Postcrypto

Note: the following is from "Blanc—Chain™: A Postcrypto Zine


[Here] I use "crypto" as a broad term for blockchain technology, including cryptocurrency and NFTs. For more specific definitions, I recommend starting with Wikipeda:


Crypto is Bad for the Environment

Crypto mining is an energy-hungry process, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin use as much energy as some countries. NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain aren't far behind, and even "green" energy dedicated to crypto mining is a colossal waste of resources in light of a looming energy crisis. Additionally, the rising demand for graphics cards from crypto miners has contributed to ongoing shortages of semiconductors. As the demand swells, the mining of rare-earth minerals increases. This mining both pollutes the environment and is rampant with human rights abuses, and increasing it is certain to exacerbate these issues.


Crypto is Bad for the Art World

Much like the upper echelons of the fine art world, crypto offers a haven for money laundering and tax evasion. The artists most likely to succeed in this environment are not making work for personal and cultural enrichment, but are instead making commodities intended for wealthy investors.


Crypto is Bad for Digital Art

Digital art's greatest strength is its lack of scarcity and infinite reproducibility. Unlike traditional mediums, two people on opposite sides of the planet can now have the exact same experience with a work of art at the same time. Furthermore, artists can copy and distribute art infinitely without worrying about stock or shortages. Crypto adds artificial scarcity to digital work in an attempt to give it the same prestige as traditional art, but ironically, doing so destroys what makes digital art valuable.


Crypto is Bad for Artists

Any artist choosing to sell crypto art must first invest their own money into a cryptocurrency ecosystem in the form of various fees charged by crypto platforms. Once they're invested in this volatile currency system, they are then incentivized to bring more people into the ecosystem to ensure that they don't lose money. The more people that purchase crypto, the more valuable it becomes, and the influx of new investors allows older investors to cash out. Essentially, it's a pyramid scheme to get artists invested in cryptocurrency.


What does "Postcrypto" Mean?

In late 2021, artist and educator Cat Graffam proposed a term for an art movement that acts as a response to crypto art: postcrypto art. If "postdigital art" is art made as a response to trends within digital art, then "postcrypto art" is art made as a response to the rise of crypto art.

While there is no formal postcrypto art movement, many artists have made incredible projects as a response to the rise of crypto art so far. I hope to add to that chorus.


Introducing Blanc—Chain™

Blanc—Chain™ is a free, ongoing digital zine, and new commissions will be added to it on a periodic basis. Commissioners provide a one-word prompt, and I'll add a small black-and-white composition based on that prompt to the zine! The zine can be downloaded by anyone for free, and is supported by commissioners and patrons.