mentality and the utopian promises of decentralization and democratisation that we only got to see small glimpses of thus far.

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