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Art in the Age of Bitcoin

Posted 09 October 2017 Art in the Age of Bitcoin
Written by Jon Gulson
Art has held the hand of history from the ancient world, through the renaissance, to the modern era; accompanying and representing ideas, expression and spirit of times.

This makes art revealing. Not only are we translating an artist’s mind, we are experiencing the inhabited world and material surround which gave rise to their endeavors.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

In 1935, Walter Benjamin produced an essay of cultural criticism which proposed mechanical reproduction diminishes the aura of art.

The essay (The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction) contends technology – more specifically, mass production – allows greater accuracy of artistic reproduction.

However the essay also contends that authenticity is lost (in reproduction), noting ‘even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.’

Galleries, the Street and Discerning Eyes

Benjamin’s work led one critic to state artistic images became ephemeral, ubiquitous, insubstantial, available, valueless and free for lacking the aura of the original work (of art).

The Galleries as a result became full, bloated and vulgar. The discerning eye became troubled. And the idea of art outside the gallery was restored in the streets with Banksy. This is art which can appear anywhere, at any time. On demand. 

Art in the Age of Bitcoin

Bitcoin in its heart is permissionless and borderless. Unlike previous forms of money, is not bound by the same restraints of time. The best bitcoin art will appear on streetwear – art to wear and take with you – and not bound by the sardonic restrains commonly heard in modern forms.

As Billy Bragg sings, the revolution is only a t-shirt away. 

So what are you waiting for?
Written by Jon Gulson
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