The FWB Fest proved that blockchain doesn’t have to be…
A short walk from the main street was a secluded valley area called Envelop, where you could relax in an inflatable cushion while listening to an ambient set, meditating or sipping mushroom tea. But the real centerpiece of the campus was where the live performances were staged – a beautiful grassy amphitheater with huge floating canopies hanging overhead, which looked like pulsating jellyfish by day and below hats. of giant mushrooms at night.
Throughout the festival, there was an almost cult-like excitement about the talks. Participants all embraced the benefits that Web3 could bring to the creative industries. It sounded like an attractive premise. Who wouldn’t be seduced by an equitable, creator-centric utopia, where musicians have more than enough money to live off their art, and no longer need to pander to predatory record labels or streaming platforms? ?
“For better or for worse, I feel like our generation has the opportunity to build things within our cultural spaces that I think previously had to be built at scale,” said David Rudnick, graphic designer and Web3 optimist active in left-wing electronic music circles. . “Things like Spotify would come and shake [things] without our permission and without any desire on our part to see things shaken up. It would disrupt and change the model of releasing music and how an artist made money, when now you see people coming up with ideas of what the alternatives might be.
I thought about the potential downsides – the environmental impact of cryptocurrency, the financial inaccessibility of the industry as a whole, and the inherent exclusivity of any club with a price tag of several hundred dollars. However, following Saturday afternoon’s Dissent by Design keynote featuring Pussy Riot‘s Nadya Tolokonnikova and Hayden Adams, the founder of Uniswap (a decentralized marketplace for cryptocurrency trading on the Ethereum blockchain), I found myself a little less skeptical and a little more pissed off. If we lay down these valid concerns for a moment, is crypto’s reputation for miscommunication? Can collective and democratized ownership be achieved through cryptography in practice? Tolokonnikova’s take on the subject, from the perspective of a conceptual artist and activist, was particularly compelling.
“What’s exciting for a musician or any type of artist is how we come to own our artwork, and we don’t necessarily have to [go through] a record company or a gallery if we want to obtain financing”, she explained to me before her set. “[Also,] on traditional web 2.0 social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter, you can be kicked out at any time and their rules are not transparent… [because] it’s ad-driven and they don’t want anything nasty to appear. I’m excited about Web3 because I can own this piece of digital land, or this piece of social networking, and know that no one will ever take it from me.