Category Archives: IAMA

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“Mad Money” Looks at Crypto Art From a Whole New Perspective

A “Mad Money” exhibition taking place in Moscow on the 18th October is dedicated to the art of crypto mining and trading.

Moscow’s Electromuseum is hosting the event, where installations and artwork will examine the nature of the industry in a whole new way, with artists attempting to demonstrate how modern financial instruments can transform society, according to curator Aristarkh Chernyshev.

In the process of putting on the exhibition, Chernyshev was intrigued that many of the artists came up with original ideas for using the heat created by mining. Such ideas, creating by-products from the mining process are gaining popularity. A French-based startup recently came up with a unique idea enabling users to heat their homes whilst using the same energy to mine cryptocurrency.

Mad Money’s artists have used transaction data, stock reports, and microchips as materials for their work, at the exhibition which includes participants such as “One red paperclip’” Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald, who once bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year.

The event was launched on the back of a Bitcoin’s 10th Anniversary exhibition in Paris earlier this month where artists from all over the world arrived with their own very individual commentaries on the world of cryptocurrency. Featured artwork included Marguerite deCourcelle, also known as Coin Artist who in 2014 painted a picture which contained an encrypted access to five bitcoins and Josephine Bellini, a painter of “Filter”, and Andy Bauch who created his works on the basis of Lego.

The crypto art movement is growing rapidly with some exceptional concepts being created, such as by New York conceptual artist and photographer Kevin Abosch, who earlier this year created 10 million IAMA Coin tokens using the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol. The artist drew six vials of his own blood stamping 100 blockchain addresses where the IAMA Coins reside onto 100 separate pieces of paper using the bodily fluid. Lorenzo Sconci, the owner of Dubai-based Sconci Art Gallery, and CEO of crypto startup ArtWallet which records art provenance on a blockchain commented about this new wave of art:

“Without a doubt, bitcoin and blockchain has been the biggest revolution over the past 10 years. As revolutions have shaped artistic expression throughout time, there is no doubt that crypto will accomplish the same.”

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New Ethereum-Based Tokens for Artistic Expression of Value

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has joined with artist Kevin Abosch who is continuing his ongoing relationship with cryptocurrency through artistic project labeled “priceless”.

Abosch, is an Irish conceptual artist and photographer based in New York City. His last project explored cryptocurrency in a unique way. Apart from owning the most valuable piece of art ever stored on a blockchain, earlier this year he created 10 million IAMA Coin tokens using the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol and drew six vials of blood from his own body and used it to stamp 100 blockchain addresses where the IAMA Coins reside, onto 100 separate pieces of paper.

Other projects involving crypto are fast making him the go-to artist for crypto enthusiasts.

Ai Weiwei, artist and highly critical defender of human rights in China and son of Chinese poet Ai Qing, is also interested in blockchain, and with Abosch’s knowledge of the industry, is collaborating on the new project.

Together the two artists have created two tokens in an attempt to show to the world how value is perceived by society. One token is highly unattainable and the other is available to all, in the sense that anyone is able to own a fraction of it. As Ali explained:

“It’s not about a potential for creating art, but, rather, to question the existing system and the potential to create a new system outside of the established one,”

Abosch commented:

“From the moment we’re born, people try to ascribe value to us — ‘Oh, that boy is so full of potential, or oh, that girl is worthless’ — it’s something society does to us and it’s something we do to ourselves … Our project is just another thing to engage people in the hope that they will spend a little bit more time reflecting on the perversity of how most of us ascribe value to things.”

The wallet addresses containing PRCLS tokens are printed and then sold to buyers. Each address represents “priceless moments” shared between the two artists, intended to demonstrate how a token can represent value, such as human life and human interaction. Cryptocurrency critics have long contested that tokens have no actual value.

Ali says that blockchain is an opportunity for change, bringing down an old system in order to “at least offer a new possibility for communication.”

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