Blockchain applied to ART : A Win-Win situation for Artists ?

Iggy Pop said once: “When it comes to art, money is an unimportant detail. It just happens to be a huge unimportant detail”. Not anymore, I would safely say.  From a financial standpoint, the artistic domain has never been organized, leading artists to have constant confusions and various concerns vis-à-vis their products.

The evolution of Blockchain seems not to go unnoticed by artists, many of whom found in it a way out. The technology behind this digital currency keeps grabbing a growing interest and enthusiasm among artists and celebrities (Ashton Kutcher , Fifty Cent ..

Why is it so beneficial for artists?

It simply offers digital-based solutions to their major problems. First, it nullifies all terms of intermediacy between the artist and his fans. The product is accessible via a direct-to-fan platforms and apps that allow fans to buy and download their music, or even visualize 3D prototypes in the field of fine art.

In this vein, Maecenas, a decentralized art investment platform, provides the possibility to use their own ART token or other crypto currencies. It basically allows the buy/sell of portions of fine artworks: investors would thus be able to trade and exchange the slices between them. Up to the present, around $15,750,000 is the value of tokens sold in ICO.

Artists not only save the money that needed to go to the “middleman”, and in so doing profit from instant interaction with their fans. Thus, fans contribute directly to financing the artist who in return would be able to produce new artworks, which, in the bigger picture, contribute to the democratization of art.

Let’s take for the example the VR All Art platform which adds a very modernist touch to the field of fine arts. It exceeds all space-time limits and allows you to jump within the gallery by means of: virtual, augmented and mixed reality. The use of the holographic technology allows the app users to adjust the virtual art piece anywhere they want in the real world to see how it would look eventually.  It is part of the Artcoins platform, which is based on smart contracts based on ERC20 token standard enabled by underlying ethereum network to handle smart contracts and blockchain implementation.

Decentralize it , Musicalize it

Well, many artists tend to project themselves into their music. Accordingly, they would believe that selling their music via a third party who would take a percentage of their revenues as “charging a little piece of your soul, or your identity” as says Joseph Lubin, a cofounder of Euthereum. So, instead of soliciting producers, musicians may simply go on UJO artists’ portal which is built Euthereum blockchain and initiates a smart contract that is codified and conceived to release the album once a specific amount of Ether is reached.  The content is transferred by technologies such as InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and Swarm using peer-to-peer networks.

And above all, it guarantees the sustainability of the artist’s identity using the platform of self-sovereign identity, the uPort. This latter secures the digital identity, the artwork and the fans following the artist. Identities can update themselves, connect to blockcains,  and store data  on ​ Azure, AWS, Dropbox, etc.

All in all, this whole process guarantees to artists the ownership of the music. And, as a result, this process ensures the earning of decent revenues without having to deal with the artistic managers who monopolize the artistic scene.

Patronage de L’art all over again

 Yes, except that patrons (the artwork’s sponsors) are the audience itself, and it has emerged into the film-making industry. A kind of partnership is established between film-makers and their audience who would be involved in the creation of the movie.

Recently, BRAID, was the first ICO movie funded on Euthereum basis. Talking about it, Mitzi Peroine, the writer and director of the movie says that “It is extraordinary that we’re creating a new economy for the arts.”

The difference from donating-based platforms is that kickstarter and others do not make a profit for the donator in return which is not very encouraging for the internet users to give money. However the fact of launching an ICO would be profitable for the working team and the audience who would invest their money in it.

More accurately, what I found outstanding is that according to the ICO details is that “100% of adjusted Gross Proceeds will be paid out to token holders until they recover their initial investment, plus 15%. After this point, token holders will receive 30% of profits moving forward.”  This makes it double win-win for both the artists and the audience.


Utopia .. ?

Almost.  However, the expansion of its use has boomed in such a short lapse of time, It is not that widespread: the blockchain is a truly futuristic technology that not so many internet users would have the reflex to make use of it.

Still, the speed of its growth is promising since we’re living in a world where all information is literally under our figure tips. The logic behind Blockchain responds to all the money-related issues that haunt artists, who “keep waiting for the world to change..”


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