CryptoPuppers

https://twitter.com/IsDecal/status/1044900069693108229

CryptoPuppers (2018), blockchain-registered gold plated metal cast from 3D printed model, inkjet prints.

This new incarnation of Rob Myers’ classic work “Balloon Dog, Shareable Readymade”, originally commissioned by Furtherfield, comprises an edition of 1000 miniature gold balloon dog sculptures linked to the blockchain. Each handmade version of the 3D printed original is unique in its own way and functions as a non-fungible token.

“Balloon Dog” was originally created as an ephemeral digital file for 3D printing that anyone could use to re-democratise an icon of blue chip contemporary art. It was a post-scarcity commons approach to art that everyone and therefore no-one can own.

In contrast, this is a limited edition of luxurious physical instantiations of the artwork (each with its own own “certificate of inauthenticity” signed by the artist) anchored to the art historical world of provenance and ownership as well as blockchain verifiable value via Arteïa’s collection management system.

From post-scarcity abundance to artificial scarcity and provably rare digital ownership as a way to establish and protect the unique value of artworks. This is a provocation for artists and collectors to engage with new digital critical and financial value in contemporary artworks.

More details from DECAL.

Massive thanks to Dr. Charlotte Frost and Ruth Catlow of Furtherfield for making this happen.

Artists as cryptofinanciers: welcome to the blockchain

Rob Myers, one of the early adopters of blockchain as an artistic tool, has written: “The ideology and technology of the blockchain and the materials of art history—especially the history of conceptual art—can provide useful resources for mutual experiment and technique.”…

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/feature/artists-as-cryptofinanciers-welcome-to-the-blockchain

Art On The Blockchain Episode 20

https://soundcloud.com/artontheblockchain/episode-20-a-conversation-wrob-myers

Just before Gray Area I was interviewed by the awesome Cynthia Gayton & J Scrilla for the “Art On The Blockchain” podcast.

AOTB has been a big influence on me, my understanding of “rare art” and how tokenization relates to music production both come from the show. So I was a little nervous but Gayton & Scrilla immediately put me at my ease and we had a great conversation.

You can subscribe to Art On The Blockchain through your favourite podcast medium, and I highly recommend doing so.

Secrets

https://www.decentralizedweb.net/secrets/

Sam Hart and Sarah Hamerman curated artworks on the theme of “Secrets” for a show in the OmiseGO Vault in the basement of San Francisco Mint for the Decentralised Web Summit 2018.

This included my new project “Secret Artwork (Content)”, projected onto the metal wall of the Vault. It’s one of the more explicit call-backs to Conceptual Art that I’ve made. A smart contract contains the encrypted description of the artwork’s content and a web-based presentation of that smart contract’s information does everything it can to distract you from the fact that it is not telling you what that content is.

More about it on the project page.

Proof of Work at Schinkel Pavilion

My piece “Secret Artwork (Subject)”, 2018 is in the group show “Proof of Work” curated by Simon Denny in dialogue with Distributed Gallery, Harm van den Dorpel, Sarah Hamerman and Sam Hart, Kei Kreutler, Aude Launay and Anna-Lisa Scherfoseat.

“Proof of Work” is at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin from 8th September to 21st December 2018.

Show website:

https://www.schinkelpavillon.de/exhibition/curated-by-simon-denny-in-dialogue-with-distributed-gallery-harm-van-den-dorpel-sarah-hamerman-and-sam-hart-kei-kreutler-and-aude-launay/

And a news article about it.

https://www.ethnews.com/proof-of-work-exhibit-to-visualize-blockchain-technology

Gray Area and SchellingFlags

I was invited to show something at the 2018 Gray Area Festival, a great Art & Technology event in San Francisco. This year it was on from July 26-29, 2018. I took the opportunity to make something new.

The result was SchellingFlags.

SchellingFlags is the meme of “…but on the blockchain” applied to flags, with a touch of Art & Language and Komar & Melamid. You can find out more about it on the project page. The version shown is from during development, so the last two flags haven’t been voted for and thereby defined yet.

Massive thanks to Gray Area for putting on an awesome event and making my work part of it!

Blockchain Aesthetics: Dogecoin and Ethereum

Two new sets of visualizations to complement the Bitcoin ones: Dogecoin and Ethereum.

You can get them via git, or view them on the Show section of this site.

Slides From My “Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain” Talk at DCTRL

On 6th December 2017 I spoke about the “Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain” book at DCTRL in Vancouver. I was up after the Cryptokitties team, so there was no pressure… I’m grateful to the audience for their insightful questions and discussion, unfortunately the event wasn’t recorded.

Here are the slides for the talk, I’ll be expanding on their themes here soon:

Artists Re-thinking the Blockchain

Secrets of the Shibes


YS and Teacher, Lina Theodorou.

“Bad Shibe” was a response to the question of what an anarcho-capitalist cryptocurrency-based society might look like, a world with the Internet but no government, with money and property but no robber-barons. Its immediate literary forebears are “Down and Out In The Magic Kingdom”, which is also about an economic utopia, and Michael Moorcock’s foreword to one of their “Jerry Cornelius” collections, which talks about those stories’ impressionistic technique. YS, the protagonist, is a naive tween because there are only so many times your viewpoint character’s need to have their world explained to them can be stolen from “Day of The Triffids”. They are bad at providing details about their world because they are oblivious, and to avoid getting bogged down in details of how the world works rather than the impression that it works. The other characters are essentially expositional – a parent to provide a longer historical view, an older sibling to provide information about the current society, a teacher to defend some of the wider trends, and a shopkeeper to provide swords and potions props for discussion.

I wrote Bad Shibe at the end of 2014 while I was walking around a gentrifying area of Vancouver and listening to Bitcoin true believers in a basement. It was revised for publication with support from Furtherfield and Torque in 2016, then published in 2017 first as a stand-alone zine and later in the book “Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain”. During the editorial process I was surprised to discover that the story has a plot. Originally it was over 7,000 words, it was cut to 4,000 for publication. YS lost interactions with their schoolmates and a possible romantic interest (to which they are utterly oblivious) all of which brought their character into sharper relief and made the world richer but hid the off-screen action even more.

In addition to the leaner version of the story I produced a document called “The Ruinously over-explained Bad Shibe”, which is an almost line-by-line commentary. Here’s a sample:

* YS goes to school despite working during the day. The system works!!1
* The historical figure in question is the Doge of Venice. When I wrote this, doge was pronounced “dohgg”. It’s now pronounced the same as the Doge.
Teacher has much to say. They plot a U-shaped graph of occurrences of the word “shibe” over time. Then they show us a clip from a pre film about two bros in a time-travelling phone box. Next teacher explains what a phone box is. Then they talk about an old cereal that was designed for TV. Then they talk about what TV was. Much history.
* The film is “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, which features two Californian teenagers who speak a curiously retro dialect of English that becomes the basis for a future civilization… This and the “U-shaped graph” are an excuse for a culture in the future talking vaguely like an Internet subculture in 2014.
* The cereal is “Cap’n Crunch”, a product that was created to be sold by television advertising. YS knows what cereal is. I’m not sure why.
Another new poster says “Tip your teacher!” and we do because we’re shibes. I remember teacher’s tippage and my earlier slippage (which rhymes) so I tip some more. Teachers gotta eat. Which reminds me, I’m hungry. As I leave class my phone pings above the hubbub of detarping shibes. Tipped for good homework. Wow.
* At this point, what YS is doing does look like straightforward tipping.
Back on the street, night is ramping up. Eggers are packing up for the evening leaving the sidewalk greasy. The swapmeet is starting under glaring LEDs. Such service to the community. Zero walking from school. Many shibes. Such goods to browse.
* Eggers fry eggs with sheets of metal in the anthropocene sun.
My fellow schoolshibes are gathered around cartwheel vendors mobbing for apples and wraps. Wow. Much noms. Is “noms” kitteh? I look around. Nobody heard me say it. I get thrown a maximally amaze apple and tip large for it when it also tastes good. What was that story with a big red apple in it? And a snake? I’m thrown a wrap. I kerbnom. Wrap is meh. I show its corpse to my schoolshibe sat next to me.
* YS is confusing Snow White and the Book of Genesis.
* Also YS is now buying fruit after spending the day picking it…
“Do I tip for this?” I ask them.
* Tipping starts to look like payment. 🙁

The story is stuffed with references like these, all of which are part of its meditation on its theme.

As the notes say, in the story “doge” is pronounced with a hard rather than a soft “g” – like “goat” rather than “wage”. Likewise, most people now pronounce “shibe” as if it begins with “she” rather than “shy” This means that Post society is not called Shiberia. YS’s name is pronounced “why is” and was chosen after @coin_artist’s Snow Crash-derived handle at the time. The language of the story was an exercise in instant obsolescence that was less instant than I expected – you can still find Doge memes online and Dogecoin recently touched a market cap of a billion dollars – it is a combination of Doge and Reddit argot. If it works it’s like Nadsat (thank you to Juliet Evans-Lee for that observation), if it fails it’s like the language in a youth culture exploitation movie of the 1960s. Writing it is exhausting.

Bad Shibe was written before “The DAO Hack”, but the big off-screen threat in it is quite similar to it. If we assume that what YS is doing with “tipping” is actually transferring Dogecoin, we can date the hard fork that is intended to address the threat fairly accurately. A prize awaits the first person to do so (probably a copy of the zine).

There are two follow up stories to Bad Shibe which I doubt I will have the time to write. “Rise of the Shitlords” follows on immediately from the end of Bad Shibe and looks at the important question of who cleans the sewers (it is about economic failure in the same way that Bad Shibe is about technological failure). “To the Moon” is about what happens when the clocks stop and features the largest tip the world has ever seen (it is about social failure). At the end of it all someone sits at a table in the sun, waiting expectantly.

DEMODAY

DEMODAY, 2017, CounterParty Tokens.

DEMODAY is the first art show-specific crypto token.

It has been created for the show “Demo Day” at Kunstraum LLC, Brooklyn, from September 24 – October 28 2017. See here for details

https://www.kunstraumllc.com/single-post/2017/09/13/DEMO-DAY

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