What is crypto art? Interview with the Brazilian creator Nino Arteiro, author of the "Crypto artist Manifesto", who defends the utilization of art as a tool to educate the population in the use of these new technologies for individual freedom.
How and when, or in what circumstances, do you come up with the ideas of a) creating this manifesto, and b) leaving it open to the possibility that everyone can contribute and collaborate in its final definition?
A few months ago, I felt the need to gather a set of information about what stage was the crypto art in and to communicate that information to artists and ordinary people. A manifesto is a public statement: it brings the writer's worldview and can summon a community for certain actions. This is what I did, I tried to make public in the crypto artist manifesto a set of information about the current world of crypto art and also forecasts on how it will develop and how crypto artists can act to maintain one of the great gifts that the blockchain brought to us: the autonomy. Without wanting, of course, with those predictions, to be the owner of the truth. I just wanted to capture my way of seeing the current state of crypto art and how it could develop in the future.
From that manifesto, which reflects only my vision of the world, I imagined that it would be much more constructive for reflection and knowledge production to have a greater diversity of ideas, more people thinking, reflecting on crypto art and its development. I think it would be important to gather crypto artists from all over the world, from all continents, from all genres and colours, to create a broader and more diversified crypto artist manifesto, with each crypto artist contributing a little with his vision of the world. Perhaps an initial step for this process of discussion, reflection and construction of a global crypto artist manifesto was the creation of a group of crypto artists in Telegram (CRYPTOARTISTS). It would be very interesting and creative if we could create a manifesto of this type using only the Internet, without the need for face-to-face meetings. It is a great challenge.
What objectives are pursued with the creation of this manifesto?
My goal is to bring information to artists and the general audience about the impact of blockchain and cryptography in the art world. Bringing information about this new area of art that is emerging, which is crypto art, and generating reflections and learnings. This manifesto is also a way to encourage artists to use technology in a creative, fun and autonomous manner to express themselves in a way never seen before. In addition, this manifesto is an attempt to alert people about the dangers we will encounter in this new stage. It will take great care not to fall into the trap of greed and glare.
What are the next steps for the artists who support this manifesto?
I believe that artists who support the manifesto could initiate studies on crypto art, cryptography, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, programming. They could contribute with their studies and reflections by writing articles in collaborative platforms of specialized media in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. They could contribute creating crypto art works that educate the population about these new technologies, seeking to show the great power they give to the population in relation to autonomy and privacy and, on the other hand, also showing how financial institutions and governments enslave the population through complex control systems. I think that artists should be humble and leave vanity aside. In the art world, there is a war of egos, and many artists compete to see what art is the greatest. All art is important! I think that artists should go another way. The way of cooperation, mutual aid, for me is the best option, besides believing that it is more efficient. Crypto artists could join and, for example, make collective exhibitions and even make artistic creations together, in which every artist will contribute with a part of the work of art. This can already be done using only the Internet and the blockchain, it does not even need a face-to-face encounter. In addition, crypto artists could create virtual and face-to-face study groups as a way to always be studying and reflecting on their artistic creation processes. You have to be philosopher artists. You have to be scientific artists. It is necessary to be educating artists. It is necessary to be artists who live art in a true way and who create beyond profit.
How do you see the global landscape in ten years from now regarding blockchain technology and crypto adoption?
Well, if there is not a big flaw in the blockchain that has not yet been verified and if quantum computing does not destroy the security of cryptography, I believe that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies will be increasingly present in people's lives. As everything in the universe passes, paper money will also pass and lose its hegemony, being able to be just another currency among many or even have no value. Besides the use of blockchain as a financial system, it will also have many other uses in different areas of society, as we are already seeing in several projects around the world.
A project that I see as something great and with enough potential to improve the lives of people is the Lition project in Germany. This project is already operational and uses the Ethereum blockchain to market electricity without the use of an intermediary. Maybe, one day, anyone can buy energy directly in that decentralized way, maybe even from tiny solar farms assembled by amateur people in a nearby neighborhood. This being the case, people will be able to produce electricity through solar panels in their houses and market or exchange, through blockchain, the energy that is left over with other people in the neighborhood, without the intermediation of a company, as it happens today. Wow! That's great and very powerful! Energy is one of the factors that most cause war, human suffering and the destruction of nature. If we manage to produce clean energy and still enable energy autonomy for people or at least fairer prices, it will be a great advance for humanity.
Regarding the adoption of cryptography by the population as a way to maintain the privacy and security of your data, I imagine that this use will also increase. I believe that privacy will be considered more and more valuable by people. With the reports made by Snowden, the world was sure of what everyone already imagined: that surveillance is there and has always been. Cyber war is only at the beginning. I see that most of the population has no knowledge about viruses. If ordinary people were aware of how a virus (malware) acts on a computer, I'm sure they would be scared by the dangers they may encounter. For example, if the person downloads an infected program online and installs it, a malware will be installed as well and the creator of that malware will have full access to the person's computer and will be able to steal all of his data, as well as being able to visualize the person through the webcam and listen to all the sound that occurs around the computer's microphone. Isn't it scary? And, in relation to cryptocurrencies, if you keep your private key in your computer, you risk losing all your funds. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to educate the population on how to protect themselves on the Internet using security and encryption measures. Art can be an excellent tool for educating people in this learning process against the surveillance of governments, companies and malicious hackers.