The 3rd annual Metaverse Art Week will happen from August 24–28.
This year’s theme will be “The World is Made of Code” and will take place in Decentraland’s art districts such as Soho Plaza, Voltaire Art District and Indie Village. The theme takes inspiration from this year’s Venice Biennale Arte: The Milk of Dreams exhibition and its exploration of the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses, and the relationship between individuals and technologies.
“How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human?” (Cecilia Alemani, Curator of the La Biennale di Venezia 2022)
The World is Made of Code will exhibit the different ways in which the use and interpretations of code, such as artificial intelligence, influence virtual world-building and human experience and connection. Artists will showcase innovations in digital art and design development that have been enabled by cutting-edge technologies in a virtual art fair that merges the contemporary art world and the metaverse.
“Metaverse Art Week 2022 is coming at a pivotal moment for the larger adoption of Web3 technology and decisions about our digital reality. We believe that the future of the internet should be built by decentralized communities who do not seek to profit off of user data, imagination, or creativity” (Sam Hamilton, Decentraland Foundation Creative Director)
The event aims to explore the human emotional responses when experiencing immersive art installations and performances that use metaverse technology and programmatic art inspired by the mathematical designs found in nature.
An exact replica of Frida Kahlo Family’s Red House curated by the Kahlo family.
Artnet’s program of performance art, live poetry, AI art and panel discussions on the future of art and technology.
Sotheby’s new art collaborations such as a jewelry sculpture with NFT pioneer Metagolden.
The Ukrainian Meta History Museum of War that aims to document current events via artistic expression preserved on the blockchain
UXart Labs pieces by 1960s LATAM kinetic and pop art masters such as Julio le Parc, Beto Ressano, Eduardo MacEntyre, and Gyula Kosice.
NFT galleries include items from Damien Hirst, Laurel Charleston, Justin Aversano, Krista Kim and IX Shells.
Exhibitions by major NFT marketplaces including Known Origin, Rarible, OpenSea, Makers Place and SuperRare Labs.
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Community backlash as the bluechip NFT project “Moonbirds” by Kevin Rose’s Proof Collective rescinds holders’ full commercial art rights.
Proof Collective founder Kevin Rose has announced via Twitter that its NFT collection Moonbirds will move to the CC0 public license. This move strips Moonbirds holders of their claim on IP copyright which was originally offered and was a decision taken without a community vote.
This led to a sell-off of the NFTs as disillusioned community members jumped ship, with floor prices dropping from 18 ETH ($32,000) to ($22,000). Moonbirds had boasted to-date impressive statistics, with trading volume exceeding $500 million, an average price of $51,000 and a highest sale of over $1 million according to DappRadar. This makes it OpenSea’s ninth-most traded collection of all time.
While the owners of the collection Proof Collective are legally within their rights to change the collection’s licensing, many holders have cited that the issue lies not with the CC0 licensing limitation, but rather with the “loss of trust” that has resulted from the move. Others, however, have commented that the loss of value for what was an extremely exclusive collection “has no place in PFP collections that want to add real value to holders” (@TheOneNFT via Twitter).
Meanwhile, non-holders and fans of CC0 are understandably happy with this development as it allows them to create Moonbirds related art.
“ … embrace the CC0 movement that allows any and all modifications to what we’ve built.” (Kevin Rose, Proof Collective founder)
While Kevin Rose himself claims, “this move honors and respects the values of the internet and web3” it is highly unusual in the NFT space to not consult the community who invested in the project before such decisions are made.
“Not all projects were meant to be CC0 projects. It’s not a one size fits all thing.” (Noah Davis, CryptoPunks/Yuga Labs)
This development has put focus on the different terms of service that come with NFT ownership and raises questions about how the NFTs are viewed.
What is the difference between an NFT collectible and NFT art?
What are the pros and cons of different licensing models for NFT creators, holders and communities?
Are NFT creators taking back the value they promised to buyers to make themselves even more profit off a brand’s value? Or do holders benefit from the marketing and community building done by others on their behalf?
“When you think of Moonbirds, you don’t think about the artist’s name. You don’t think about the art itself. You think about Proof Collective.” (Hugh Heslep, COO of Art Blocks)
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U.S. Treasury sanctions Tornado Cash, a ‘notorious’ privacy-preserving Ethereum transaction anonymizer, and arrests a developer in Amsterdam.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Treasury officially announced that it would sanction Tornado Cash (TC), a smart contract service that anonymizes Ethereum transactions. Subsequently, a 29-year-old man was arrested by Dutch authorities in Amsterdam who is suspected of being a developer for TC. The project itself has stated that it will shut down operations to protect its community.
“Today, Treasury is sanctioning Tornado Cash, a virtual currency mixer that launders the proceeds of cybercrimes, including those committed against victims in the United States … Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks. Treasury will continue to aggressively pursue actions against mixers that launder virtual currency for criminals and those who assist them.” (Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence)
To date, TC is suspected of having assisted the laundering of $7 billion in cryptocurrency since the service began in 2019. Rumours of North Korea laundering millions of dollars worth of hacked, stolen or otherwise illegally obtained cryptocurrency had brought increased attention to the project anti-money laundering agencies.
“… in almost every hack we’ve observed this year, Tornado Cash has received at least some of the stolen funds.” (Chainanalysis)
The service works by allowing you to deposit into TC, and withdraw to a new address without any way for a 3rd party to link the deposit and withdrawal, thereby ensuring transaction privacy.
The technologies used to obfuscate the transaction details are known as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) which are techniques by which a transaction can be made between two parties without the identities of either party having to be revealed.
The service is considered a fully decentralized protocol, after having the ownership given to the community in 2020 and open-sourcing the code.
This is the first case of U.S. law enforcement sanctioning code and a decentralized protocol, which has caused quite a stir in the web3 community and raises questions about governmental powers to censor and erode privacy. It is how cryptocurrency connected to Torando Cash will be processed.
For example, if the assets have already been sold on from the original TC user. Some high-profile Ethereum accounts are also being sent ETH from TC by a troll.
There are also concerns about assets being frozen unilaterally and without due process, with crypto think tank and lobby group Coin Center considering a legal challenge to the sanctions.