Scenario #17 Crypto Therapy for Mixed Crypto Feelings
Crypto currency and NFTs
In early 2021, Beeple – best known for his free VJ loops – became the third most valuable living artist, with his sale of a $69 million digital montage. But before Beeple sold his record-setting work with Christie’s, other artists had already spent months and years investigating the nature of these non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Some artists found a long-awaited platform for their generative art, producing large series of unique imagery. Other artists decided to explore the challenges of this technology, focusing on the emissions generated by the energy-intensive proof-of-work mining algorithm that powers most NFTs. Curators, galleries, and marketplaces explored the possibility of explicit profit-sharing agreements that were previously difficult to justify or execute.
The excitement, critique, and experimentation has also led to deep rifts in the arts community. What does it mean when one of your colleagues is suddenly a multimillionaire? Can there be class solidarity when we are no longer in the same financial position? What does it mean to prioritize the environment in the midst of the ‘capitalocene’, and is it ever morally defensible to participate in a high-emissions system when there is a low-emissions alternative available? Are cryptocurrencies really designed to create a radical egalitarianism, or do they encourage revenge capitalism and an “I got mine” or “everyone for themself” attitude? Did I miss my chance, or should I rush to put something together before it’s too late? Why does my artwork keeps getting ripped off, and can I do anything about it? Why is this stuff so complicated? Why is everyone only talking about money all the time? Can we still figure this out together, or have we forever split into factions based on irreconcilable moral differences?
While the discourse around NFTs is saturated with facts and figures and analysis, we haven’t taken much time to talk about how we feel. STRP Scenario #17: Crypto therapy for mixed crypto feelings asks questions about our confusion, excitement, frustration, financial anxiety, or even changing friendships due to the complex phenomenon of crypto currencies and NFTs. In the Scenario, people with different experiences and backgrounds in crypto and NFTs are invited to a series of group therapy sessions. With expert guidance, we want to create a safe and private space where we can share and talk through some of our feelings and try to better understand the social dynamics behind crypto-anxiety and why we have each taken our own approach. Participants are invited to bring their common sense, so we can collectively make plans for our future — with or without crypto.
Session 1: 14:00 - 15:30
Session 2: 17:00 - 18:30
Session 3 (online only): 18:30 - 20:00
Kyle McDonald (US)
Artist Kyle McDonald works with code and has focused on the energy and emissions of the Ethereum network over the past year. With his interactive installations, sneaky interventions, playful websites, workshops and toolkits, he explores the possibilities of new technologies. McDonald has worked as an adjunct professor at NYU's ITP, is a member of F.A.T. Lab, community manager for openFrameworks, and artist in residence at STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU and YCAM in Japan.
Michelle Kasprzak (UK)
Dr. Michelle Kasprzak is an established contributor to the fields of digital cultures, speculative futures, and innovation as a curator, educator, writer, and artist. She recently received the support of the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie for a research and experimentation platform on NFTs.
How to get there?