The M○C△ Fundraiser: Our Inspirations and Our Visions
Dear Friends and Patrons of the Museum of Crypto Art,
It’s cliché to emphasize the importance of community in crypto art, but after many months of bear market conditions, that importance has recrystallized with renewed clarity. Clichés, after all, are almost always rooted in truth. And in this moment — with artists struggling, projects shuttering, and a general air of dismay proliferating — we must hold tight to those close to us.
That’s why M○C△’s forthcoming Fundraiser is so important. It is a way of not just asking our community for help, but intertwining us with all who remain in crypto art at this moment in time. We hope M○C△’s Fundraiser serves as a reminder that you are a vibrant and crucial part of this Museum. Our success should feel like your success too. Please read more about our fundraiser on the dedicated M○C△ Fundraiser Website and share what we’re doing as widely as you can.
M○C△ itself is operated by a collection of dedicated crypto artists, collectors, developers, and builders working to ensure the brightest possible future for crypto art. Below, we at the Museum have written about our individual visions for what a surviving and thriving Museum of Crypto Art can do. We hope by stepping a bit into our minds, you’ll see that we’re just the same as you: Desperate lovers of crypto art, ready to wrap our arms around this movement — and everyone in it — so we can weather this storm together.
Colborn Bell; Founder, Director
M○C△ is a Museum “unbecoming.” It exists in a constant state of deconstruction and is centered on making the modern institution flexible and dynamic amidst exponential technological change. It provides a mirror to observe the structures which no longer serve us and is fertile ground for rapid iterative testing, evaluation, and implementation.
While we explore what it means to document, preserve, and contextualize relevant moments in this journey, we also function as a progressive and experimental think-tank researching crypto, blockchain, AR/VR, AI, and digital art in all its forms.
We support the fearless artists who choose to lead these conversations. As operators we must equally be fearless in knowing the difference between controlling the conversation and helping to guide it. Our own “unbecoming” is essential in achieving the ideal of a decentralized identity.
Therefore we must continue to “extitutionalize” the institution. This depends on us being able to decouple the ideals of the organization from physical space and time (i.e. it must exist within the hearts and minds of the participants not as a physical location or entity, but as an idea that such a place can exist strictly when it is called into being by anyone at any moment).
As M○C△ continues to grow, my wish is for it to preserve three core tenets of the crypto art movement:
Equity, as both fairness and ownership, was earned by the collective pioneering artists and is a fundamental right that must be acknowledged and uplifted. This single distinction is enough to power the movement forward indefinitely. We will continue to develop the $M○C△ token as a gateway to having equity in driving the Museum’s future.
Expanding access is both a matter of providing more avenues for individuals to have their art displayed and in telling more people what they create is art. ROOMs is a beautiful step in moving curation into the hands of the many, allowing for different points of view to emerge and group-think biases to be challenged.
Inclusion, as the ability to participate across multiple verticals irrespective of geographical or physical barriers, is also key. No more skewing of the art canon towards western white males.
All of this is to ask, do we still need institutions? If you had asked me BM (Before M○C△) I probably would have said no. But it turns out that yes, we desperately do. We must bridge.
Shivani Mitra; Co-founder, Director, Curator
Museums worldwide are struggling to reach young people that aren’t interested in top-down institutions or history. Yet, at the same time museums retain this aura of legacy, history preservation, cultural beauty — things that you really don’t find anywhere else.
So, I think M○C△ can be an answer and a home for many people who are radical thinkers and good-hearted creatives.
The Museum will live in between social, political, economic circumstances, outside of any concept of pure visual art or pure historical art but very deeply in the function of “art” in this day (to trigger humans to emote or to reflect).
M○C△ should become a home for people to explore their digital identity in a non-consumable, non-sellable, non-capital-oriented way. So the opposite of social media to an extent. Maybe people find scientists, researchers, creatives, odd balls, philosophers at M○C△.
More concretely: a couple things that I would really like to see M○C△ do over the next year.
- Create a clean, easy way to enter the Museum in a virtual environment, whether that’s from your phone or your computer, whether that’s through VR or AR. I really want to have an entry-point where you enter the Museum building, you can jump off into different exhibitions, you see crypto art in incredible spaces, you can jump off into different artistic styles. This experience will help people understand what we do.
- Decentralized IRL/digital connections between people. The artist and developer communities that we know and do not know: They need support in more tangible ways. I want to start a grant program that gives artists a certain amount of funds, whether that’s in crypto or fiat or tools, and effectively gives the artists a 6-month period to create together, or to meet up to host like any kind of event. This could be in collaboration with universities, forum boards, Reddit, etc.
- M○C△ should pursue bleeding-edge technology and philosophy through psyop and algorithm-hacking online content. One way is with our AI. Another one is in research that unpacks the transhumanist cybernetic world of the human species. This can be visual research or written research or PFPs that really instigate reactions. I’d be interested in supporting fiction writing, science fiction books, podcasts, short-form videos…media that allow positive stories about humanity online. There’s a need for these narratives to become memetics that reach young minds on tiktok!! for crypto to reach them!
- We become multi-chain to an extent. We retain our closest ties to Ethereum and Bitcoin as those represent the spirit of cryptocurrency, but we also start expanding with Avalanche, Cosmos, Solana, Celestia. We really must be agnostic and multi-chain in order to be open and accessible across the internet. Ethereum is just too expensive for people outside the western world, it’s ridiculous to think otherwise. This could happen through minting, partnerships, or other collaborations with cool humans.
Rene Schmidt; Co-founder, Technology Director
By building a metaverse-native ecosystem that seamlessly integrates tokenized assets, we set the foundation for lots of different future use-cases around M○C△ that might be hard to imagine in the present. Today, M○C△’s on-chain curation system allows stakeholders who own ROOMs in this novel Museum to decide what is up for exhibit in their space at any given time. At the same time the broader community (e.g. $M○C△ holders) decide which ROOMs they like most by spreading their governance power in support of their favorites, which generates a ranking. This multi-level governance system has turned the Museum into a breathing 3D organism allowing it to constantly change its metaphysical shape as room curators and M○C△ holders take action.
The M○C△ API serves this interoperable data to integrators, thereby allowing anyone to dynamically spawn the current version of the Museum of Crypto Art into their applications. In a few months, together with Filecoin, we’re going to deploy a “Time Machine” that allows users to also load historic curations of their or anyone’s ROOMs, allowing them to reconstruct the entire shape and contents of the useum as it was at any given time. The data is on-chain today and our subgraphs serve it permissionlessly.
Now that you better understand the systems we have in place as of today, we can take a look into the future: M○C△ has been researching AI agents and large language models (LLMs) for a while, and we’ve been envisioning a Virtual Curator which will be visualized via interoperable VRM avatars to be spawned alongside the Museum into any application. This NPC can be configured with different personalities and will walk beside M○C△ visitors within 3D worlds. It gives insights about exhibited art pieces according to user requests which enables totally unique Museum experiences that will evolve with data quality and the overall capability of the M○C△ AI tech stack.
While these are all things that will manifest in 2023/2024, we should look beyond that.
Between 2025 and 2030 I’d personally love to see more traditional Museums displaying M○C△ collections and ROOMs inside their own physical walls via AR experiences. I’d love to see integrations into games like Fortnite and of course into many different 3D social platforms. One of my dreams is that M○C△ becomes an omnipresent meme which is recognized by the “art curious” in all sorts of applications due to its unique architectural structures or the prominent on-chain curators from the community. I’d love to see M○C△ becoming a place that reflects the zeitgeist of a global, planetary civilization.
It is possible that this can happen, as all curations are publically-stored and even the modular ROOMs architecture can be used permissionlessly without having to worry due to cc0 licenses defined by early architects. Read the M○C△ Manifesto and you will understand why this Museum has the potential to become a global phenomenon that can lead us into a new paradigm for museums.
Julian Brangold; Programming Director
My vision for the Museum’s future is twofold. On the one hand, I’m excited about supporting and promoting art that comes from the fringes of the digital sphere, lesser-known communities of artists and creators, while experimenting with what the “virtual exhibit” can be; that means thinking of virtual exhibitions as artworks in themselves that challenge our perceptions, and depend upon an actual commitment from the “visitors” to explore, engage and let loose inside the metaverse, shifting from gimmicky devices to actual experiences. This approach will create increasingly weirder and bolder art explorations and experimentations.
On the other hand, I’m excited about experimenting with what a web3 art institution looks like. As one of the first (if not THE first) web3-native cultural institutions, M○C△ has the chance to push the boundaries of the age-old, capital-A “Art Institution”.
Breaking old models to build new ones is a great way to combine art and technology, and experimentation in both the decision-making processes and curation of our institution can set the stage for many more people to jump-in and play with these new tools to create new models that make sense in contemporary art display and preservation.
We will do this through playing with decentralization dynamics and DAOs, both in the Museum’s metaverse presence and in its art programming that translates into written content, curations, art exhibitions and happenings, and much more cultural content.
UntitledXYZ; Architecture Director
Fundraising for M○C△ means grants for artists, curators and architects to explore the bounds of what a virtual Museum can be. Today, most metaverse Museum experiences are grey, low-poly doppelgängers made simply to reflect their physical counterparts. In the broader metaverse movement, there is too much focus on copy-pasting logic between realities.
M○C△ should be the UnMuseum, a please-touch Museum, an inside-out exhibition, a ticket-free portal to emerging arts and culture, an impossible network of experiences where experimentation thrives and a single definition is impossible.
My hope is that M○C△’s mission continues to deepen our collective curiosity and to open access towards curation, art and architecture — so that we can, together — completely reinvent the meaning of a “Museum” made for the virtual age.
Today — the Museum is expanding rapidly through ROOMs: 3D vessels designed to carry digital art inside of them. ROOMs are explorers of new architecture, made to be streamed — directly — into all kinds of metaverse applications. More resources will support an open grants program for ROOM architects and developers with a decentralized treasury guided by $M○C△ stakeholders. With your support, M○C△’s branches can continue to extend across virtual spaces and real places, blending realities and building new experiences around everything Crypto Art.
Max Cohen; Lead Writer
For me, the most exciting aspect of M○C△’s existence is its diverse and consistent interest in demystifying artistry, bringing the work and the conversation and the appreciation to as large a population as desires it. This manifests in basically all of our FREE and open-source tools. M○C△ Shows make IRL curation accessible by providing an aesthetic toolkit to scrolling artwork. M○C△ ROOMs democratize the literal ownership of a Museum. All our writing and podcasting seeks to discuss art and artistry in a way which is yes, thoughtful and highbrow, but simultaneously accessible to those without an advanced degree in the subject.
It’s been my mission since day-one to get Visual Art out of the Ivory Tower that centuries of unbridled Academia have trapped it in. Art criticism for all! Artistry for all! More, more, more, more! Felt more fully in peoples’ lives! There’s no reason why the collection, admiration, and discussion of true-blue artistry shouldn’t be daily docket activities for the public at-large.
I see this fundraising money going towards maximizing the accessibility and aestheticism of the tools we already provide and the ethos we already embody. More content from more great writers in more styles means more opportunities for more people to fall in love with artistry. More options for showcasing and displaying artwork in creative locales means bringing artistry into the nooks and crannies of all our lives. A tighter and lovelier web-based Museum experience challenges long-held concepts and encourage creativity.
All of what we do in the future — and all we do now, and all we’ve done in the past — seeks, through crypto art, to inspire a love of art in as many minds as possible, with all the secondary caveats of reflection, anti-authoritarianism, and spiritual fulfillment which such a love brings with it.
Crypto art itself is already positioned an avenue towards democratizing the creation and consumption of artistry. At its zenith, M○C△ can serve as a vessel and conduit for crypto art, further democratizing it downstream and widely offering all which may be required for that creation and consumption to continue.
Michael Jathe; Community Manager
The mission of M○C△, the Museum of Crypto Art, is not only to preserve the beginnings and history of crypto art, but also to actively shape its evolution in accordance with the principles of this movement. Our goal is to make M○C△ a place where everyone can learn about and understand the history and values of crypto art.
Over the past two years, our dedicated team at M○C△ has developed a series of free tools. These are designed to help artists and collectors get their creations and collections the attention they deserve. It is important to us that these tools are accessible to everyone, whether they are an OG artist, legendary collector, digital native, novice, or “plebe.”
Another central vision of M○C△ is to give everyone the opportunity to exhibit their art. These exhibitions should be easily accessible to everyone, whether via PC, smartphone or virtual reality.
At M○C△, we see a decentralized future ahead. The challenge of creating a decentralized ecosystem and DAO framework for such an important institution to outlast ourselves requires careful thought and decision-making. We are aware that not everyone in the space shares the values upon which the crypto art movement was formed.
The proceeds generated from the fundraiser will be used to help achieve and support the goals and projects outlined above. Any donation will help M○C△ fulfill its mission and continue to serve the crypto art community. We invite everyone to join this movement and help continue to promote and sustain crypto art.
Daïm Aggot-Hönsch; Associate Curator
M○C△ is not just a post-modern Museum front-running the future of the art world.
M○C△ is not just a model for institutional innovation and decentralization.
M○C△ is not just one of the biggest and most steadfast allies to Cryptoartists everywhere.
It is all those things, to be sure.
But to me, the core of M○C△ is something precious and truly incredible: the spirit of cryptoart and crypto reified as an institution created to grow and protect the legacy of the things we already achieved, and to encourage and empower us to keep building towards all that is still left to be done.
Having gotten to know M○C△’s incredible team earlier this year, one thing I am certain of is that the accomplishments of the institution will surpass my hopes and expectations in myriad ways I cannot yet even imagine!
The aspect of M○C△’s future that I do feel competent to speak upon though is the one I intend to work towards, alongside the team and our community, through The Daïm Al-Yad Collection.
In the weeks and months behind us, it has become more evident than ever that crypto art’s values, convictions, and aspirations are not universally shared by the crypto community at large, and if crypto artists are to fulfill their potential as vanguards of a revolution, we must double-down on our convictions and strive to be recognized and valued on our own terms, distinguishing ourselves from the short-term, profit-chasing, scam-laden worst that crypto keeps offering to an already hostile and unreceptive rest-of-the-world.
The living curation that The Daïm Al-Yad Collection aims to become seeks both to support the pro-social progress and evolution of global cryptoart, while at the same time becoming a model for other collectors wishing to partner with M○C△ to uplift our community to new heights!
In the months ahead, the experiment that is the collection will begin to unfold, and its lessons learned will pave the way for the potential of radical growth by empowering collectors to take the impact of their curatorial efforts to the next level through the ever-growing technological and social ecosystem that is the Museum.
So a few years from now, I see M○C△ as something even greater, broader, and more decentralized than it is today. Not just an institution, but the active and vital nexus of an impactful network of core crypto art community members who are not content to let the currents of crypto drag us where they may, but instead seek to right our course towards the values-centered, equitable, global realization of the full potential of our Crypto Art Revolution!