Music incessantly captures and encodes every inch of our lives.
Thanks to musical notation, recordings, and the most current understanding of our history and the human brain, we can examine the underlying nature of our past, present, and future through the messages encoded in each musical composition to reveal our collective subconscious throughout the decades.
In the era of using physical mediums to capture music like sheets, phonograms, K7, CDs, vinyl, etc., these material pieces could deteriorate over time if not preserved carefully. Not valid in the digital era.
The internet offers music preservation a whole new life.
Peer-2-Peer software like Napster, eMule, Kazaa, and Limewire once delivered unlimited copies of music files worldwide for free, threatening an industry that had always based its revenues on limited physical copies.
Since then, the solutions to counter this massive leak of music online went from trying to sell downloadable files (iTunes) to, years later, the more widely adopted model of selling monthly access to read-only files (Spotify) - all combined with more or less effective policies to track and take down pirating. But none of these attempts solved the leak.
What is missing?
Physical mediums for music are scarce and serialized by nature which has always been one of the factors in driving more value. On the other hand, all files are identical and easy to copy without limits in the digital world.
Still, no solution seemed solid enough to fix the digital scarcity problem. At the same time, sales of physical mediums were dropping because of the pressure mp3s put on the market. All combined, it drove the value of music down to its lowest point in history; meanwhile, music has never traveled so fast.
What is the price of an asset that has an infinite supply?
Apple led by pricing a song at $0.99. Thanks to the success of the iPod (marketed toward less tech-savvy people unfamiliar with how to download music illegally), people became accustomed to buying copies of the same file for pennies.
As the world became comfortable with scarcity not being a part of the music industry anymore, we collectively decided not to bother with owning a downloadable file. Instead, we decided to pay for access to streaming.
The music industry spent millions tracking illegal sources to give birth to services like Spotify ultimately. Effectively putting the entire world catalog behind a paywall and deciding the price of a stream should be around $0.005 in a system where algorithms benefit the top 10 most streamed artists—a far cry from the boom of CD sales.
The streaming era has organized itself via platform gatekeepers allowing artists who respect the platform’s guidelines to upload their music while censoring others. It becomes problematic when this vehicle represents the last and only way artists have to monetize and get their music heard by large audiences.
Streaming has failed artists, and the next version of how we consume and distribute music needs to be built from the ground up with fairness, scarcity, and transparency in mind.
ENTER CRYPTO MUSIC
The term 'crypto music' comes from associating the latest fruits of cryptographic technology, blockchains, and the idea of distributing music with it.
But why associate music and blockchain technology? Because it offers a global trust layer and the tools necessary for a new era of music to begin.
This new era of music includes the serialization of digital files, transparent traceability of digital files, instant payment with no need for middlemen, complete automation of all administrative processes (including copyright protection), permissionless features, and resistance to censorship.
Thanks to blockchain technology, music can now be safely traded peer-to-peer, collected as a unique token, and resold on secondary markets. In other words, the complete set for any actor in music to thrive online while capturing total value and having easy control over their work without anyone potentially interfering in the process.
The CRYPTO MUSIC HISTORY (2008 - 2022) Exhibition explores the crypto music movement in a ludic way, its history from the early days as a disruptive and ongoing revolution within the music industry, its sound, visuals, and philosophy as a music scene, its communities, and its marketing.
Curated and designed by Mighty33 and geniuscorp, the exhibition is a unique display and form of expression dedicated to and based upon the work of the entire crypto music community. It is designed for anyone who may or may not be familiar with but is interested in the underground story of crypto music.
From the point of origin, the exhibition follows a circuit going through different rooms organized chronologically from 2008 to 2022. The experience is staged as a language on its own with multiple layers of interpretation, a neuronal network of digital hieroglyphs ready to be deciphered one by one, opening all kinds of doors towards the deeper layers of the story.
The exhibition exists inside the virtual world of Cryptovoxels (Voxels) at the geniuscorp record shop (104 Ceres, Ceres Island).
The choice to build inside Voxels for the first iteration of this initiative is symbolic and grounded in the exhibit’s mindset. Voxels helped the pioneers connect and experiment during a time of global lockdowns in a place designed for them to create and expand their collective imagination.
Special mentions go out to DiGiTAL, Studio Nouveau, MAi, Rare Scrilla, Vandal, Robness, George Howard, NFT42, MVMF, Future Modern, Jokreg, Xedra (aka Zpl1t), and all the pioneers featured in the exhibition, without whom any of this wouldn’t have been possible.
-This experience is best on a desktop computer with a good internet connexion
-Let it load, the gallery is packed
-Almost every detail is clickable
-Take your time, hours of content
-If walls feels empty, refresh
-Invite friends over
-Use the exhibition as a playlist
-Support the work collecting ticket
-Don’t feed the voxels
Enjoy your visit!
LISTINGS AND RESOURCES
Documents that helped make this exhibition possible: