Feb 13, 2024

Madeleine Pierpont from MoMA discusses the museum's initiatives around digital art, exhibiting Refik Anadol’s NFT art physically, launching the Postcard project for collaborative blockchain art creation and their goal of bridging the gap between the traditional art world and Web3.

Video transcript

Our mission saving is to connect people around the world to the art of our time. What is more the art of our time than Blockchain and A I art Mic drop Avery episode 65. We got a hot one coming in. It looks like you are not in your usual location. Where in the world are you? Hi, Sam. Lucky number 65. Hi JC. We're so excited to be back here with y'all today. I am calling in from Vor Mexico. We just moved into a beautiful new office in Mexico City. So that is where I am. And actually, fortunately I'm here during Zona Mao, which is a huge art week in Mexico that I'm sure you are well acquainted with Sam. Have you ever been? I was at Zacco last year which I love. So if anyone is into the art scene, February is in Mexico City is a banger. So definitely check it out. I'm hoping you get all the tacos and all the visual treats that you can find there. But let's get into it. Avery. This was a giant week because I saw that you had your first Apple Vision Pro demo. Tell us all about it. Yes. So, Apple Vision Pro is obviously something we've been talking about on this show for many, many months. And I know Apple has been working on for many, many years and this was my first time experiencing the total completed product and I was really impressed, went into the Apple Store to collect it. We, you know, got some for the baner folks to try out and demo and experience. And of course, I had to bring my husband, he's a big tech geek and it's all this kind of thing. And I actually really liked the guided tour, like sort of experience of it. I thought Apple did a really nice job of showing you how to use all these different features which you might not intuitively figure out yourself um upon your first use. So I thought that was awesome. Sam, have you tried it out? If so, what are your thoughts? Um I have not tried it out. I was planning to go and then our friend Bobby Hundreds texted uh a bunch of us to say, hey, make sure you reserve a demo slot because he said I just went in twice with his kids and they were all full up. So he didn't get to use it, which then meant I could not do a walk in, in New York. So I am gonna try to reserve a spot probably for next week because I really want to try to avoid seeing that much more of the media about it until I try it myself. But I will say we're already seeing that sort of common tech meme experience of like someone using a new tech in the streets and being ridiculed for it. So, have you seen like, I mean, there's the Casey Nice dad, of course. But then there's all these like people on planes and people walking their dogs or the robotic dogs and playing with the Vision Pro, which to me just feels like a lot of engagement farming. But I also wonder like, I don't want to be that guy who's walking around the streets with an A VP on my face. I'm not sure if you feel differently, I feel the exact same. So while I'll say that I was really impressed with the visuals, like just the display has like stunning visual quality, which is really, really impressive. Like there's no way you would look at that and be like, that sucks. Like it doesn't, it's amazing. Um And it's really beautiful but it's not something I would see myself walking down the street wearing. Um And you've probably heard a lot of people saying this but the like one of the common things that people are like use cases is using it to watch movies and on planes, as you just mentioned, it is $3500 which is a lot of money to watch movies on planes. So I think that while there and it was really cool to see like the facial photos and the immersive videos and like during the demo, they show you a bunch of like different examples of how this might come to life. To me, it felt more like a developer release than something that normal consumers are going to be wearing on a regular basis outside of like, you know, the ostentatious rich people and the tech pro culture, the people who can spend almost $4000 on, you know, this aversive video experience. So I guess that's a little bit of, of how I think about it. I don't see this as something that I would personally use in my day to day. But because of my job and because, you know, we're working with brands to design immersive experiences all the time. It's something I think about in that context, but like I would not wear this while walking down the street, the video that actually was the most enlightening to me. And I don't remember which creator made it, but it was a guy who walked around his house and what he had done, which I thought this, oh this click for me, which was he started to to pin screens to different areas of his house. So for example, above his stove, he had pinned a recipe video and then as he walked into his kids room, he had pinned, you know, whatever a height chart and then somewhere else he had pinned his workspace and, and his desk and then somewhere else on the fridge, he had pinned like a to buy list, you know. And then so once he, he sort of set up the structure, then he would, he walks around his house and you see all of this stuff, that kind of adds utility that you could see this being an ad. The moment again, I don't know if you want to cook with the Apple Vision Pro on your face. But I started to say, oh, like because it can map the entirety of like your your spatial location, those scene specific moments. It was like, oh there's something really fun here. Again, I wanted to be in these glasses. Not not that but it did unlock something that felt kind of special to me. I also wonder because you've tried the A VP but you've also tried the new meta headset that also has pass pass through video. Is this 1 $3000 more than that one? In your opinion, it's a lot better. Yeah. It it was materially an improved experience. Everything from I know this is a really small detail but Apple like the devil is in the details with these types of things and even like there's a little dial that you can adjust so it's more comfortable for your head, which was like just felt like more premium. There's they call it crown this little dial that you sort of turn to flip through different screens and experiences. It just felt also a lot more intuitive. I wouldn't consider it a power user, but I've used the meta quest a lot over the years. Um, and I still kind of, it can be clunky at times. It's still sort of getting there. The Apple Vision Pro while there are still clunky elements, like, felt a lot more intuitive, like I could give it to my parents and they would understand how to use it. I I also think it's a great sort of North Star now that meta has something to say, OK, this is, this is the delta. And so now we have a little bit of something to shoot for. Yeah. And I think that actually me, I did a lot of the leg work of normalizing this like Oculus has been around for a long time and that's the same form form factor. Um So people have seen these devices looking like this for almost a decade now and a lot of that is due to and of course, they, they're, they could make something the same sort of visual quality as well. They're balancing, making it accessible to people. So I think that's the sort of thin line, one of our, you know, mutual friends and a thought leader in the industry, Ian Rogers actually compared the Meta the Rayan Meta Glasses um to this. And he, you know, wrote something um eloquently as Ian always does about how the Rayan Meta Glasses are simple, but they do what they're supposed to do really well. Like you can listen to music hands free, you can make calls, you can take pictures and videos. You know, I am a power user of my Raven about us. And I think that's a good example of like, yeah, it's not the most technically complex thing in the world, but it's really easy to use and you see the immediate benefit and I think some people are grappling with like what is the immediate benefit of, you know, this expensive headset unless there's someone like us who loves the stuff also. True. Well, I am and I've been tracking ebay pages just to see like I when that moment is when people sort of stop using them. So it's still we're still at the height right now, which is great. But uh I want to dial back in, in two months and see if we're starting to see them at discount. I actually feel like the hype cycle kind of already ended. And that's crazy. I mean, if that's, if that's true, there are bigger issues that we need to think about. I I do agree with you though. The Rayban Meta Wayfarers to me were a very special experience for where technology can go. And so that actually was, was something that I thought meta did a fantastic job on. So, I mean, they they are, they are part of the evolution. They are, they are a huge part of the evolution. And I know we have um a leader from the sort of meta reality leader labs team joining us soon. So preview for that, you can speak to like their work across plus the work across me and how these things work in concerts. I actually think that has done a lot of the leg work that actually Apple Vision Pro is gonna benefit from David. The second thing I wanted to talk to you about before we get to our guest is something that's been worrying me a lot in the A I space and I haven't thought about this, right? But I was talking to a group of people probably two weeks ago and one of them said their biggest fear is that they're gonna get a call from their father or mother that says there's a big problem, someone's sick, someone's not doing well. And then they go to the hospital and find out it's all a deep fake. And I think it's just the idea of how you can mess with people, emotional behaviors in utilizing defects to create models that are both voice models and video models worried me. And then this past week, I read a story about there was a company like a mid-level finance employee was duped out of sending $25 million over a series of time because he was getting literally Zoom calls and phone calls from what he thought was like the CFO but you know, he saw videos of this person saying, hey, we need you to do this, this and this. He got phone calls, we need you to do this and this and it was only after $25 million had been sent out that when he went to and I guess ran into somebody, they were like, no, that we didn't do that. And it was all a very elaborate, deep faking of personas and anyone who's public like you are like, I am like, Gary is like any of these people now has to worry that someone can create a pretty realistic, deep fake that could cause a lot of trouble. And, and so I just wonder if we're also like the scam level is now times 10 that we all have to be worried about because now do we have to doubt every single interaction we get or what are your thoughts on the idea that at some point we can't even trust what our eyes and our ears have when it comes to what A I is empowering the bad actors to do? Yeah, I mean, I think that this first sort of really clicked for me when the Pope and the puffer jacket thing happened last year, um which is silly, but like most people thought that was real. Um And they didn't realize it was a I that was a funny example. But I was like, oh yeah, people are gonna think that about pictures and videos all the time that aren't gonna necessarily be funny examples. So this has been on my mind a lot when it comes to deep fakes because it's very possible make one that sounds like really, really good. It looks really good. It is a rare week but I don't get a text from Gary Vader. Chuck asking me to wire him money or send him Bitcoin or something. And we have a whole like protocol and system in place. And you know that example of the $25 million that's also been happening for years too. And it's, you know, banks and financial institutions have various like safeguards in place against these types of things, but it will continue for sure. I actually think that the verification of information will increasingly need to be codified. Obviously, we all are big believers in Blockchain. We just talked to me about this. So I think that's a real problem that we need to get solved by technology. So I'm optimistic about it and on this sort of like faking a a family emergency while that might happen, I'm just like, what would be their motivation to do that? I just think about troll culture. I mean, even think of all the people who were like were like swatting people back in the day just to like punk people. There's also there is a lot of, I think ways that this can go really, really wrong and, and it's, you know, some of it does on the business layer, but some of it is just the fact that the like, punked era coming to A I coming to youtube creators and the like, Logan Pauls of the world, you know, who used to do things that were really questionable, I would say in terms of to gain followers and get attention that there was another site that I was looking at, which I, which I believe is called only fakes. And what it's doing is letting people, they're utilizing deep neural net learning and machine learning to create fake identities right now of like a California driver's license or whatever that are good enough generally to fool um either someone at a bar, but also someone on online verification systems. So there is this sort of like dark web popping up right now of things where identity people, where the people in our lives, we have to think through differently because, and I think to your point, something that seems out of behavior is one thing. But what happens hypothetically if someone knows the behavior that you are expecting to get? Um And that, and that's, I guess where I worry about it. And then secondly, I think that there is just a like back in the old days of email and I'm talking mid nineties, we used to use P GP keys, which in essence, the sender and the receiver had to both sign a key and they, it was almost, you know, kind of early Blockchain. And that way, at least you verified that like Avery did send this and I did receive this and you both got a notification of it. And I think maybe it really needs to be built into the back end, but the our systems are gonna have to sort of get smarter much quicker to deal with this because it can't just be humans who are making decisions of this. Does this feel right or not? It also has to be our technology. I agree, but I'm optimistic, I feel that we will be able to solve this. Um And while there is a negative side for to a lot of this stuff, there's also a positive side as well. But I I think the need for verification has never been more significant and somebody's going to solve this and then we're going to have to watch and see. Yes. Final question for our guest. Avery is, are you on forecaster? Have you been playing with this sort of decentralized social ecosystem that seems to like be dead and then come back and then be dead and then come back and you know, maybe his friend tech a little while ago and now it's everyone's talking forecaster again. Where are you on decentralized, social and socially? Yeah, I do have a forecaster. I'm not very up on it uh to be honest. So I probably can't comment too intelligently on forecaster, but I am interested in it and I kind of like stay in the mix. I think for me, this scale problem continues to like be a big one or a decentralized social because like I can do a linkedin post that 30,000 people see and I can do a forecaster post that 31 people see, maybe they're the 31 rate people. And I agree with that. And I am, I'm more interested in the behavior that is triggering people to want to build these decentralized social networks than the actual products themselves because I find them very immature. That's why, you know, one woman's two cents. I think there's two things which are interesting. One, I think, yes, there's only about 100 and 65,000 people on BARCA or at the time of our recording, which is, you know, we have 20 times that just to follow us on Twitter. So, you know, that that's not comparable. Um But, well, it'll be interesting to see when, when we get there too. I think there is a composable opportunity. Forecaster has been really pushing how people can do in app commerce and in app events and in app media insertion and ways that, you know, because it is composable, you know, anyone can kind of build on top of it. So there's an open source piece of it that I really like, and then the final thing, which I thought was interesting is because they've been flooded with traffic because they have been growing and they were, you know, in the top 40 in the app store for a while. So when their app was down, because they were overloaded, there were still five other apps that you could just log in and, and get in. So the decentralized nature of it does allow for some interesting redundancy, which I kind of was digging and that's that everybody's just complaining on Twitter threads about Far Hester. That's basically what's happening. So we'll keep our eye on it. But to me, nothing that I would commit my entire social persona to at this moment. All right, Avery, a few days ago, we recorded an amazing interview with Madeleine Pierpont Madeleine is one of the web, three people over at the Moma Museum of Modern Art. So we had a great conversation with her that's coming up after the break. And Jensen, thanks as always, we'll see you soon. Consensus 2024 global crypto regulation, the disruptive power of A I. The rise of tokenization consensus is the one event where experts convene to talk about the ideas shaping our digital future, join developers, investors, founders, brands, policymakers and plenty more in Austin, Texas. From May 29th through the 31st, the 10th annual consensus is curated by coin desk to feature the industry's most sought after speakers and provide unparalleled networking opportunities and unforgettable experiences take 15% off registration with the code GEN C 15 register now at Consensus dot Coin desk.com and I'll see you there. All right, welcome back. We are here with Madeleine Pierpont. Madeleine oversees Web three at Moma Museum of Modern Art, uh which has been frankly one of the institutions that's gone pretty deep into the digital art space. So really excited to talk with her about that. I know you speak on this topic a lot. Madeleine. Lovely to have you. Welcome to Gen C. Thank you for having me Madeleine just to jump in. What do you believe the role of museums in the modern ages? And I say that because with the rise of social media, like museums have become amazing content engines for people themselves. And I wonder one, is it like it, is it a cultural thing at this point? Is it content? Is it just like a great date spot? What is the reason that museums exist in the modern age? I think that's an amazing question. A great, a great place to start. I think art is ultimately about connection and human beings all have an interest in the aesthetic experience, whether it's stepping outside after a long day of work and looking at the sunset or the smell of your first cup of coffee in the morning, everyone wants to experience beauty and I think they want to experience it together. People want to share experience together, artists with their art are really just reflecting in the end on the human condition. And so I think it's really the role of the museum to try and facilitate a space where people can really connect to those ideas and share that connection and that reflection with others. So I think as museums, we do the best we can to try and create that space for, for dialogue, for conversation and for really sharing experience together. I think that's really interesting when you think about the digital world, uh digital is becoming increasingly important both from an operation standpoint and also in engaging our visitor base. Because so much of our experience now is in the cybers sphere. If you will absolutely beautifully put, you must work at a renowned museum. I would love to hear Madeleine a little bit about your journey in the art world, sort of how you got here today and what sort of is captivating your interest in digital art? Yeah. So my background is a bit of a mix between, I hate to use this term, but the traditionally defined areas of the art ecosystem and the Blockchain digital art realm. So I've had experience across museums, auction houses and then nonprofits who are really centered in the in the traditional art space. And really what excited me first about digital art was how innovative the concept were I I really think that personally speaking, artists working at the intersection of art technology, not necessarily Blockchain or NFTS, but just artists who are working with technology as a medium are some of the brightest minds uh in in the field. So that's what really got me excited was what's being created, whether on chain or off chain. And then it was really in 2020 that I was led by artists I was working with, who started to engage with Blockchain as a part of their medium, as a part of their practice. And I was really excited about how Blockchain could be used in a way to kind of democratize the way the art market currently functions, but also how it is being used or was being used as an actual medium as a new way of, of art making. So I think that's kind of where I started in my journey. And once I discovered Blockchain and the art that was being created on Blockchain, I kind of fell down the rabbit hole. I've been at that intersection ever since. So I know you've been at the intersection for a while. What about the Moma's take on digital art and also specifically around NFTS? Because I know you have started to integrate those as part of your sort of practice of how you're sharing art with the world. So Moma's first engagement with Blockchain and NFTS was in 2021 with the sale exhibition and sale of Rafique on a dolls unsupervised on the Feral File platform that was really successful from the museum's perspective, kind of for two main reasons, one, we were engaging with a totally new audience segment and that was really exciting. And then it was also just really fascinating for the museum to be engaging with a totally new kind of art. The art that is minted on chain that evolved into Rafiq, actually having a physical installation on site which as you know, critics had their opinions, but the general public absolutely loved the exhibition and it was a huge success. So it was really after that, the initial engagement with this space that the museum decided that they really wanted to start experimenting and exploring Blockchain across the museum verticals. So whether that's kind of thinking of it in two camps on an infrastructural level, how can it be used to help improve our day to day operations? And then also on the totally other side of the coin engaging with the artists who are minting and creating works um via NFTS. I love that you sort of broke those into two different categories because I think both of those two things can be really interesting for museums, you know, in your role at the museum, how are you sort of thinking about, you said engaging with artists who are, are minting and who are building on chain? Are you all sort of like constantly keeping an eye for the artists who are doing really interesting things? Um Are you looking to sort of build the museum's collection further or you sort of in the exploratory phase of, you know, keeping a pulse on which artists are really doing breakthrough things. And as you said, the realm of digital art, I guess I'll start with kind of what we have done over the course of the last year and a half. Our first experiment on site with NFTS was to offer free Mementos to museum visitors that were digital keepsakes of you got dolls unsupervised on site. And the goal there was really to understand we know how the Web Three Space is engaging with NFTS. We had had a little bit of interaction in arena and we wanted to understand how are our general public, our visitors engaging with NFTS. And we tried to have a really, really simple onboarding experience where it would be super, super easy to get an NFT. And even then we saw a lot of friction, but without any marketing, we had over 20,000 people claim Mementos, which we felt was a really successful number given what the appetite can sometimes be for for NFTS. So that's kind of where we started wanting to understand how best to engage. And I think from there, what we really discovered was there's a massive resource gap and there's a massive gap in knowledge and dialogue between Web Three Space and the general public. So we thought that we really were, had a position where we could try and help bridge that gap to really start to facilitate more dialogue between these various ecosystems that led us to creating the mom a postcard project um which is still ongoing. And we also have a sound art exhibition coming up. So those are kind of what we're currently focused on right now. I would say the overarching goal in the next few years is to continue experimenting and to continue understanding how we can engage across in the curatorial realm, across membership and across operations. All that is to say, we're still exploring the space and trying to understand how best to engage and Madeleine. So you mentioned the Postcard initiative, I know you involved a lot of the sort of well known artists in the digital space. Can you talk a little bit more about what the Postcard initiative is, how it works, how people can engage with it, but also what the reception was for these digital artists to be seen by an institution such as Moma Mo A Postcard is an experiment in collaborative creativity on Blockchain. One of the core goals with the project was to really try and create a space that was accessible and friendly that enabled people to actually learn by doing so to explore Blockchain by actually going through the motions in a in a way that was totally easy and without having to need to have a super technical background, the way that it actually functions, it's like a digital chain letter. So if I meant a postcard and then I designed my own stamp, I can then send, send the postcard to you Sam, you can add a stamp to it. You can then send it to Avery. She can add a stamp to it. And what's really neat about it is every time someone adds a stamp, they become both a co-creator and a co-owner. So it's really beautiful because it's this shared piece of work by 15 people. We really wanted to emphasize how Blockchain can be used to build community in kind of a radically powerful way and also to collaborate with one another in a way that is um very clear who is doing what and what the ownership capacity capabilities are with Blockchain. And then of course, the overarching goal with that is if we're able to get people engaging, if we're able to get people playing with it, who have never experienced Blockchain before, then hopefully, that's an entry point for them into the digital art space. Hopefully they can start exploring with a little bit more of a tool kit and discover these amazing artists who are creating such incredible work. That's really why we started with the 1st 15 because we wanted to provide that entry point for people, for people to see those names and to start exploring who those artists are because we really think some of those artists are um some of the most incredible artists in the space. Of course, there are so many more, but we had to choose 15 to speak to your second question. The museum reception, the internal museum reception has been really positive. Some people are very skeptical internally and of course, externally, and it's been great to kind of bring people along on the journey. And it's been really wonderful to see how people have kind of changed and evolved in their perspectives on what blocking can do. And the artists who are working at this intersection beautifully said, and you know, it's amazing to see the a museum like Moma helping to foster those connections, helping to support these sort of new mediums and new artists and both engaging more deeply with the existing sort of web three native and Blockchain native community and making that accessible to other sort of art collectors and, and museum goers and, you know, admirers. I'm curious, you know, how you'd sort of sum up the, you know, museum's perspective on things like NFTS and digital art. Do you all have a specific like vocabulary you use around this? Do you call it crypto art? Do you call it digital art? Do you call it NFTS? Is it a little bit of uh you know, you're still deciding exactly that term because I feel like words are really matter in some of these contexts. I would make maybe a little bit of a distinction first, I think sometimes, especially because the ecosystem has evolved so quickly in the last few years, people see digital art and NFT art as synonymous. Digital art has been around since the 19 fifties, people have been making with technology since that time. So NFTS can be digital art, but digital art doesn't necessarily mean that it's on chain. So I think that's one kind of great, that's one distinction that I would make that I think is I say that quite a bit, but I think that's an important distinction to make and both are really interesting and there's fascinating ways to use Blockchain that truly adds a new medium. So we do think of um digital art as in a slightly, of course, they're in conversation but in a slightly different camp than NFT art or Blockchain based art, I say Blockchain based art. But I think we're all individuals at the museum, of course. So we have our, our different terminology. I will say, I think what's kind of funny when Postcard first launched, there was a discussion on Twitter about the use of the term NFT and some people were really excited that the museum had the definition for NFT up on our website and really used the term NFT. Others thought that the term was dead. I think it's important that we stick to, at least for a while, stick to the terminology that has been established. Because I think being in this ecosystem, it's really easy to forget. I feel as though we're almost a decade ahead of, of the general public in terms of understanding and engagement. And if we constantly change the language and the terminology around, it's going to become even more confusing for people to try and decode what's going on and really learn the fundamentals. So I am very pro use of the term NFT from the museum's perspective. Again, we're all, we're all people and we, I think one thing that's really exciting is our working web three group is people from all of the museum. So the CFO the CTO curators, these are just people who are interested in this new technology. So we all bring different perspectives to the table. I think what's interesting about that though is to some degree saying NFT is the same thing as saying art as a whole, right? Because an NFT can be so many different things. It could be a book, it could be a movie, it could be digital land, you know, it could be any almost anything. But I do think about when you go to Moma, you're seeing a work of art, you're seeing the, the placard next to it and it's, this is oil on wood with additional collage and resin or whatever, you know, whatever the description is. This same way that you might say in the future, this digital work was done in javascript or in Python or in C++ it was minted on the Teso Chain. I almost look like is NFT actually almost too broad a term to some degree when you, when you're talking about the art specifically, whereas the category it's almost the equivalent of comparing a fine artwork to an advertisement. Like they're both visual. I think that's a really good point. And I there's definitely a challenge there because people within the web three who engage with the web through ecosystem and people outside of it can really see NFT as kind of a pejorative term. The same thing with I've chatted with digital artists about this for a long time where they just want their art to be considered art. They don't want it always to have to be defined as art created with technology or digital art. The trouble is that we always, it's human nature to try and want to make distinctions. And you know, we have different curatorial departments in the museum. And so it is important to provide context for visitors as to what, what they're looking at and what the medium is. But I agree with you that NFT is a very general term. I think Blockchain based art is a little bit more specific because you're referring to the term art. And when you say art, people associate that with a very specific image in their head, all of that said, I, I actually personally believe that we define art too narrowly and that there's so much we can define art much more broadly because like I said at the top, aesthetics are all around us. So to me de design, interior design is art. You know, the way that the way that a restaurant is designed, that's art as well, it's really just interest in the aesthetic experience. So I I think that it would be useful to take a look at um how narrowly we consider what is fine art and what's not. Yeah. And you just said visually, it could be visual, it could be auditory like at any type of sort sort of sensory experience. Like where does art begin and end is, is, you know, very ambiguous. Um and very subjective. Uh So I think that that's a good point that narrowly defining these terms um is always challenge. So moving to a slightly different sort of direction with Lacma's a sort of recent generative art purchase the Toledo Museum, you and what you all did was sort of Rafi's piece. Do you think we're going to see more sort of traditional leading museums acquiring crypto art pieces? I think Loma and Moma have really been at the forefront of engaging with NFTS and Blockchain. We're really excited, but I know that other, other institutions are really interested in it and have been, have definitely kept a really strong pulse on what's happening in the ecosystem. So Blockchain is here to stay and the artists working with Blockchain are here to stay. So I can't imagine that it does not continue to grow across institutions around the globe. I don't know when what the timeline is on that. What I can say is, I mean, we worked really diligently to have a super robust wallet infrastructure and took a long time trying to understand exactly what we wanted out of that, exactly how to implement it. And so now that we have that, I'm really excited about what we might be able to continue to do whether it's launching projects, ourselves, leveraging our wallet, infrastructure, or acquiring new works. And I think Madeleine, when you and I first spoke, I think it was months ago, we had a long discussion about the realities of how much of this art today is winding up in fine art collector collections. I had been to a couple of Sotheby's auctions and the room is still relatively filled with the crypto art crowd, not traditional collector crowds. And I keep thinking through the lens of two things. One is, is not that art hasn't always been financialized, it has been, but the patron model was not necessarily around. Let me make sure that this thing will go up 10 times, 20 times 100 times and therefore pay for X. It's really more about I want to support a creative person in doing their creative endeavor and if it happens to appreciate great, a lot of it doesn't. And that's how we got a lot of the great art in the world today. There is so much finance socialization right now in the Blockchain space, in the crypto space and frankly, in the crypto art space that you see people bidding up projects that most people may not consider traditional art in ways that I think are actually gamifying and creating financial incentives. That may be in my opinion, not good either for the artist or for the collector when it really comes down to it. Now, we're a couple of years into this experiment. Do you believe that we need traditional art collectors to start to collect, you know, the Tyler Hobbs or the snow fros of the world in order to also establish them as being seen as part of a movement that may be new and unique and might be a future defining one or is it just, it's a different collector base in the same way that maybe folks who collect sneakers are collectors but not in the same way that someone who collects uh Keith Herring or a Basquiat would be. What's your thoughts on that? I think that's a really interesting and also tough question. There's so much friction in the experience of just trying to get a wallet, let alone buying a piece of artwork, try trying to understand how the Twitter sphere works with Web Three, doing your research, it takes a lot of time and energy right now to even get engaged. So I think we need to do more and as an institution, I think we can we are in a position where we can try and do more to get more people involved that doesn't necessarily need to be traditional collectors. It can just be people who are interested and excited in this new mode of art creation, new mode of community engagement. Although I think it would be great to have more traditional art collectors have a better understanding of the space. I think there's a very one sided perception of what's going on, given what the headlines are around, you know, board apes and crypto punks and that leaves a bad taste in some people's mouths. And so they don't take the time to really try and explore and learn more. So I think it's important to really try and facilitate those conversations and get more information out. I think that's one piece of it, but I think the auction houses haven't necessarily done. I think their role in the space is a little bit tricky for me because one thing that's so exciting about Blockchain is to a certain degree, it's a new model of collecting. It's a new model of experiencing art. So the way that artists engage with institutions and with for profit areas of the art market is different. It's a way for artists to actually sell their art and not have to go through a middleman. I think the auction houses have done maybe a little bit of a disservice to the space in just picking some of the top grossing artists at the time. And it's a constant pump of these sales that actually doesn't allow time for people to really sit with the art. It doesn't allow time for, for the artists to really sit with their practice. And I think artists feel pressure to constantly be pumping out new things traditionally and maybe I'm wrong. But traditionally, it takes years, decades for artists to really build up their career, to be in shows and then to finally start talking to institutions. And I think there's definitely a downside to that. But the upside to that is they have time to really grow and evolve their name naturally and organically. And there's a part of the space that I think is a little bit forced and that's really just tied to the hyper financialization. I'm not sure exactly how to solve that because the same forces that are driving this hyper financialization, this really rapid turnaround are also positive in, in some ways. And I think really allow artists to make a living who never would have, have been able to do so just purely based on their art before I'm just going to pick on something because maybe you can't say it. But I will, we were sold this promise in the digital art space, which was we're removing these middlemen and we are letting artists, musicians, builders have direct relationship with their fans, right? And at the time, there was a lovely kind of ethos around, oh, instead of having a gallery take 50% of a sale, you can go to open sea and they take 2% of a sale. And it, and dynamically changes the relationship, the amount of artists in the crypto space that I see who are like so happy to be in a Christie's or Sotheby's sale. But like, don't understand even what a hammer fee is and that the auction house is taking a 25% cut, let's say on top of the price. So how is that really being, uh a good sort of art patron relationship? If in fact, you're sort of encouraging the middleman schema to happen again. I worry about it in, in exactly the way you talked about it, which is the auction houses put a rubber stamp that says you're worthy of being here, which is what the old, like A and R in the, in the music business used to do, despite what soundcloud was doing or youtube was doing, right? So they kind of put that stamp, you're worth it. People get excited about that. They are furthering an opportunity to financial artists who to your point also, they choose who, who are selling hot right now. So we can sell more work. Instead of saying we're going to discover interesting work that's going to appreciate and value it in the future. There's something that feels a little disingenuous and we've had Michael Bohanna on our show. He was he and I think is very thoughtful in the work that he does. And frankly, he's, you know, curatorial. He's, he's got his eye on some of the really good people out here. But there's something that just feels off to me. And I also think, I know I'm just going on a, on a rant and at this point, but I will RTO and Sam, I remember this experiment I did in 2021 or I've been collecting art for 20 years. So some of my early purchases were like signed Warhol screen prints and things like that and things that sort of at the time, I was like, maybe this is gonna look great on a wall and maybe it'll pay for my kids' education. We'll find out. And I remember at one point making an offer and I did it on Twitter where I said, all right, here's a unique Warhol trial print that sign I will trade this for, with anyone who wants to trade a crypto for it. No one took the offer at the time, which was, was really interesting and I was like, ready to go through with it. And at the time, I think crypto punks were like $45,000. So, you know, now we're probably, you know, just because punks have had a little bit of a pump. We're, we're probably closer to the right value. The Warhol still would have been the better deal. But it is just interesting that like, and part of it for me was a test of even whether anyone will know that they're getting value versus giving up that thing that they find precious. So, so I do wonder about people who talk about the art in the crypto ecosystem and then they're showing like a lizard with a mustache that's like riding a wave of Bitcoin. Not sure that that is art. We want to be in the canon of, of the moma. And so I just, I don't know, I, I keep going down to the fact of out of any great movement, you're gonna have some essential transformative artists. And I think on chain Blockchain art has some of those people now and more will come in. But like any movement you're also gonna have the 90 95% of the folks who now want to jump in on the, on the train of. Can I make money on this? And those are the ones that aren't gonna have anything to stand on. So I don't know, it's just something that I think we don't talk about enough in the crypto art space and no one likes to talk about anything that will potentially create negative value for their collection, which you don't see or maybe I don't see that happening in the traditional world as much. I think so much of what you said is, is fascinating. I mean, too early that the ecosystem needs more time to evolve. Like you said, there's gonna be lots of art and leaders and um creations that don't make it into the traditional art canon. And that's OK. I mean, that's kind of the way life works. Some people make it, some people don't. Um But I also think one thing that's really rat about Blockchain. Well, it's totally an up versus top down approach. So it really is, was the community that gets to say this is what we like and this is what we don't like versus going to a gallery. I already tell you this is what's art and this is what's not. So I think there's something really powerful in that and people being able to very naturally just over time connect over things that bring them together. So like I was just at a crypto punks event a few weeks ago and it was really, I'm not, I'm not a crypt punk. So I was very honored to be invited, but it was really amazing to see how connected people felt to one another because they had this shared experience of having a punk and being involved in the community. And it goes so much more, so much further beyond all, just owning this thing and being excited about the allure that comes with having a crypto punk. It really is a community where people have come together and have dialogue about Blockchain about art, about things that excite them and interest them. So the community building aspect totally comes from the ground up. That is really important. I think that's something that should not be lost. And I think there's a threat of that being lost if institutions try to kind of mess with what's going on. So at the museum, we've been, we've been really careful about being intentional with what we do and not trying to be extractive but to be addictive to the ecosystem. That's why with mobile postcard, we first released it with these 15 artists and then the postcard was free to mint for anyone and everyone, we were really careful about how we staged it because we wanted to make it clear that as an institution, we were here to engage with the community in a way where we wanted to learn about the space. We wanted to engage with the artists and not just pop in, make a bunch of money and pop out. I think that's, that's really important the conversation between the institutions, the traditional art market and what's going on in the web three space. We need so much more of that than we have right now. I love that Madeline and you know, we of course, agree with you, Sam and I are huge proponents of all things Web three and Blockchain. And it's really amazing to see, you know, institutions like moma taking strides in, in this world. Of course, you all have been supporting digital art for a long time. But also sort of elevating this um to all of your museum goers and it wouldn't be 2024 if we didn't end this show by asking you, what is your take on A I Art? Um A I art is obviously something that you all have been early, sort of proponents and adopters of very iconic. Uh But I'm curious what you think this year will bring um for the A I art scene. Yeah, I mean, a IR is definitely of huge interest to the museum. So I think we're, we're looking to engage with it um in a number of different ways we actually have. I think one of the pieces that we have in our upcoming sound art exhibition which will be online is a generative piece. A I art is really fascinating. I know there are definitely moral ethical implications with engaging my two cents is if we don't engage with it, if artists don't engage with it, artists are always the ones that come to the new technologies first. And I think they're the ones that really promote and start to tease out some of the core ideas that we need to be considering. I think we would be doing a disservice to ourselves and to our visitors if we did not engage with it, to just ignore it and it away and say this is scary. We're not going to touch it is definitely not within the museum brief, our mission statement. Is to connect people around the world to the art of our time. What is more the art of our time than Blockchain and a Ir mic drop, Aly? Thank you for spending the time with us. We are very excited to have had this conversation to see what the MO is going to do to come visit and see the work when it's on display. And we hope everyone visits both MO online to play in the postcard experiment as well as when you're in New York. Make sure you stop by. Thanks for having me avery. Another amazing episode, Madeleine was so well spoken, really thoughtful in her responses. And I'm like excited for how the moma is trying to explore just these different mediums uh and art on chain is one of them. What are your thoughts? Her ending was a perfect mic drop. So I love that I think Madeline has a really great perspective of sort of the traditional art world, the emerging art world and, you know, continuing to sort of stay the course. Obviously, there were few pieces so iconic and you know, has continued to bring so many eyeballs and so much attention to what they're doing at Moba. So it was really nice to have her on the show. Good Get Sam. Yes, I'm excited to have her on the few piece I think also the reality with that one specifically is probably 98% of the people who went and saw it at the moment, didn't know it was an NFT and that, to me it's like exactly what it should have been. It's like they just loved this big visual, very, like insta worthy like experience and they sat there and they went multiple times and they shared it on their, on their ground and like that was, that was perfect. So which is all like what we keep talking about, stop talking about the technology and just like make pretty things and people will come beauty theme of the episode, theme of the episode. Well, Avery, you look beautiful in your skyline office. I'm feeling very inadequate right now with my background. So I really need to, to step this up. Have a lovely week and we'll see you next time. Thanks Gents. Thanks gz see you guys next week.

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