The list of lost artworks on Wikipedia is so long it’s segmented into centuries:
Van Gogh, Monet, Mary Cassatt: *Bombed*, !Burned!, ~Stolen Whilst in Storage~.
And then you have museums of enormous importance — from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to the British Museum in London — which even today display artifacts and artworks which were ransacked from their native countries decades ago.
With this in mind, you can see why the grant we received from Filecoin was absolutely necessary: A museum possessing this many priceless digital artifacts must take every necessary step to safeguard them in perpetuity. And indeed, our collaboration with Filecoin does just that. Every single artwork ever activated into the Museum of Crypto Art, every piece in our Genesis Collection, the dozens of Daïmalyad donations, everything currently or henceforth represented in our Community Collection (the world’s largest decentralized art collection) is permanently backed up — metadata and media file included — in Filecoin’s archival system. Activations = Archivings. Through Filecoin integration, M○C△ is a vault.
(Using NFT.storage, we upload the media files and metadata of every NFT in the M○C△ ecosystem to blockchain hashes, from which we can restore these NFTs in their entirety, no matter their origin blockchain. We can reconstruct these NFTs without using on-chain data at all, and because on-chain data is inherently referenced via the NFT identifier, this sequence enables a redundant backup. Layers and layers of security. Because your crypto art — and ours — deserves nothing less.)
No user-curated backup of such scale has ever been attempted or pulled-off to our knowledge, and that we’ve implemented it with zero disruption to Museum proceedings speaks to the technical brilliance of both the Filecoin Foundation and the M○C△ Tech Team.
But in reality, this facet of our Filecoin integration is only the foundation for a truly startling number of future use-cases. Consider the fact that every artwork in our museum, every curation made into a M○C△ Show, every exhibition displayed in a M○C△ ROOM, and every state of being therein is permanently recorded on Filecoin. Consider the infinite possibilities.
Or don’t, because we’ve considered some for you.
Like, for instance, how crucial this comprehensive archiving will be when historians inevitably look back on these early days of the crypto art movement. Future art-history professors will be able to walk their students through the daily sensibilities of our hair-trigger crypto art culture. Anyone from this moment forward can observe, as if in real time, crypto art’s changing ethos, its curatorial trends, and what adoption looked like as it was occurring, all based on the works M○C△ henceforth contains. We are forever recording the daily march of what’s being collected, by who, and what curations it becomes a part of.
And this extends to M○C△ ROOMs as well, which is perhaps the most exciting part of our entire Filecoin collaboration. We are *obviously* quite bullish on the Metaverse. Nowhere else can digitally-native art be displayed with the creativity and ingenuity that reflects its creation.
So getting M○C△ ROOMs — 1-of-1 architectural objects with designs ranging from untitledxyz’ modular architecture to PolygonalMinds’ pink-and-purple, 90’s-kid aesthetic — into the hands of collectors was of utmost importance. The sooner we could put curatorial tools in the hands of the community, the sooner the Metaverse could fill up with their ingenuity. Today, you can find all manner of brilliantly-conceived ROOMS, from Hans’ Cyberkyb to 0x4efa’s Trystero > Galactronic Division >> R00M32 which contains “A selection of monochromous @superrare artworks spanning the period 2018–2021.”
Providing such a powerful tool for community curation is bleeding edge in its own right. But as early as Q3 this year, we’re introducing a kind of Wayback Machine for ROOMs, supported by Filecoin. Because we don’t just want to record ROOMs when they’re finished; we want to record every version of a ROOM along the way. Every single ROOM state will be archived with Filecoin, including the underlying GLB models — which reflect the ROOM’s current curation — creating layers of redundant backups that allow us to reconstruct the architecture of a ROOM, and all NFTs that were displayed therein, from any point in time, at any point in time.
With this tool, ROOM owners can access every single form of their curations in perpetuity. They can sift back through the curatorial decisions they were making on a random Wednesday in March five years prior. They can know what artworks were important to them when they made their first ROOM curation, download that version of their ROOM into a .GLB file, and then deploy that file into their favorite Metaverse world where, say, their curations every January, every year for a decade, are placed side-by-side. This is really special. It’s like creating a portal through time within which one can see their own historical sensibilities or how their tastes have shifted, and use this to understand the minute personal and cultural factors that played into such decisions. We can look back on our lives years later and see the art which affected us when we were younger, before we had a child, got married, bought a house, moved to Taiwan, etc. We are literally creating a catalogue of one’s mind, to be accessed at will.
With this Filecoin x ROOMs integration, we can begin to research, discuss, and understand the minds of our curators using their historical output, just as we do with artists. We can gain real moment-by-moment insight into each individual’s curatorial process! We can curate more thoughtfully, analyze our own curation, analyze our community’s curation, react to trends, reflect on successes, identify failures, improve. We can draw connections across a given curator’s career, across timeframes, across geographies. As ROOMs continue to become a go-to curation/exhibition method for crypto art, we will further and further redefine our relationship to curation by turning curation itself into an art, into a dance, one we can watch again and again in admiration.
By combining M○C△’s expansive toolkit with Filecoin’s peerless archival system, we are ensuring that crypto art becomes the best-documented epoch in the larger artistic continuum. The downstream effects of this documentation are too bountiful to understand right away. But we love crypto art as much as anyone. And with Filecoin x M○C△, so many new ways to love it will present themselves. More and more every day. These are but a few.
You can find our initial Filecoin Grant Proposal and Approval here: https://github.com/filecoin-project/devgrants/issues/867