[NetBehaviour] The Unreasonable Ecological Cost of #CryptoArt

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Sun Jan 24 15:47:36 CET 2021

Hi, I want to make it clear that I'm in no way criticizing Ruth or anyone
at all working with blockchain or any other area of cultural production and
dissemination. When I mentioned 'utopia' I was talking about my own
reaction to blockchain, and it's also my reaction to the physical gallery
system, which is why I brought up Guerilla Girls and other examples of work
that cost almost nothing and worked within communities. It's also why I
tend to give work away myself. I love what Ruth does and find it critically
important, please don't misunderstand.


On Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 9:41 AM Gretta Louw via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> Why stop at crypto art? I’ve never seen a tool that reliably calculated
> the ecological impact of creating physical artworks - not shipping them
> round at art fairs, nor most intl museum shows. No point holding newer tech
> to standards we don’t apply to existing systems. I for one am very glad
> there are ethical and conscientious thinkers like Ruth working to stake
> claim in the field of blockchain before it all slides completely into the
> sludgey territory of the tech and finance bros.
> I was listening to a talk on crypto art the other night and all these big
> shot makers and designers and collectors in the field had no idea of the
> basics of digital art conservation. That world is operating in a vacuum at
> present bc ppl from outside don’t want to engage with it - whether bc it
> seems too complex or techy or ethically fraught- but that unfortunately
> just gives free reign to those who have the worst intentions and the least
> grasp on context.
> Gretta
> Sent from my mobile bionic device
> On 24. Jan 2021, at 15:30, Graziano Milano via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
> Well if a better detailed research and tools can understand and then show
> the ecological impact of some or all online Crypto-Art platforms, then the
> 196 nations who signed the 2016 Paris Agreement within the United Nations
> Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) may be able to legally
> force Google, Apple and Amazon to block those online platforms and apps.
> On Sun, 24 Jan 2021 at 11:24, Ruth Catlow <ruthcatlow at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Graz,
>> Our emails crossed in the ether..
>> The question is what kind of ecological impact each digital artwork
>>> uploaded and sold at Async Art and/or at any other similar online platforms
>>> as CryptoArt will have in the short and long term as a result of
>>> blockchain-based transactions. Probably the vast majority of artists
>>> selling their digital artwork on those online platforms are not aware of
>>> that. A detailed scientific study of the ecological impact of selling
>>> their digital artwork on any of those platforms as CryptoArt must be
>>> provided to all digital artists so they can make an informed decision if
>>> they wish to use any of those platforms or not.
>>> If a detailed scientific study can prove and highlight the ecological
>>> impact of those online Crypto-Art platforms, then Google, Apple and Amazon
>>> must block those apps as they recently have blocked the far-right "free
>>> speech" app Parler.
>> And yes we agree - we need better research and tools to understand the
>> ecological impact of technologies and better ways to hold companies to
>> account. Though how this is achieved is up for discussion - are we now
>> saying that Google, Apple and Amazon become de-facto global law makers?
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