Salon 40 is focused on the ineffable Web3, brimming with possibility, activity, and clichés. We discuss a future with and within Web3 for creative people and society at large. Engaging a panel consisting of thinkers and artists, skeptics and zealots, we consider Web3’s current power and its future potential by considering many of its different facets. In stark contrast to and perhaps as a result of the freneticism of Web 2.0, we can rely on a more informed and mature public discourse on the long-term implications of any digital progress on our politics, culture, and economy.
We pose the following questions: What is decentralization and why is it integral to progress? How does Web3 evolve our definitions of ownership and property? What role will Web3’s infrastructure play in the lives of everyday people? How will that role be defined, and by whom? What impact does it have on the natural environment? Is it really possible to build a digital framework that does not replicate the existing power structures? How can radical and disruptive acts of the past be reinterpreted in this new framework? What does identity mean in a non-physical world? What are the risks in creating an ecosystem with financialization baked into its founding principles? How can we move beyond that system? What have we learned from the vicissitudes of Web 2.0? Who are the guardians of that knowledge, the wise ones that will inoculate it into the new web? Now that we’ve moved fast and broken things, how can we build better?
This salon took place on Monday, October 24, 2022
Kyle Chayka is a contributing writer at The New Yorker, covering technology and culture on the Internet. His work has also appeared in The New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, and Harper’s, among other publications. Chayka’s first nonfiction book, “The Longing for Less,” a history of minimalism, was published in 2020. He is at work on his second book, “Filterworld,” which explores the impact of algorithmic technology on culture. Recently, he co-founded Dirt, a Web3 media company.
Michelle Kuo is the Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, where her exhibitions include New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century (2019), Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman (2020), Amanda Williams: Embodied Sensations (2021), and the forthcoming Signals: Video and Electronic Democracy (with Stuart Comer). In addition to helping conceive the Museum’s collection display and acquisitions program, Kuo co-leads initiatives on web3 and blockchain technologies. She has written and lectured widely on modern and contemporary art, and her publications include More than Real: Art in the Digital Age (2018) and Acting Out: The Ab-Ex Effect (2011). Kuo is currently a critic at the Yale School of Art and serves on the advisory board of the Museum Brandhorst, Munich. From 2010 to 2017 she was editor-in-chief of Artforum International.
Rafaël Rozendaal is a Dutch-Brazilian visual artist who uses the internet as his canvas. Since 2001, he has been making website-as-art objects. Rozendaal’s artistic practice comprises animations, websites, installations, tapestries, prints and writing. His work takes shape through a range of transformations – from movement into abstraction, from virtual into physical space, and from website to print – with all of them informing each other. All of his works stem from a fascination with moving images and interactivity in its most basic form. Although Rozendaal is best known for his artworks in the form of websites, he sees no hierarchy between his websites and physical works, also creating installations, tapestries, lenticulars, books, and lectures. Rozendaal is also the founder of the exhibition concept Bring Your Own Beamer, an evening where artists bring their own projectors to display their digital work.
Alex Zhang is the Mayor of Friends with Benefits DAO, a community-owned organization that utilizes Web3 to help cultural creators and maintainers gain agency over their cultural production. Previously, he was the president of Summit, an ecosystem that connects and nourishes global creatives, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders. He aspires to be the Jane Jacobs of DAOs.
Afua Bruce is a leading public interest technologist who has spent her career working at the intersection of technology, policy, and society. She has worked in and across the government, non-profit, private, and academic sectors. Along with Amy Sample Ward, she is the co-author of the recently released book, The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Philanthropists, and Technologists Can Build an Equitable World.
Brett Scott is an author, journalist and financial hacker exploring the intersections between money systems, finance and digital technology. In 2013 he published The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money with Pluto Press. In 2022, his second book, Cloudmoney, was published.
Mindy Seu is a designer and researcher. As a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, she created an archive of cyberfeminism, The Cyberfeminism Index, which was displayed at the New Museum and published into a book in 2022. Formerly she was a designer on 24’s Interactive Media team and the Museum of Modern Art’s in-house design studio.
Tricia Wang is a tech ethnographer obsessed with designing equity into systems and the co-founder of CRADL, The Crypto Research and Design Lab, Tricia Wang. Prior to CRADL, she co-founded Constellate Data, a data consultancy helping organizations get the most out of their data by integrating data science and social science. With more than 15 years of experience working with designers, engineers, and scientists, she has a particular interest in designing human-centered systems. She advises corporations and startups on using “thick data"—data brought to light using digital-age ethnographic research methods that uncover stories and meaning—to improve strategy, policy, products, and services.
is an associate professor of visual arts administration at NYU Steinhardt, studying the frictions between art and markets and between politics and economics. Her work on fractional equity in art using blockchain models new structures of economic sustainability for artists and extends to policy proposals for redistribution. The Story of NFTs: Art, Technology, and Democracy, which Whitaker co-authored with Nora Burnett Abrams, will be published in 2023.
AN INTRO TO WEB3
A Primer to Web3 (Ongoing)
Ball, Matthew. The Metaverse. And How It Will Revolutionize Everything. National Geographic Books. (2022)
Ball, Matthew. MatthewBall.vc. (Ongoing)
Edelman, Gilad. The Web3 Movement’s Quest to Build a “Can’t Be Evil” Internet. Wired. (05.10.2022)
Klein, Paula. Why It’s Time to Take Web3 Seriously. MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. (07.18.2022)
Martin, Felicity. Introducing Web 2.5, the Messy New Future of the Internet. Dazed Digital. (01.26.2022)
Mims, Christopher. NFTs, Cryptocurrencies and Web3 Are Multilevel Marketing Schemes for a New Generation. WSJ. (02.19.2022)
Nakamoto, Satoshi. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. bitcoin.org. (10.2008)
Orland, Kyle. So What Is “the Metaverse,” Exactly? Ars Technica. (11.07.2021)
Roose, Kevin. (What is Web3?)[https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/03/18/technology/web3-definition-internet.html], The New York Times. (03.18.2022)
Wang, Tricia. Why We Need to Build Web3 Differently. Coindesk.. (07.03.3022)
Wharton Blockchain and Digital Asset Project, and World Economic Forum. DeFi Beyond the Hype: The Emerging World of Decentralized Finance. The Wharton School. (05.2021)
White, Molly. Web3 Is Going Just Great. (Ongoing)
Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. (What is the metaverse? Experts across industries offer their interpretations)[What is the metaverse? Experts across industries offer their interpretations]. wundermanthompson.com. (08.09.2021)
Zizek, Slavoj. It’s Naive to Think Bitcoin & NFT Give Us Freedom. RT International. (01.08.2022)
Castor, Amy. Why Ethereum Is Switching to Proof of Stake and How It Will Work. MIT Technology Review. (03.04.20221)
Catalini, Christian, and Catherine E. Tucker. Antitrust and Costless Verification: An Optimistic and a Pessimistic View of the Implications of Blockchain Technology. MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 5523-18. (06.19.2018)
Dubner, Stephen J. What Can Blockchain Do for You? (Parts 1-3). Freakonomics Radio. (2022)
Piancey, Cas, and Bennett Tomlin. Innovated: Blockchain City. Protos. (2022)
Yaffe-Bellany, David. What Is “the Merge”?. The New York Times. (08.26.2022)
Wang, Xiaowei. Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (2020)
Whitaker, Amy. Art and Blockchain: A Primer, History, and Taxonomy of Blockchain Use Cases in the Arts. Artivate, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 21–46. (2019)
Aceves, Paula. Afghanistan’s Crypto Lifeline. Intelligencer. (09.14.2022)
Alvarez, Fernando E., et al. Are Cryptocurrencies Currencies? Bitcoin as Legal Tender in El Salvador. National Bureau of Economic Research. (04.2022)
Auer, Raphael, et al. [Why Central Bank Digital Currencies?](Why Central Bank Digital Currencies?]. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York | Liberty Street Economics. (01.12.2021)
Dugan, Kevin T. The Biggest Crypto Investigation Yet. Intelligencer. (07.26.2022)
Fishbein, Emily, and Ba Hein. For Myanmar’s Revolutionaries, Adopting Digital Currency Can Mean Life or Death. Rest of World. (09.19.2022)
Gensler, Gary. Prepared Remarks of S.E.C. Chair Gary Gensler On Crypto Markets. Penn Law Capital Markets Association Annual Conference. (04.04.2022)
Harris, Malcolm. The War on Cash. Intelligencer. (06.22.2022)
Klein, Ezra. The Most Thorough Case Against Crypto I’ve Heard. The Ezra Klein Show. (04.05.2022)
Morris, David Z. 1 Year of Bitcoin in El Salvador: The Bad, the Good and the Ugly. Coindesk. (09.15.2022)
Read, Simon. The “Crypto Winter” Is Here. But What Is It and What Does It Mean for the Wider Economy?. World Economic Forum. (06.29.2022)
Scott, Brett. Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto, and the War for Our Wallets. HarperCollins. (2022)
Volpicelli, Gian M. Crypto’s Free Rein May Be Coming to a Close. Wired. (07.05.2022)
Yaffe-Bellany, David. Crypto’s Long-Awaited “Merge” Reaches the Finish Line. The New York Times. (09.15.2022)
NFTs AND METAVERSE AS MARKETPLACE
Bailey, Jason. Why Museums Should Be Thinking Longer Term About NFTs. Artnome. (07.28.2021)
Bain, Marc. How Fashion Is Using NFTs to Sell Exclusive Physical Products. The Business of Fashion. (08.04.2022)
Cleary, Mary. New beauty brand challenges our perceptions of reality. Wallpaper. (10.22.2021)
Dafoe, Taylor. The SEC Is Investigating Yuga Labs, Creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, to Decide If NFTs Should Be Regulated Like Stocks. Artnet News. (10.13.2022)
Feral File. Unsupervised. Feralfile.com. (2021) ––about FF/Refik Anadol/MoMA collaboration and NFT exhibition and auction, please read exhibition note.
Frye, Brian L. NFTs & the Death of Art. University of Kentucky - College of Law; Dogecoin DAO Legal Scholarship Page. (04.19.2021)
Joselit, David. NFTs, or The Readymade Reversed. October, no. 175, pp. 3–4. (04.10.2021)
Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts. NFTs: Future or Fad?. The Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts, vol. 45, no. 3. (08.2022) –– includes papers on copyrights and on art.
Marikar, Sheila Yasmin. Hannibal Lecter Inspires an N.F.T.. The New Yorker. (09.05.2022)
Marx, W. David. Are NFTs Status Symbols?. Dirt. (09.08.2021)
McDowell, Maghan. Metaverse fashion companies are pulling millions in funding. Vogue Business. (04.19.2022)
Obrist, Hans Ulrich, Art, Markets & Disruption: A Seismographic Journey to NFTs: a conversation with Refik Anadol, Rafaël Rozendaal, and Emily Segal. DLD conference. (05.2022)
Quaranta, Domenico. Surfing with Satoshi: Art, Blockchain and NFTs. Translated by Anna Carruthers, Aksioma; Institute for Contemporary Art. (2022)
Schwarz, Gabrielle. NFTs in the Ivory Tower. Outland. (10.04.2022) –– see above re: Outland
The Art Angle. The Whole Bored Ape Yacht Club Phenomenon, Explained. Artnet News. (04.07.2022)
DECENTRALIZATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, GOVERNANCE
Allen, Hilary J. DeFi: Shadow Banking 2.0?. William & Mary Law Review, Forthcoming. (02.2022)
Basu, Tanya. This group of tech firms just signed up to a safer metaverse. MIT Technology Review. (01.20.2022)
Budish, Eric B. The Economic Limits of Bitcoin and Anonymous, Decentralized Trust on the Blockchain. University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics, vol. 83. (06.2022)
Buterin, Vitalik. Crypto Cities. (10.31.2021)
DiCamillo, Nate. State Lawmaker Explains Wyoming’s Newly Passed DAO LLC Law. Coindesk. (04.22.2021)
Reiff, Nathan. Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO): Definition, Purpose, and Example. Investopedia. (09.23.2022)
Stankovic, Stefan. Pussy Riot Launches UnicornDAO to “Tackle Patriarchy” in Web3. Crypto Briefing. (03.08.2022)
Weyl, E. Glen, et al. Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul. (05.10.2022)
Woo, Erin, and Kevin Roose. This Social Club Runs on Crypto Tokens and Vibes. The New York Times. (03.02.2022)
RIGHTS, REPRESENTATION, PROTECTION
Allen, Anita L. Dismantling the “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race, Equity, and Online Data-Protection Reform. Yale Law Journal Forum, vol. 131, no. 427, pp. 907–58. (11.2021)
Franks, Mary Anne. Beyond the Public Square: Imagining Internet Democracy. Yale Law Journal Forum, vol. 131, no. 427, pp. 427–53. (11.2021)
Greenberg, Andy. How Bitcoin Tracers Took Down the Web’s Biggest Child Abuse Site. Wired. (04.07.2022)
Keats Citron, Danielle. [Cyber Civil Rights(Cyber Civil Rights). Boston University Law Review, vol. 89, pp. 61-125. (2009)
—. The End of Roe Means We Need a New Civil Right to Privacy. Slate. (06.27.2022)
Russell, Legacy. Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto. Verso. (2020)
Seu, Mindy, et al., editors. Cyberfeminism Index. Inventory Press. (2022)
Ward, Amy Sample, and Afua Bruce. The Tech That Comes next: How Changemakers, Technologists, and Philanthropists Create an Equitable World. Wiley. (2022)
FROM OUR SPEAKERS AND COLLABORATORS
Anadol, Refik and Casey Reas, Michelle Kuo, Paola Antonelli. Modern Dream: How Refik Anadol Is Using Machine Learning and NFTs to Interpret MoMA’s Collection. MoMA Magazine. (11.15.2021)
Bukowski, Charles. My Computer. (n.d.)
Dinkins, Stephanie. My Black Robot Friend. The Nod. (04.2019)
Dinkins, Stephanie. Not The Only One. (Ongoing)
Goldstein, Jack. A Glass of Milk. 16mm film, black and white, sound. (1972)
Hockney, David. Painting with Light. BBC2. (1986)
Kuo, Michelle and Price, Seth. What NFTs Mean for Contemporary Art. MoMA Magazine. (04.29.2021)