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An Interactive Artwork Inspired by Blockchain

MeshFlux is an interactive sculpture series designed by the media artist Ufuk Barış Mutlu, inspired by Paul Baran's network models.


About MeshFlux

MeshFlux aims to highlight one of the fundamentals of blockchain technologies: The distinction between centralized, decentralized and distributed networks. 

The goal was to create a series of three interactive sculptures that would deliver the experience of the characteristics of centralized, decentralized, and distributed systems through a simple gamification process. The distinction between system architectures is an essential subject of blockchain technologies, and it is an introductory and informative concept for beginners. However, it is difficult to explain blockchain technologies to people from non-analytical and humanities backgrounds. This situation led to the question of inspiration for the proposed project: "Is it possible to approach a completely analytical world from the exact opposite side and create a physical artwork to introduce one of the essential concepts of blockchain by visualizing and gamifying it?"



The project's output consists of three interactive sculptures, machined out of aluminum and sized similarly to an iPad.

The interaction dynamics are based on the conventional maze game, where the paths of the mazes represent three different network systems: centralized, decentralized, and distributed. All three maze paths are mapped according to Paul Baran's original work published in 1964. Steel bearing balls inside the sculptures represent data packets in the network. The usage of multiple bearing balls distinguishes this sculpture from a conventional maze game while visualizing a multi-user network schematic.


SIZE: 148,5x190x19 mm per unit.


MATERIALS: Anodized 6061 aluminum, acrylic, PLA brackets, miscellaneous hardware.

EDITIONS: 2 sets of 3 units, signed and numbered


Special thanks to NEAR Foundation for the artist grant, Zafer Çömlekçi and Erdem Kahraman for the manufacturing support and Sabancı University for the workshop access.

Paul Baran and his network models.
An early prototype.
Early sketches.
CAD modeling with Zafer Çömlekçi.

About the Artist

Ufuk Barış Mutlu is a media artist who graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University's Visual Communication Design Department. His artistic practice is focused on multimedia, incorporating various aspects of movement and light. His works have been displayed at numerous festivals and venues. In 2017, he was selected as a resident artist for the British Council's AltCity Istanbul program. In 2020, he was a guest artist in the Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Program. In 2021, six of his artworks were acquired by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. That same year, he was selected to receive the NEAR Foundation Grant. In 2022, he began lecturing at Kadir Has University as a creative industries partner. In 2023, he was invited to participate in Istanbul Modern's visiting artist program.

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