Decentralized Arts #6 | September 27
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
Are all NFTs art? Certainly not, as not all NFT collections, the collectibles, are art. But seriality can be a means of creating art, as pop art explained to the world. The serial repetition of an image or a concept can lead to the split between meaning and signifier with the persistence of the concept itself: this is art.
Today, collectibles are what comes closest to Andy Warhol's pop art, with the obsessive repetition of images, sometimes identical to each other and other times slightly different. However, we can go even further back in time, entering a Byzantine church, with the figures of the saints repeated one after the other to create an intoxicating effect with the glitter of the mosaics and gold.
Santa Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (Italy)
Mosaics and screenprinting in the past, along with NFT and information technology today, remind us of the profound relationship that persists between art and technology. So let's celebrate this new form of artistic expression and look forward to those of tomorrow.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
Authors: BanklessDAO Writers Guild (Grendel, Kouros, nonsensetwice)
This is the official NFT newsletter of the BanklessDAO. 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: BRAiNVOMiT
🏦 Auction Type: Open Edition
💰 Price: 0.025 ETH Each
bDAO: How did you become a crypto artist?
BRAiNVOMiT: I became a crypto artist because selling my physical art wasn’t fully cutting it. So I closed my website down in March of this year, opened a wallet and started putting all my energy into figuring out how this new world I was entering truly worked.
bDAO: What does cryptoart mean to you?.
BRAiNVOMiT: Freedom. To expand, explore, there’s no set boundaries for what “crypto art” can be. All mediums, all new ideas and art forms that enter this space, they’re all welcome here. That’s the beauty of it. Artists now can fully control their own destiny.
bDAO: What evolution do you see in the world of cryptoart?
BRAiNVOMiT: I see a place for pairing physical things with NFTs. As a physical artist, I would love to find a way to pair paintings with NFTs while collectors can remain anonymous, and do it seamlessly during initial transactions.
bDAO: What do you think about the combination of cryptoart and DAOs?
BRAiNVOMiT: I think combining art with a DAO is great, simply for the aspect of a more collective effort of decision making on what’s best for said community. Everyone has a say and I think that’s the beauty.
bDAO: Tell us about the works we are dropping.
BRAiNVOMiT: The work I created is a reflection of the past 6 months. I have lived and breathed NFTs and ETH since I found out about this world. It feels like I was thrown into school with no clue what I was majoring in I just knew I was interested. I wasn’t prepared for the mental and overall life rollercoaster NFTs threw me on but I embrace every drop, loop, flip I possibly could. There’s so much beauty in this space, with an undercurrent of some evil. But we all just want to find our way.
Curated NFT News
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Roadmap 2.0
Last week, the Bored Apes Yacht Club shared an image of a brand new road map.
In the pic we can see collaborations, a NYC Festival starting on Oct 31st, a mobile competition, a game and even an IRL Miami Clubhouse.
Considering that the Miami Sandbox event is set to take place in 2035, it looks like this roadmap will take many years to achieve.
Snoop Dogg confirms he is NFT Whale Cozomo Medici
@CozomoMedici only opened his account in August this year but he has accumulated a blue chip collection of NFTs worth 17 million dollars, including nine CryptoPunks. In a turn of events, rapper Snoop Dogg revealed on September 21st from his Twitter account that he was @CozomoMedici.
The account is named after Cosimo di Giovanni de’ Medici, an Italian banker and politician who established the Medici family as effective rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance. He was a patron of arts, learning and architecture. He spent large amounts of money on art and culture, including purchasing Donatello's David.
KidEight: From music and graffiti to NFT collectibles
KidEight is a musician, graphic designer and digital artist. In his path he has amalgamated graffiti and other elements of street art and Deviant Art, with digital and therefore cryptoart. Subsequently, the author also expressed himself through the serialization of some of his works in collectible NFTs.
The artist began very young to express himself through various artisitc forms: between the ages of 11 and 12, he started making graffiti, joined Deviant Art and started playing with graphics software. In that period, graffiti and art took over his life along with hip-hop:
“Around the time of MySpace, I created an account to post some artworks. From there it was pretty much word of mouth amongst clients. The next 14 years were spent pretty much working on different cover arts daily for labels and musicians. During that period I received various gold/platinum RIAA album and single accreditations and worked with a lot of big names in the hiphop industry”.
KidEight discovered NFTs thanks to a friend in late November / early December 2020: “It took me a while to understand the logistics and mechanics behind what an NFT is and where the value lies, but once I managed to figure it out I couldn't imagine not giving my all to the space. I have been 100% working on NFTs since march."
So we come to the Evol. The genesis and purpose of the characters are closely linked to the artist as a human being, “It’s like an amalgamation of who I am at my core. He kind of manifested himself around the time I found out I was going to be a dad. He is innocent but also battle tested, both likeable and deeply unlikeable.”
The Evol is mostly positive and the community it has built around this ski-mask-wearing-cherub has been overwhelming. The G'EVOLs drop brought 3.4k more people to the TEAMEVOL community. KidEight plans to start telling the EVOL story. The clothing and lifestyle brand EVOL Couture will soon have its first capsule release. The future looks bright for Evol.
KidEight, who had originally created a hand-made D'EVOLs series, recently created a generative PFP project, the G'Evols. The collection has grown in popularity, but that has meant that many people who have followed the artist's journey were priced out of the drop. The artist wanted to grow the community behind his work and a ‘generative’ drop seemed the best way to do that.
Regarding the relationship between Arti and DAO, KidEight's opinion is still open:
“I don’t think a DAO would work for my project. I essentially want to retain creative control over the project and I think allowing the future of the character to be controlled by a vote wouldn't help the overall trajectory I have in mind. In other projects that are dev ran, I think they make more sense.”
The artist plans to organize a physical event in Q4, before his skillful drop: “it will be surreal to meet everyone in person”.
Anamorphosis-2 Beautiful Crap
Featured by G.Contro
On March 24, 2021, the chronicles record a singular episode, one that would delight Tom Wolfe and his little curtains of complacent radical-Rococo conversation. It seems, according to the gloating journalists, that the timeless (although terminated in December 2015) Lemmy Kilmister, vocalist-bassist of the metal group Motörhead, has--at the time--decided to deliver an imaginative post-mortem souvenir to his closest friends: a bullet containing his ashes.
This is not unprecedented. Organic matter--the living pneuma--is included in the inorganic as part of an artistic objectification, at least since Elena (the mother of Emperor Constantine) began to hunt for the Cross, starting the season of reliquaries.
Many bones, fabrics, drops of blood lie in Christian churches everywhere, encapsulated in finely inlaid marble, golden or wooden casings that frame the double charm--thaumaturgical and soteriological--of the sanctified corpse.
After all, human and animal bodies are the first true sources of artistic obsession, as they are linked to (and imbued with) ghosts of a power over the ghosts of fallibility and death. This power is also expressed as a dominion over the unpredictability of natural forces and the rides of fortune.
According to historian Georg Ostrogorsky, the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I became part of this play of forces along a path that was not too pleasant for him. In fact, in 811 his army was surrounded and destroyed by the forces of the Bulgarian Khan Krum (a character so suggestive that he apparently also marked JK Rowling), who had a cup made with his skull, in which he toasted at banquets with his boyars. Even more famous is the case of Oliver Cromwell, whose head in 1661 was exhibited at breakfast by the Londoner Josiah Wilkinson, as a curiosity and worldly tinsel. But countless other exemplary cases could be cited: Galileo's finger, Beethoven's hair, Jeremy Bentham's mummy ... the scraps destined for the drainage pipe of memory, the empty and discolored remains, set in a museum setting, all become objects stateless: neither science nor art, or perhaps both.
It is really a twist of fate that eschatology (the science of the future) and scatology (the wisdom of excrement) are separated only by that small phoneme, the providential "e" that discriminates our hopes for the future from what we deposit in our past with disgust and perhaps with a hint of shame.
Guiding us with boots and rubber gloves on the path of this foul-smelling reflection is Piero Manzoni's “Artist's Shit,” the most famous case of organic-inorganic synthesis of twentieth-century art. Like Lemmy's ashes, Manzoni's (alleged) manzines lie encapsulated in a metal container, an industrially manufactured tin that underlines their serial nature. This strikes us much more than the artist's mockery-protest against the art-system, a fascinating but now lost controversy for us who watch it from the shores of the total market.
"You paid for this shit two hundred thousand francs!," is the sneering exclamation that Marc addresses to his friend Serge in Yasmina Reza's play "Art" (1994): still shit / waste as a yardstick and aesthetic tool. The object of such distrust is a painting by the non-existent painter Antrios, a white canvas crossed by lines of a "different white". This work undoubtedly recalls Lucio Fontana's Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, with its spatial-metaphysical cuts, the Stanley cutter and the careful and laughable interior preparation they required.
"Contemporary painting does not interest you, it has never interested you," says the counter-offensive of his friend, Serge. "It's a field that you don't know at all, so how can you claim that an object, which obeys laws that you ignore, is shit?" This is a heavy question, but somewhat misleading. Art does not respond (no longer, at least) to any law, but actively exercises a function, in this case that of destroying the friendship between Serge and Marc.
At the focal point where art renounces being the product of a technology, it becomes technology in itself, a technique of deconstruction and extraction.
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
Last week’s weekly showcase numbers
The showcase featuring artist @grehale with the NFTs “To the moon” and “Block explorer” made a total of 1.156 ETH in sales.