Calvin Hutcheon

Economy by Nature

Epiphyte is a prototype for a new kind of economy, that uses living sensors to account for the externalities of industry.

Starting in Research

Investigating cybernetic threads within blockchain projects, I examine a collection of hybrid digital/biological systems. In my paper I explore what these represent today, in the face of network capitalism and climate change.

I was honored to present my research at RadicalxChange, in Detroit.

Building a Tradebot

From the start, I was interested in a creating a bot that could be placed as an observation station, monitoring a lichen or moss sample in real time. I began with some simple experiments, hoping to understand the hardware requirements for the project. I ultimately settled on using a Raspberry Pi and a stock ring light system.

Taking Form

I coded the tradebot in python, using Open CV libraries for much of the computer vision work and Intrino for my trade API. While the code is quite rudimentary, it represents a proof of concept. I hope to collaborate with developers in the future to create a more robust code base.

See how I researched and taught myself the skills to build this tradebot.


In order to communicate this project's intent, I collaborated with Theo Grey to create a video explaining the concepts that inform the project.


I exhibited Epiphyte at the MICA Senior Sympiosium, working with a group of other designers to stage a show focused on speculative ecological art.

What's Next?

While the tradebot is complete, the project hardly feels over. I hope to continue to collaborate on these ideas in the future, building out the Epiphyte concept. I'm particularly interested in including other forms of living sensors within financial networks.

Help me build this project out.