Crypto Art is the term used to describe cryptocurrency and art coming together. Vesa Kivinen was a filmmaker and visual artist but now is a full-time Crypto artist from Finland. In this interview, he describes art as being a new form of investment through crypto using blockchain’s Cryptovoxels where you can set up a virtual gallery. As this is a very new concept of representing and investing in art, there are still issues and struggles but Vesa’s belief in virtual art and physical art is unique and different. Take a look and hear about the artistic side of crypto.
Interview Date : 11th May 2020
Crypto Art is a new and rare type of digital artworks. Associated with unique tokens that exist on a certain blockchain, this new concept is based on the idea of “digital scarcity”. This allows artist to buy, sell and trade digital artworks as if they were physical art pieces. This is able to function on the same basis as Bitcoin or Ethereum and other crypto currencies are; Crypto Art exists in limited quantities.
My name is Vesa Kivinen and I am a crypto artist and a writer for NewsBTC.
“Art for Crypto” is the term that is used for art and the cryptocurrency space. For me, it started when I still was involved in my production company making a documentary film about the monetary system in Finland. We worked on the documentary for about a year and released it on the internet nationwide. This was back in 2011 and even then we got quite a lot of attention from people. This made me watch other documentaries about the monetary system, like for example how the monetary system was in 2006.
This made me do something innovative on my own but it was very difficult because there weren’t many decentralized options, and in a way, I felt like I was the center of failure; if I would try to do innovation or criticize the system that was already there, one can imagine how futile of an attempt that would become. The turning point came 3 years ago when I was introduced to bitcoin. I was introduced to bitcoin of what it truly is about and went down the rabbit hole completely. When I understood the possible options of its integration even with art, it leads me to close my galleries and went in a completely different direction in becoming a full-time crypto artist.
We created the gallery in a Cryptovoxels in the shape of the pyramid of the Great Pyramid of Giza together with my friend Ogar. It is a golden floating pyramid with a couple of floors that we have made. You can take a look at my art pieces that have been put up for the exhibition.
The future of crypto art is going to be absolutely beautiful. Right now we are definitely entering a stage where we are waiting for the bull run. I do think that there is a disproportion of a number of artists in the space in conjunction with a number of collectors. The collectors are slowly coming in the NFT world and are starting to understand many problems with physical art pieces of what crypto solves here. Nevertheless, there is a big cognitive dissonance where many people have in crypto which is that they might be full-on in Ethereum and no other platform.
So, if someone brings them an argument saying “Ethereum it’s not really money because it’s not gold”, that is the exact same logic that they would use for the argument for why digital art should have value. Essentially, with the same solution on Ethereum now you can assign value in an ethereal way to a JPEG image. It’s just very counter-intuitive, and we have a history with computing where we mostly have seen in very good replicating many of things and be fast in doing so. It takes a while to start to reconfigure your own internal banking that is all of a sudden a JPEG image, and that can become very scarce. It just takes a little time just like anything else does.
I originally made 6 art pieces with the Pakistani Bollywood Actress Veena Malik. This was an art piece that was created after our project together as I got so much material. Now, one of the pieces that you will see when you come inside the pyramid is an art piece called The Universal Invitation at the entrance lot. As the name says, I wanted the people to feel like this pyramid voxel is a universal invitation for everyone.
My The most famous piece until now is probably The Beginning of a New Era which I created in the Veena Malik Project. Veena Malik is a Bollywood actress and she marched to the beat of her own drum. I was very inspired by her story when we got to know each other back in 2011. That is the time when I body-painted her and we made the beautiful 6 art pieces together. The launch of the art pieces became a very controversial story because she is Pakistani and Muslim, and she was going to appear in these body paintings. It does sound a little greasy to begin with, but once you see the actual art pieces, even in the part of conservative Pakistan, they understood that this was a bridge-building project as opposed to pouring gasoline over an already flaming fire. When we released it, the most important part of it for me was that we changed a little of the world.
It was a gesture that never had been done before that moment, and appropriately so news channels tuned in and asked Veena to appear on different TV channels like the BBC World where big screens of the art pieces were projected on. We conservatively estimated that through the news about Veena and this project reached about 300 million people (excluding how viral went on the internet).
I was very flattered, and I am now waiting for the opportunity to discover the next person that I might do a similar project with. Next time, perhaps it could be a Japanese star with whom I could marry together the same process as we did together with Veena. That is what I am here; to discover the pressure points of human evolution, and help to bring the art that is boiling underneath to the surface. I think that with the beautiful platform that crypto has opened up for this community, we are able to do it.
There are no pro-Wall Street artists, and there are no Anti-Bitcoin Artists either. All the artists in the space are pro-crypto, and I cannot think of another era in human history where you would have this unison voice of artists from a community where they are so opinionated and diverse in their foundations. I think that the crypto community has woken up to the potential of crypto, but when it comes to art and artist, they are still not aware of what this crypto art community truly is capable of. I think all of us who are in crypto and come here, do have many ideologies and desires in common,we are here for mass adoption. No matter what your talent is, or how you want to share your message, every voice is important and that’s what is uniting us here the crypto community, except for Nouriel Roubini who seems to be against the whole thing but there will always those kinds of people too.
When I truly got into crypto 3 years ago I could not sleep for 4 months. I went down the rabbit hole in such a way that I eventually had to start taking sleeping pills. I knew that I had to understand everything about crypto and everything relating to it immediately. However, as many may know, it is a lot of information to take in. Now, after 3 years, I am feeling quite comfortable but it did take a lot to get here. The red-eye represents that rabbit hole in the shape of a spiral that I never came out of.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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