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winner 2015

Raph Kim
Peck As You Go: Bio-Electronic Currency

Peck As You Go explores an alternative payment system that functions through combination of biological and electronic technologies. A semi-fictional product of a coalition between traditional computer hackers and an emerging bio-hacking community, Peck As You Go is a response designed to address growing frustration and mistrust by the citizens in the current central banking system:

“Hacking micro-organisms from our oral cavities and creating digitally-accountable biological currency, we put the money where the mouth is, both on literal and philosophical terms. We believe that the human body, and micro-organisms that reside within, are a powerful and sustainable financial body that are designed by nature over millions of years.”

Peck As You Go is a ‘digilogue’ payment system, digitally executed through electronic tagging and remote controlling of bacteria living in the human mouth, in conjunction with analogue methods, involving human interactions and subsequent body fluid exchange.

The biological dimension of Peck As You Go system would fulfill a number of shortcomings that a wholly electronic payment system face today, and vice versa. Having the best of both worlds may seem an ideal solution, but what are the potential social and cultural ramifications we may face as a result? Radical changes to improve the financial system is a good idea, but are we prepared to embrace the unforeseen changes, and how could we design and modify ourselves for the times ahead?