Gabriella Torres-Ferrer


Sin título (qué criptón) – Untitled (what a krypton)




Puerto Rico


Ideally, 76 cm × 89 cm × 127 cm (dimensions change depending on the installation).


Bananas, live cryptocurrency displays

Credits: Courtesy of the artist

Gabriella Torres-Ferrer studies the implications of a globalized life characterized by the development of modern cybernetics and digital reality, and how these new technologies transform society and nature by redefining traditional power structures. Sin título (qué criptón) is a still-life/installation in which a bunch of bananas are connected to several microcomputers that record the stock market values of different cryptocurrencies. The work belongs to the Mine Your Own Business series on the economy that has emerged around the quantification of data. In these works, Torres-Ferrer asks what capitalist-colonial entanglements are hidden behind the promises of interconnectivity, technological decentralization, and digital everyday life. Sin título (qué criptón) researches the way multinational financial technology companies abuse the global south—turned into a “crypto-paradise”—using empowerment, sovereignty, and deregulation discourses. Can the economy of a country like Puerto Rico, a US-associated state hard hit by Hurricane María, be synchronized with the accumulation rhythms of global investors? 

The artist draws a parallel between the banana plantations—a fruit brought to Latin America from Africa by Spanish colonists as food for enslaved people and later protagonist of many of the neo-colonial violence perpetrated by the United States in the region during the 20th century—and the cryptocurrency “farms” that have sprung up in recent years in Puerto Rico. In 2019, two years after Hurricane Maria hit the island, the United States passed the Puerto Rico Act 60 under which cryptocurrency investors who became residents of the island would benefit from tax exemptions. Following US neglect in Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane recovery, this measure, far from boosting the local economy and developing the island’s technology, has only encouraged gentrification—making life even more difficult for locals and encouraging their displacement and migration.