Decentralized Arts #1 | August 23
Bankless DAO Weekly NFT and Crypto Art Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation 🏴,
The ways to get into cryptoart seem endless. In the Pantheon of cryptoartists we find artists who have moved from physical to digital art, digital natives, 3D artists, sculptors, AR/VR artists, illustrators, tattoo artists, designers...the list goes on. In this issue, we meet two of these artists who provide us with their vision of art and the many similarities with the post-contemporary movement reflecting on the current state of crisis in contemporary art.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
Authors: Bankless DAO Writers Guild (Grendel, Kouros)
This is the official NFT newsletter of the Bankless DAO. If you were a Premium Member of the Bankless Newsletter as of May 1st 2021 you have been subscribed to this newsletter at launch. To unsubscribe edit your settings here.
Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: David Bollt
🏦 Auction Type: 5 open editions + 1/1 auction edition
💰 Price: 0.05 ETH for open editions; 0.35 ETH starting auction bid
As a tattoo artist I came out of my shell and worked intimately with thousands of people. Through countless hours of pain and blood I created images for people who were on a journey of self discovery. The stories of this art have been woven with sharp, painful needles and a fine thread of ink and blood. I have sewn a tapestry of meaning in the fabric of human flesh. Through these stitches I have seen things I would have never imagined. My heart, my spirit and my art will never be the same.
Tell us how you became a crypto artist.
We’re at a critical point in history. Humanity is under tremendous evolutionary pressure. The systems of centralized food production, energy, and money that enabled the rise of civilization are now collapsing under their own weight. The strategies that helped us thrive as a species now threaten to destroy us.
I see crypto as the expression of consciousness seeking solutions. Crypto, and other emerging technologies, are moving us towards decentralization, but not as a backward step. Instead, it's a radical leap forward. The symbols of crypto enable me to channel creativity into a positive vision for the future. It gives me hope.
Define what crypto art is for you.
The story of crypto is big. It’s a story of urgent need and incredible opportunity. The crypto paradigm change is so radical that many people can hardly comprehend the implications. Cryptoart (at its best) is art that helps humanity embrace a new story for how we can function, collectively and individually. Crypto art can help us create a shared vision of a new and better world.
What evolution do you see in the world of crypto art?
Until crypto, digital art had no capacity to store and represent value. The ability for anyone to infinitely replicate a work of art was like hyperinflation. Digital propagation had robbed art of its intrinsic value. But now, crypto enables artists to create rare and singular objects. I think we’ll look back on the emergence of NFTs and digital scarcity, as a stabilizing force in the world of art – and beyond.
In the past, fans and collectors supported my art by obtaining original drawings and paintings. But this was impossible for my digital images. It brings me genuine joy that people now have the opportunity to truly own art in its native digital form. It’s thrilling to participate in this evolution.
What do you think about the combination of crypto art and DAOs?
Every revolution throughout history has had an artistic component. Art communicates ideas in a way that transcends language. It’s natural that DAO would include art in its messaging and mission.
I see art and DAO enjoying a positive symbiotic relationship. On one level, people need to understand crypto as a technology and functional system. On another level, they need to understand it as an evolutionary opportunity. Smart technical minds can explain the technologies, but we need artists to communicate on other levels of understanding. It's a perfect fit.
Tell us about the artworks you created.
I was a professional tattoo artist for many years so I’m fascinated by the power of symbols to tell stories and change lives. With crypto, we’re experiencing the birth of many new symbols that have profound personal, cultural, and global significance.
This series of images explores consciousness and evolution as embodied by the Ethereum logo. Most logos represent a company or corporate entity. But the Ethereum logo represents a collective paradigm shift for all of humanity. It’s one of the most simple, potent, and beautiful symbols I’ve ever seen. For me, these images portray crypto as an evolutionary force and an awakening expression of human consciousness.
Curated NFT News
The Rarible Protocol
The Rarible Protocol is a set of smart contracts that can be deployed to various blockchains, as well as an open source indexer. Projects can use these tools to build consumer facing applications, while smart contract developers can build features in the protocol that benefit an entire ecosystem of projects.
When the Cryptopunks were created in 2017, they linked the composite images of all the punks to the smart contract by storing a cryptographic hash of the image in the Cryptopunks contract.
However, since the images are small at 24x24 pixels it has always been possible to store the images on the Ethereum blockchain and this is exactly what LarvaLabs has done.
Now all Cryptopunks are fully on-chain.
The SuperRare curation Token
SuperRare announced the $RARE curation token. It will be used to onboard curators, galleries, and collectives as SuperRare Spaces: independently curated storefronts on SuperRare.
Everyone loves a Pudgy Pengyuin!
Cryptoart and Technology featured by Fabio Giampietro
In the words of Fabio Giampietro, an established cryptoartist and pioneer in the use of virtual reality, cryptoart is a new tingling and multifaceted artistic phenomenon, which is born with its own particular aesthetic code that has grown and changed every day, including more and more disciplines also connected to the world of traditional art.
Crypto works are digital works of art associated with tokens, whose uniqueness is guaranteed by being written on the blockchain. The concept is based on the idea of digital scarcity, which allows you to buy, sell, and trade digital assets as if they were physical assets—a system that is more brazenly and directly linked to the market and the way cryptocurrencies work than the market for cryptocurrencies. Art we know. A true revolution for digital art.
According to the artist, one important aspect of cryptoart is the community of artists and collectors who are fundamental for the evolution of this new 'movement', in which there are often collaborations between artists that, until now, were the prerogative of the musical world. The direct relationship between creator and user, the speed of exchanges and the growing possibilities given by the technology itself (thinking of programmable art, the Blockchain, the oracles and the ease of collaboration between interconnected artists all over the world) generate enormous opportunities never seen before in the artistic field.
For Fabio Giampietro, where does the relationship between physical and digital come from? The artist was born as a painter, pioneer of virtual reality with the Hyperplanes project of 2015 and, following his words, "From that moment my work has been considered a bridge in which the emotion of the material and the pictorial gesture merge and go hand in hand with the immersion and interaction that only VR today can bring to life. My research has always been aimed at combining the best of these two worlds, the oil paintings expand in their virtual extensions without losing the pictorial sensation, every texture and every element is hand painted even in the digital part of the works. The coexistence of detailed figurative painting and a digital counterpart that uses the most advanced computer graphics techniques generates a continuous reflection with which I have to deal with each new work.”
The artist began to take an interest in cryptoart more than a year ago, looking in this new world as a way to give value to the digital part of his works (created as VR software). There is currently no convincing way to render VR in the formats commonly supported by NFTs, especially the viewer. At the beginning Fabio Giampietro only mined the image of the painting, specifying in the description that it was a VR work that would be sent to the buyer with a viewer: "I did it so as not to spoil the surprise and the feeling of entering a painting that is absolutely unreproducible on a two-dimensional screen, in a world as fast as that of the use of digital images was often not enough and the fact that it was a VR work went unnoticed.”
The artist then began to mint small videos as NFT with camera turns that start from the two-dimensional frame and loop within the 3d world of VR. They did not replace the immersion of a viewer but they gave an idea of it. As the artist says, "However, I think that with the development of metaverses and VR technology, I will soon be able to bring the full experience into NFT. In this sense it was very interesting and significant to curate the Un-Realism exhibition (an NFT exhibition in a VR space) together with Skygolpe.”
Many digital native artists, which Fabio Giampietro and Skygolpe had involved, came from a great success on digital platforms such as IG or Tumblr: when they saw their works in the virtual exhibition space they were amazed, having seen them on the small screens of the monitors and of smartphones only: seeing them in large size, with the sense of scale that VR gave them, thrilled them.
"This makes me think that VR can help the affirmation of NFTs, giving them that artistic dignity that can lift them from being seen as stickers or screensavers. On the other hand, even in the traditional market, size matters. As for augmented reality, I think we will soon see entire city districts transformed into open-air AR NFT street art exhibitions. "
Fabio Giampietro will soon collaborate with the virtual reality session of the Venice Biennale Venice VR Expanded at the MEET in Milan. He is also preparing the works that I will exhibit in Miami during Art Basel 2021.
"On the NFT front I am preparing the two final works of my series of metromorphic portraits and a new VR world and in the long run I am working on 'The Lift': a large interactive installation to be enjoyed together with many other people who I hope will celebrate the end of the pandemic. and a very ambitious project, an installation on blockchain in collaboration with another well-known artist that will probably see the light in 2022 ”.
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
Last week's weekly showcase numbers
The 'Burning the Monolith' collection by HybridCode made a total of 1.725 ETH. This was HybridCode's take on the Ultra sound money theme and the result was astonishing.
Last Thursday the team discussed topics around the NFT world. From gas wars to the PFP avatars. This was a successful event with an average of 300 listeners all the way through. Make sure you don’t miss the next one this Thursday at 4 PM EST.
The Etherean raffle
The Etherean is a limited edition of tokenized socks featuring key milestones and projects to celebrate the journey leading us to Ethereum 2.0. The token can be redeemed for a pair of physical socks in a custom-designed box. In addition, everyone who redeems receives an NFT that can be staked, unlocking further rewards and drops. A couple of them, donated by The Etherean to BanklessDAO, will be up for grabs in a raffle dedicated to all DAO members with level 1 on Discord.