::::Pickcoin - https://irational.org/inari/pickcoin/app (mobile only)
Second stage of the project developed at
Summer Sessions 2016 with V2_Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam, NL

'Imagine money is randomly lying everywhere on the street and people pick it up and use it as they need. If you don't need that much, drop it casually just like stones.'

Pickcoin is a yet-to-exist terrain of money circulation where money goes around for absolutely no reason. The principle is simple, people drop money and allow other people to pick it up. Immediately this is the most efficient way to circulate money.

During the summer of 2016 Inari has developed a locative indirect AR web app through which you can see virtual coins floating in the streets. By collaborating with a local ice cream parlour De IJssalon, the initial amount of 750 coins were distributed mainly around Witte de Withstraat, the main street near V2_. With the street full of virtual coins, collecting 10 of them was equivalent to 1 scoop of ice cream of any choice (except for pistachio!). Inari stood by in the dimly lit kitchen next to the serving area in order not to disturb the formal staff's operation. As soon as a customer with coins approached the till, he appeared from the shadow, quickly conducted the transaction, and disappeared back into the darkness. Coins were also optionally purchasable at the till at the staggeringly low price of 10 cent for 10 coins. This meant the possibility of a temporary infinite supply of free ice cream. 'It might blow up but if it's only 5 days a year, that's no problem', said the ice cream shop manager full of excitement. *It's important to note that Inari didn't have to pay any money to the shop.

today is fourth day of Pickcoin https://t.co/nBBif3lFiG in #rotterdam. come get ice cream @DeIJssalon #wittedewith ! pic.twitter.com/BbehM89JWs

— Inari Wishiki (@inariwishiki) 19:32 - 1 Sep 2016

The Pickcoin project was initiated in June 2015 at Professor Hirokazu Kato's laboratory at Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Ikoma, Japan. Prof. Kato implemented the first generation of the ARToolKit which was to become the foundation technology of Augmented Reality.

The idea started with the following quote from myself, 'Imagine money is randomly lying everywhere on the street and people pick it up and use it as they need. If you don't need that much, drop it casually just like stones.' This is still relevant after the second stage of the project that had been developed at V2_Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam during the Summer Sessions 2016.

The first stage's focus was exploring the sense of touch in the virtual environment as well as the feeless transaction of small change through the act of dropping and picking up coins.

A system demo built with the Unity Game Engine and Vuforia was demonstrated at ISMAR 2015 (The 14th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality) in Fukuoka, Japan. This was a guerilla presentation and made possible by the secret effort of Prof. Kato who was the general chair of the conference.

Being in Rotterdam I quickly noticed how big ICE CREAM was in the city. And I immediately decided to use it as an appeal to introduce the very idea of Pickcoin to the general public.

The initial plan was to open a late night narrow ice cream shop in-between the main doors of V2_, waiting for people passing by to interact with me somehow. I then heard that there is an ice cream parlour that is open until 11pm situated on Witte de Withstraat, the main street near V2_. I tried their ice cream (pistachio) and fell in love with it. The shop was De IJssalon Witte de Withstraat.


Idea sharing at Open Set on 28 Jul 2016
Net artist Olia Lialina (left), Inari (middle), and V2_Curator Florian Weigl (right)

Testing geolocation accuracy on 15 Aug 2016

User testing with Anne-Mercedes Langhorst from V2_ on 22 Aug 2016

The resulting web app available at https://irational.org/inari/pickcoin/app

Coin locations in Rotterdam

Presentation at TestLab at V2_ on 8 Sep 2016
Inari (left) and Florian (right), photograph: Gustavo Velho

Doing a gig between an ice cream shop, Facebook, and the coin database on 29 Aug 2016