23. November 2023 - 11. February 2024
Danny Franzreb: Proof of Work

Crypto mine in Irkutsk, Russia
Crypto mine in an old industrial complex. Location: Irkutsk, Russia
Photo: Danny Franzreb
In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in response to the financial crisis. This text was the birth of a new paradigm, the blockchain.

Based on Nakamoto’s vision, people around the world created a new infrastructure that could be used to transfer assets, information, and much more.

Mine worker wearing thermal clothing and hearing protection. Location: Irkutsk, Russia
Mine worker wearing thermal clothing and hearing protection. Location: Irkutsk, Russia
Photo: Danny Franzreb

Since then, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, or applications such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become particularly well-known. But only insiders understand the exact contexts of these abstract terms.

To visually shed light on the cryptic darkness, Danny Franzreb embarked on a year-long journey during the boom phase of cryptocurrencies between 2021-2022 to visit miners, investors, and fortune seekers who were early adopters of the opportunities offered by these digital currencies.

The resulting work uses striking imagery to document places and people engaged in the crypto world—from small basement prospectors to industrial mining farms, or from installations, cooling units, cable forests, and industrial ruins in Russia to the first high-tech factories with sustainable production in Sweden. 

Danny Franzreb is a photographer, artist, and professor of design at HNU (Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences). In his work, he mainly explores the transformative effects of modern society. As a photographer, he has been recognized for series like Benidorm with the IPA in Gold and the Emerging Photography Award, among others. As a creative director, he has collaborated extensively with brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Leica, and Zeiss, winning awards such as the ADC, DDC, and iF Award. He lives in Neu-Ulm with his wife and daughter.

Ellinor, founder of start-up for vertical agriculture in Boden, Sweden
Ellinor, founder of a vertical farming startup. Location: Boden, Sweden
Photo: Danny Franzreb

The Book:
Danny Franzreb "Proof of Work"
176 pages, 72 photos

Texts by Holly Roussell and Anika Meier
Design: Nicolas Polli
ISBN 978-3-96070-097-5

available in the exhibition or here




Opening: Wednesday, 22 November, 2023, 7 pm

Project Management: Karla Nieraad