Premna Daemon 2018

As terra0 (with Paul Seidler and Max Hampshire)
Front end: Georgia Hansford, Louis Center
Interface design: Gregor Finger

Premna Daemon — An Introduction via a History of Autonomy in the Cryptosphere

Premna Daemon ( is an installation for the Proof of Work exhibition at Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon. The installation consists of an augmented Premna Microphylla plant, a web interface, and an Ethereum smart contract. Users can donate to the Premna Daemon with Ethereum via a web interface, to cover its ongoing infrastructure costs.

User requirements:
To tip and interact with the Premna Daemon, you need MetaMask, a browser extension and digital wallet used to interact with decentralized applications (currently only available for desktop).

Obligations of the gallery:
The operators of the Proof of Work exhibition have committed to caring for the Premna Daemon, when the plant requests assistance. The Premna Daemon will request assistance by sending Ethereum to an Ethereum wallet owned and operated by Schinkel Pavillon.

The Premna Daemon needs to be watered approximately every 3 days, or as soon as the upper layer of its soil has dried. If there are sufficient funds in its “watering pool”, the Premna Daemon will request watering from Schinkel Pavillon by sending Ethereum to the gallery’s Ethereum wallet. If there are insufficient funds, the Premna Daemon will an enter an “emergency mode” where it will check its watering pool once a day. It will execute a transaction once sufficient funds become available.

During the initial set-up of the exhibition, sufficient lighting will be installed for the tree. As long as the electricity costs are covered, the light runs for at least 8 hours per day, and is switched off at night.

Leaf trimming:
The Premna Daemon grows very quickly, and needs to be trimmed approximately once every 25 days. If the “trimming pool” has enough sufficient funds, the Premna Daemon will request trimming.

Server costs:
The Premna Daemon needs digital infrastructure in order to operate autonomously. Several monitoring programs are running on rented cloud infrastructure, that will execute Ethereum payments to our provider when an invoice is received.

Open Bazaar:
The Premna Daemon is able to autonomously purchase tools that its carers need to conduct maintenance. Using a collection of scripts, the Premna Daemon will logon to OpenBazaar, a decentralized marketplace and purchase these tools when it has detected that it has sufficient funds in its “OpenBazaar pool”.

Premna Daemon: Premna Microphylla, cameras, moisture sensor, single board computer, powder coated steel, multiplex wood, Ethereum smart contract, Python backend, JavaScript frontend

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