Bitcoin is recognised as the official currency in El Salvador, while so-called “decentralised autonomous organisations” (DAOs) are establishing digital cooperatives and consumers conclude “smart contracts” online, replacing notaries public. In other words, crypto currencies and their underlying blockchain technology are driving a major structural transformation in the global financial market. With the exhibition “Cryptomania”, the Zeppelin Museum explores whether the proliferation of blockchain technology not only marks a far-reaching paradigm shift in the financial market, but also in the way we will work and live together in the future. Could decentralised blockchains serve as a model for democratic processes?
The project organisers have invited the artist and programmer Sarah Friend of the Circles Collective to address the issue of blockchain-based currency which – in contrast to other cryptocurrencies – is based on the principle of accumulating capital. It examines new digital identities with Holly Herndon’s “Holly+”, an installation that allows buyers to digitally borrow the artist’s voice with which they can converse or sing. The art collective “Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (CATPC)” will issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which will serve as a potential instrument for decolonialisation. The plan is to sell 300 NFTs of a sculpture of a Belgian colonial officer from 1931. For each NFT sold, CATPC will purchase one hectare of land in Congo which will be used to promote local cultural projects and establish sustainable agriculture.
With its newly created space for educational activities, called the “BlockLab”, the museum will invite the public to carry out experiments of its own. In a workshop series, the artist Kyle McDonald will discuss the effects of blockchain and web3 technology on interpersonal relationships. At nextmuseum.io, visitors can show each other their NFTs, and in coding workshops, can become familiar with the history of coding.
Artistic director: Claudia Emmert
Curator: Ina Neddermeyer
Participants: BeeDAO, Sarah Friend, Paul Kolling, Egor Kraft, Julia Schneider, Paul Seidler and others
Exhibition: Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen: 15 Dec. 2023 – 7 Apr. 2024
Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen GmbH
www.zeppelin-museum.de/ (external link, opens in a new window)