North American Bitcoin Conference

The North American Bitcoin Conference is upon us.

Many established and emerging crypto & ICO stars are soon to hit the stage at the James L Knight Center in downtown Miami. To many outsiders it might seem to be against better judgment to spend time inside a packed conference hall right next to that seductive turquoise water, gently swaying palm trees and that world famous golden beach. That is true especially for those traveling over from the currently Blade Runner-esque January London. To most crypto obsessives, however, the weather can’t compete with what is available inside.

According to the latest data from Keynote, the attendance expectancy has tripled to 3000 people. Crypto is undeniably on a high roll in 2018. This year might just be the one that blockchain solutions explode into the public consciousness as much more than just a new form of currency. Considering its been around less than a decade the speed is incredible.


Speaker list at BTC Miami here

I will be among the other floor displayers there to present some crypto art and write to News BTC about the experience. Getting an email offer to join the conference came at the perfect time a month back as another trip over had been in the works since last summer.

My second US art exhibit will be at the Art Fort Lauderdale fair a week after BTC Miami so that serendipitous gap might allow me that day at the beach after all – even if to just mentally prepare for what is to come right after. This is also my first collaboration exhibit through the legends only Tranter-Sinni Gallery. Due to the gallery, AFL will now also include our bodypainting performance with dancers and a 30-minute talk about tech, art and societal change at 3 pm on the 25th.



Art Fort Lauderdale site

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. ” – Carl Sagan

It will be interesting to talk at a mainstream contemporary art show about the blockchain, VR, and AI after hearing the latest tech insights a week before at BTC Miami. It is not apparent to most in crypto why the blockchain is relevant to art – let alone those who might have only heard the name Bitcoin in passing. Crypto is fast becoming connected to visual art through innovations like Verisart and Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery. It can solve things that have caused major problems within it for centuries.

After recently selling a piece to Silver 8 Capital I used blockchain to verify it through an open to public ledger. See the online authentication here. The landscape of art business is changing due to technology, and a few galleries already cater to the emerging crypto collector class.

Tropical Bit Thunder

There will be at least two more articles regarding everything that is about to happen in sunny Florida. These will include some professionally put together video material, images, insights and quotes from speakers. There are not many covering topics in this space from the perspective of a creative, so I’m privileged to offer it on this platform.

In the world of finance people often forget why they are relevant to other sectors outside of their primary field of interest. Money, especially now, can quickly feel like a gamelike abstraction only. The feedback loop from outside it is often the one that fuels intuition on where to invest next, what to support and perhaps help generate a new evolutionary idea.

For me, the blockchain inspired a whole new art platform and freed me to express potential future directions more easily than the previous. Grandiose as that might sound within the art world, in tech, this is just a normal Monday.

“T(r)optical” art piece by V E S A

The trip already inspired me to make this crypto art piece titled “T(r)optical.” The central palm tree has some coconuts in it and suggests that by journeying over you get to crack them open and access what is inside.

The peacock nesting in the tree has spread its wings to flaunt other crypto logos within as well.

The famous Miami skyline at the bottom incorporates the coins as well as the code that is transforming the banking buildings that make it.

If someone had told me only a couple of years ago that I would be making art about digital money and be inspired by a conference –  I’d likely suggested for them to alter their medication.

The power of Bitcoin I guess.

Should you like to purchase the T(r)optical art piece nr. 1s before everyone else you can do so here

More to come and will be listening to U2’s ‘Miami‘ on the way over.

V E S A
Visual Artist
London / Helsinki
www.artforcrypto.com
www.artevo.org

 

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Can Crypto Save Art?

Can Crypto Save Art?

Do you think that contemporary art is mostly nonsensical crap made so rich people can shuffle money around, increase their status and help pretentious artists abuse substances till they drop?

 

If you agree with the previous you are not entirely wrong but there is more to this than first meets the casual, currently uninspired gallery visitors eye. It is also about re-branded communism allied with crony capitalism, a decline of cultural critique and the value eroding western culture as a whole. All that might come across a bit grandiose but many respected academics, art industry leaders and documentary filmmakers argue so. Ready? Let’s do this.

Heads up: This is certainly not for everybody. Those genuinely interested will struggle to find something as comprehensive, accurate and useful elsewhere – while not claiming this is the whole truth. 

Break Out The Noise

 

Granted there are problems everywhere we look. Just pick an issue and spend a lifetime on it if you like. In the face of just sustaining a family, currency deflations and nuclear war threats – who has time think about mostly nonsensical luxury items like art? Especially if you are not already doing very well by modern standards. I would argue meaningful art is what kept most of the spectrum of society sane to a large part for a long time. It used to impact us through awe, inspiration and excellence. Give us meaning, something to aspire towards or show parts most would not like to admit exist. Not so much anymore?


Work by noted artist Robert Rauschenberg at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The Blank Canvas of Post Structuralism

 

Zen as the above piece may be, liberating art to be just about anything or nothing at all – can be seen as progress. You might already ask yourself: “What is the human cost we all are now paying for it though?” Even if Robert Florczak fails to see the value of Francis Bacon, cultural critique nor gets the relevance of graffiti –  he makes some good points from an integral perspective. That said, I do find it strange how there still are people on the right completely unfamiliar with Freud, Carl Jung and Ken Wilber to name just a few. Politically, this article will touch some blind spots on both sides of the aisle.

The following took a decade of research and over a week to write so bear with me to the bull. There is a method out of this madness. The purpose of big words is to open them up for analysis. We will get to the currently truly awe inspiring good stuff later but to shine some light on some of the problems, I need to first address what is wonky and go deep underneath the culture surface. The art world is not too different from understanding a dream so it requires a bit of a rabbit hole drop.

“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Adam Ruins Everything

 

This above short video of ‘Adam Ruins Everything‘ on contemporary art is appropriate for many reasons including his name. The video might be slightly on the ignorant side for humors sake and covers only the money part of the equation but certainly has relevance as to why art has got very confusing to most people of late.

A metaphor could be that the airplane meters are showing a steady and rapid rise. In ecstatic joy, the captain among passengers are shouting: “Hip hip hurray!” For those observing the art establishment plane itself, it can easily be seen to be in an infernal death grip of gravity spiraling uncontrollably towards the ground. This is to a large degree due to flight control denouncing the engine as unnecessary but we will get to that soon. First, this ‘Great contemporary art bubble‘ TV doc is a thorough exploration inside the ‘What is up with these insane prices?’

Now in to a deeper bunny dig and onto something that is much less obvious. This might be the foundation as to why you might have been weirded out when you last encountered contemporary art. Seems, money is not the root of the problem but power. Does the flamboyant emperor have clothes though? Or more accurately, have any real substance to back up a sustainable kingdom?

The Expanding Nonsense Of Postmodernism

 

The real issue goes far deeper than money or posturing. It is about a power coup. Postmodernism started in the 60’s in Paris by intellectual communists, who could no longer carry on the ideology in its original form. We are now talking content, not sales. Jordan B Peterson, a professor of of psychology at the University of Toronto, gives an alarming analysis on what is now going on in the arts and humanities in this passionate  interview. Most of us simply are not aware of the origin roots of Marxism in postmodernism and how powerful the movement has become.

Despite his mostly progressive stance, in case you feel like Dr. Peterson is too far right on his political spectrum to be trusted, I’m also adding this shorter analysis by Professor Noam Chomsky, who can hardly be labelled as a right wing nut job for cross reference. Marx made accurate claims against capitalism but the price was erasing natural struggle, inspiration and transcendence from the package. In his view, the world was reduced to a society power map instead of the complete territory. It has resulted in the ‘oppression olympics’ often seen through most media today.

To be clear, I am not saying this is all bad. Much of the surfaced issues needed to come out to be processed. There are plenty of societal benefits in analyzing human power but something vital is now missing, which is having a major detrimental impact on the arts and global culture.

An Evolution To Metamodernism

 

“When we break apart the word ‘inspired,’ we find it comes from two words ‘in’ and ‘spirit.’ The word literally means “in spirit.” In other words, when you are inspired by something, it means that you are living in line with your spirit.”
-Dr. Wayne Dyer.

To avoid doubts regarding religious conversion fervor, Camille Paglia, a cultural critic and an intellectual atheist, is here to save the day.  This analysis lecture  is a refreshing appreciation of spiritual art and a historical perspective to it. Despite her personal relationship with religion, she has a very fresh machine gun style approach to explaining why you might have not experienced awe with art lately. How the baby was thrown out with the bathwater if you will. She well points out how enthusiasm was driven out of academia and the arts during the last few decades in the form of infentile fantasies.

There are of course stratospherically successful and undoubtedly inspired artists like Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami. They produce stunning visual experiences but outside a few exceptions, rarely touch me with something that could be described as truly profound or transcendent. 

Crypto could and is already is a big part of the solution. Many blockchain innovations are already changing the around 50 billion a year art market practices. As big as that is, Bitcoin alone has surpassed the it with about a 90 billion current marker cap. So what can these digits do to the arts?

A Possible Journey To Sanity

 

You might have many times heard the cliché that the artist is merely a vessel for what comes through him / her / non binary. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the multi-million selling book ‘Eat Prey Love’ gives a very heart felt claim on her famous and inspiring TED talk.

Some Artists You Might Have Not Heard Of

 

Alex Grey
Android Jones
Toshiyuki Inoko
Egle Oddo

It is impossible to know everyone who are doing equally meaningful works so just bringing up these four for now. They are already relatively well but especially the first two operate mostly outside the traditional gallery realm. The above artists are on an integral and profoundly different missions to what you usually encounter in main stream galleries. The movement could be called Metamodernism and is in direct opposition to void-of-meaning postmodernism.

Their presentations in the links above are insightful and Android Jones also accepts crypto as payment for his works alongside utilizing modern technology (VR) to produce the works. These are the kinds of people who are returning  deep, easily experienced profoundness to the arts.

I’ll do an article later about the best bodypainters in the world with similarities regarding the above.

What Is Blockchain Already Doing For Art?

 

Luckily the blockchain is already helping to authenticate works through Verisart and Ascribe to remove scams. Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery, is also helping to democratize art investment by allowing smaller investments into famous artworks via crypto. It is a new way to hold and participate with realms usually beyond the Bitcoin realm.

The premise of the article is a challenge – not that I know if it can actually save it. The historical and spiritual perspective can certainly help drive out a lot of the narcissism now experienced by the artists and those involved in the whole show. As transparency and the ability to trust the process are core values of crypto, this might inspire some people to come up with technological solutions no one else has thought of yet. Blockchain can certainly be a big part of the out. Democratizing money itself is already a huge step towards a more balanced world. What those who have made fortunes with it choose to do with the wealth will impact generations to come.

The Digital Creative Future

 

If you resonate with what you have seen here, consider supporting these artists who are going far beyond political pamphlets and depthless waters in their expression. If people knew how super human it is to make even a modest living as an artist and the real value of their contribution, much would change on a larger scale. They might just transform your whole life through what they can do for you.

The disrupt professor Etienne Verbist writes more on this from the digital perspective in this Art Dependence article. There are even evolutionary spiritual platforms like Integral life, that are jumping on the crypto train to open it to newbies.

In case you want to get serious about collecting art solely for monetary reasons, this ‘Bankers guide to the arts‘ by the good old BBC might get you properly started in the big culture casino.


“Pushback”  by the author.

I’ve never received a public grant nor given funds from art institutions to do my work. My personal offer of “Up to 40% off from crypto art” is also still on for three more days.

Vesa Kivinen
Visual Artist
London / Helsinki
www.artforcrypto.com
www.artevo.org

Support more quality articles like this through:

Bitcoin: 12MFdHBSqbKakPZeqWXZXUYgY7cxpkNRnj
Ethereum: 0xbE2dB7c5C99e30eC68fFBaE487C5f9553eee1923
Litecoin: LXrFde89B4Bmw2m47fcD7JavpJFzg36cDV

 

Up to 40% off from Crypto Art For a Week

Since I have the opportunity to market directly to my potential client base through News BTC, we decided to make a campaign to increase sales to raise funds for a new major international project to be announced early 2018.

Art For Crypto and Artevo are now prepping for a new project involving VR, AI and Blockchain so should you wish to collect unique art, be involved with supporting an emerging expression and be a part of something greater than the sum of its parts – here is your chance.

“The beauty of Kivinen’s work is that his pieces can exist at separate stages in time simultaneously, making portions of his portfolio a series of interrelated works that move forwards and backwards in time, imagining different possible transformations, and allow for different future possibilities.”

— Francesca Capossela, VICE / Creators Project

This article shows multiple demo images on what your space could soon look like. We have various sizes available from 50x25cm (20x10in) up to 250x125cm (100x50in).

“Kivinen’s work had no points of reference. Unlike most local artists, Kivinen wasn’t recycling successful foreign approaches and adapting them within a local context. He wasn’t replicating a preexisting genre or playing out well known devices. Whether for better or for worse, Kivinen is – as childish as this may sound – an original.”

— Rory Winston, Cultural editor of the New York Resident August 2014

One of my previous projects with a Bollywood actress Veena Malik reached around 300 million people and helped to change the world. You can see more about this project here.

The new project will increase awareness regarding blockchain to the general public as well as feature insider topics.

“Vesa is credited for inventing an entirely new art form – Artevo is a combination of body painting, photography and image manipulation that allows to create works of incredible vibrancy and depth. I am a big fan of his Share series where extreme close-ups of single brushstrokes create a vortex-like effect with paints and textures melting into each other. His works are a symphony of emotions expressed through colour. ”

— Natalia Rubinstein, Artist Champion at Rise Art

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Below you can read some of the most recent interviews regarding on what is to come

Art Dependence interview with Etienne Verbist
Artprnr with Jenny Begun
VICE / Creators project with Francesca Capossela

The offer during 16-23rd of October is as follows:

  • Bronze series: 10% discount
  • Silver series 20% discount
  • Gold series 30% discount
  • Platinum series 40% discount

Vesa is also open to private and company commissions involving these creative processes.

We accept both crypto as well as Fiat currency as payments.

To access the offer include NEWS BTC OFFER as the opening line of the email.

See the works & prices here: https://www.artforcrypto.com/

Sales, commissions and proposals at: info (at) artevo.fi

Vesa Kivinen
Visual Artist
London / Helsinki
www.artforcrypto.com
www.artevo.org

Or how blasphemously Is Bitcoin like Contemporary Art?

 


“Beginning of a New Era” from the Veena Malik project

Do you remember the first time your eyes opened to the real value of Bitcoin and the self-evident evolution of the mainstream money system? Remember how you wanted to tell everyone about it and how it was attached to a much bigger shift than just currency. Most importantly, how you felt when you bought something real with it and the fear of it being just a hoax transformed into a profound experience? Many in this space have felt the ridicule and arrogance of the ignorant, who you initially told blockchain about. Knowing better, you pushed on, as your world view had already changed.


“Soldier of Fortune” from Art For Crypto.
Much like Kenny from South Park, Bitcoin keeps coming back to life.

I remember the shock I experienced, when a man at a Helsinki gallery told me he would not buy a piece of mine he fell in love with, as it did not match the colours of his couch. It did dawn on me that the first primal reaction of wanting to punch him in the face was inappropriate and attached to awkward social consequences. However the conversation ended swiftly due to me suddenly needing to be elsewhere. I’ll get to why a bit later.


Random couch image

 

The Pioneers

The pioneers of cryptocurrency and blockchain took a whole bunch of obvious and rather stealthy arrows during the first decade of it. Many lost their reputation and even freedom due to it. The global currency battles are far from over but many of us are now collecting the benefits due to people, who boldly walked through the doors first. The tone of the public conversation has changed a lot since. Innovation has always been met with fierce resistance, as many stand to lose a lot of power because of it. It has always weirded me out how the ones who stand to lose nothing and have everything to gain fight equally as hard.


“Elusive Obvious” from the Artevo series

Often those who do well in life have a higher capacity to perceive value and the potential to go beyond purely exchanging labour and / or materials. They have left behind childish notions of something for nothing and learned what could be called ‘universal laws’. So how is modern art similar to Bitcoin? Put simply, there are many more PayCoins than Bitcoins in this realm. However to lump them all in the same category is similar to saying “I just like my dollars as they are backed by gold.” As to why art is often thought to be like crypto in general, is a more complex matter and people in general are certainly not to be blamed for it. Navigating the art space is as difficult as the blockchain is to most.

Watch a short video about Vesa’s Artevo process

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Arts are still at the bottom of the food chain in our global education system. Sir Ken Robinson illustrates this well in his ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity’ TED talk. This lack of appreciation in the schooling system mixed with fine art having an elite stigma has lead many to resent it. The reason why crypto is often an uphill journey is that similarly our education system fails to tell people how our monetary system functions and what money really is. The tangible power of it, the experience, only shows itself through a value perception shift.


“Lakshmi, The Goddess of Health and Wealth” from Art For Crypto
(Traditional money shower now with Bitcoins)

Now back to why I had that passion, as silly as it might sound, to initially punch that couch guy. After being a professional artist for almost two decades, having fought through a hell of a lot of ridicule, humiliation, poverty and societal conditioning to having created something unique, strong and inspiring to many – someone reducing that value to less than a couch is aggravating. To react to it badly would of course be infantile on my part.

“Flower of Life” from the Veena Malik project

The Significance of Your Environment

When I move house next, knowing the significance of my environment and its influence to my overall state of well-being, the first things going in are the art pieces. The furniture and all the rest of the fillers will come after, as they are of much less importance to how I really feel about life. The comfort of my couch will be there, even if I pick the colour according to what are living and storing value on the walls.

Vesa Kivinen
Visual Artist
London / Helsinki
www.artforcrypto.com
www.artevo.org