“History in the Present Progressive” . Surfing with Satoshi review on Outland

Texts

Brian Droitcour, one of my favorite art writers ever, honored me with a review of my book Surfing with Satoshi. Art, Blockchain and NFTs (a few copies are still available here). It’s criticism, so don’t expect only kind words, but some of them really make me proud as they confirm the value and durability of all the work I put in this book (with the priceless support of my publishers, Postmedia Books and Aksioma). A few quotes:

“Quaranta’s account, which addresses the rise of NFTs and the connections between artists’ recent use of blockchains and historical interventions into art markets, sets a high bar for others that will follow.

So far Surfing with Satoshi is the only book of its kind: an attempt by a single author to weave a motley array of histories—of art movements, markets, technologies, and critiques—into a coherent narrative.”

“His book’s greatest strength is the persuasiveness of his links between blockchain-based art and twentieth-century conceptualism. The historical orientation of Surfing with Satoshi is what makes it durable, despite being written in response to—and during—a specific moment.”

Of course, I publicly apologize with artist and theorist Rhea Myers if I inadvertedly misgendered her. Her work, ethos and life embody so much of what this book is taking stance for. A new run of print will come out soon, and these and other mistakes that readers helped me to detect will be amended.

Brian Droitcour, “History in the Present Progressive”, in Outland, July 19, 2022,
https://outland.art/domenico-quaranta-surfing-with-satoshi/

“How Can Art Exist on a Distributed Ledger?” in The Book of X

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The Book of X. 10 Years of Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X, an anthology of texts and images celebrating the 10th anniversary of the international conference xCoAx, is now available for free download and in printed form (free – you pay only the postage. Among many relevant contributions by authors and artists I admire (Philip Galanter, Andreas Broeckmann, Frieder Nake, Amy Alexander, Alessandro Ludovico, Olia Lialina just to name a few), the book includes a short essay in which I try to address how can art exist on a distributed ledger without simply using it as a system for blowing up prices and documenting ownership and provenance. Included are examples of projects focused on artists and art workers rights, on-chain generative works, and artists turning DAOs into an art form. The effort is to “show how art and blockchain should “X”: at the crossroads between these two fields, art shouldn’t just peruse the blockchain as a given, an immutable, existing substrate, but actively, creatively implement, criticize or correct its infrastructure, nurture and manipulate this substrate to make it evolve in ways not yet envisioned.” Have a nice reading!

Domenico Quaranta, “How Can Art Exist on a Distributed Ledger?”, pp. 207 – 219. Published in Miguel Carvalhais, André Rangel, Luísa Ribas, Mario Verdicchio (Eds.), The Book of X. 10 Years of Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X, i2ADS: Research Institute in Art, Design and Society, Porto 2022. ISBN: 978-989-9049-25-3 (Paperback), DOI: https://doi.org/10.24840/978-989-9049-26-0.

Images in and beyond time: on Quayola’s Laocoöns

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Quayola has his first monograph, monumental and baroque as it should be. Edited by Valentino Catricalà and Nadim Samman, and published by Skira, the publication includes a number of essays, among them an as yet unpublished text I wrote a few years ago about his Laocoön series. A pdf of the original text (2017) is available here.

Domenico Quaranta, “Images in and beyond time: on Quayola’s Laocoöns”, in Valentino Catricalà, Nadim Samman (Eds), Quayola, Skira, Milano 2021, ISBN: 885724620, pp. 134 – 139.

Surfing with Satoshi. Art, Blockchain and NFTs now available in English!

Surfing with Satoshi, Texts

I’m happy and proud to announce that my book Surfing with Satoshi. Art, Blockchain and NFTs is now available in English! Scheduled for release on May 25, the book can be pre-ordered on Aksioma’s online store with free shipping, alone or in a special combo with Hyperemployment. Post-work, Online Labour and Automation (2019), funnily named “Combo 40”.

Produced and published by Aksioma, Ljubljana, Surfing with Satoshi. Art, Blockchain and NFTs is the English version of my book Surfing con Satoshi. Arte, blockchain e NFT, published in Italian by Postmedia Books in June 2021. Printed in a limited release of 300 copies, this English version features a new design by Superness, color plates and a “Foreword to the English Edition” that offers a major update of the book, and that can be downloaded for free from this link.

Fungible Reading List

Uncategorized

I finished writing my book, Surfing con Satoshi. Arte. blockchain e NFT (Postmedia Books, Milano 2021) on May 4, 2021. Here you can find its full bibliography. Since then, I kept reading things on related topics, and saving links and references on a text file, sometimes with short captions that I found relevant. I will keep doing it here, in shared form. Feel free to send me useful readings and enjoy!

What Information Wants

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“What Information Wants” is a short piece I wrote for V-SPACE, a regular – curated by Gianluca Gramolazzi for the Italian magazine Made in Mind – with a focus on the relationship between digital and real. While the article is available both online and in the paper magazine, the selected images have been posted only on *Made in Mind’*s Instagram account. You can find them together on my Surfing with Satoshi Mirror blog.

Intervista con la New Media Art

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Curato da Marco Mancuso ed edito da Mimesis, Intervista con la New Media Art. L’osservatorio Digicult tra arte, design e cultura digitale è uno straordinario strumento di navigazione e di comprensione della pratica artistica contemporanea nel rapporto con la tecnologia e la ricerca scientifica a partire dall’esperienza dell’osservatorio Digicult. 486 pagine, il libro raccoglie testi critici e interviste di una quarantina di autori internazionali, e segue gli sviluppi della media art dal 2005 ad oggi. Ho avuto il piacere di contribuirvi con una vecchia ma ancora fresca intervista a UBERMORGEN (online qui) e l’onore di introdurre la sezione finale del volume, Culture e mercati. Qui di seguito trovate il mio contributo:

Domenico Quaranta, “Capitolo 10: Culture e mercati – Introduzione”, in Marco Mancuso (a cura di), Intervista con la New Media Art. L’osservatorio Digicult tra arte, design e cultura digitale, Mimesis, Milano 2020, ISBN 9788857569444, pp. 413 – 418

In un testo del 20161, il teorico dei media Jeoff Cox e il filosofo Jacob Lund affrontano la caleidoscopica nozione di “contemporaneo” e di “condizione contemporanea” mescolando vari punti di vista e approcci disciplinari. Il contemporaneo, secondo Cox e Lund, non è solo una categoria temporale (il tempo in cui viviamo), ma anche una categoria esperienziale, che identifica la nostra attuale relazione con il tempo, la storia e il futuro. Frutto di una globalizzazione accelerata, della diffusione del neoliberalismo e dell’influenza delle tecnologie dell’informazione, l’attuale versione del contemporaneo si differenzia da quella dei decenni precedenti. Il contemporaneo attuale vede una coesistenza e un intreccio di temporalità distinte, un “presente espanso” caratterizzato dall’estrema compressione spazio-temporale e dal costante senso di dislocazione prodotti da internet, e dall’esperienza del “near real-time” prodotta dall’interferenza tra il nostro modo di percepire il tempo e il modo in cui lo computano le tecnologie informatiche.

Media, New Media, Postmedia disponibile anche come ebook

Book, Texts

A dieci anni esatti dalla sua prima edizione, Media, New Media, Postmedia, la versione italiana di Beyond New Media Art, è ora disponibile anche come ebook alla metà del prezzo della versione cartacea. Il libro italiano, pubblicato nel 2010 da Postmedia Books, è stato oggetto di una riedizione nel 2018. Ora potete leggerlo anche in digitale, in formato Kindle e epub.

“Nel corso degli ultimi decenni, un complesso corpo di lavori è andato sviluppandosi all’intersezione tra arte, scienza e tecnologia. Negli anni Novanta, con la crescente accessibilità delle nuove tecnologie e lo sviluppo della cultura digitale, questa ricerca è esplosa, conquistando una massa critica di artisti e dando vita a festival, centri d’arte specializzati e a un’intensa attività editoriale e pubblicistica. Nasce la New Media Art. Ma nonostante questa espansione, la New Media Art non è stata in grado di conquistare il mondo dell’arte contemporanea. A che cosa si deve tale scollamento di tradizioni? Perché la critica d’arte ufficiale stenta a integrare la New Media Art nella sua lettura del contemporaneo? Perché il mercato dell’arte fatica ad accogliere software, computer e rete come mezzi artistici? Perché molti artisti rifuggono l’etichetta di New Media Art mentre altri vi si rifugiano, esaltando la sua distanza dall’arte contemporanea? Media, New Media, Postmedia è il primo saggio che tenta di dare, a queste domande, una risposta organica: ripercorrendo le ragioni storiche dell’isolamento della New Media Art, e spiegando perché oggi, in un’era ormai pienamente postdigitale e postmediale, questo isolamento non abbia più senso di esistere.”

The Link Art Center Closes Down. Interview with the Founders

Debate, Texts
Collect the WWWorld. The Artist as Archivist in the Internet Age at 319 Scholes, New York 2012. Curated by Domenico Quaranta

What follows is the English translation (courtesy Google Translate, with some editing by yours truly) of an interview originally published in Italian on Artribune, about the end of the Link Art Center (here the official announcement). Together with my long time partners Lucio Chiappa, Matteo Cremonesi, Fabio Paris, I discuss with Valentina Tanni about the increasing awareness of digital cultures in mainstream contemporary art, media art institutions, collaboration, curating, publishing, and working on all this from Italy…

Valentina Tanni, in Artribune, September 19, 2019

After eight years of editorial, curatorial and exhibition activity, the Link Art Center, a cultural association engaged in the dissemination of new media art, announced its closure. We spoke with the founders – Domenico Quaranta, Fabio Paris, Lucio Chiappa and Matteo Cremonesi – to take stock of this important experience.

Let’s start with the inevitable question: why do you stop? Why now?

Domenico Quaranta: The Link Art Center was founded as a cultural association in 2011, with the mission to foster, at national and international level, a greater diffusion and awareness of the “arts of the information age”. At the time we perceived this mission as a burning necessity. We were spectators of a dynamism of the artists that did not find an adequate response in the institutions, in the magazines, in the market. We had to do something, and we did it. But on this front, from 2011 to 2019, there have been enormous changes, both at the artistic level and at a more general level of society, in Italy and in the rest of the world. Just visit a mainstream contemporary art event such as this year’s Venice Biennale to perceive the scale of this change. Themes that once would have been defined as “digital culture”, such as artificial intelligence, are now on the agenda, and not just in a discursive niche; languages ​​that once would have been defined as “new media”, such as virtual reality, are placed in the hands of contemporary art veterans such as Marina Abramovič or Anish Kapoor.

Exhibition Strategies For Digital Art: Examples And Considerations

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Written in Stone. A net.art archaeology as partially re-enacted for net.art Painters and Poets, Mestna galerija Ljubljana 2014 (curated by Vuk Ćosić & Alenka Gregorič)

Published in: Lorenzo Giusti, Nicola Ricciardi (Eds.), Museums At The Post-Digital Turn, Amaci — OGR — Mousse Publishing, Milan 2019, pp. 177–198. Buy the book here

The aim of this contribution is to contest itself — or, rather, its title. It is to demonstrate that, at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, we have reached an evolutionary phase in the so-called digital arts in which there is no longer any point hypothesizing about whether it is necessary to develop specific exhibition strategies that may facilitate public presentation in the display spaces of contemporary art of works that make use of digital media in their production or distribution, and/or make reference to the themes, aesthetics, and procedures that have emerged alongside digital media. [1] Further radicalizing the matter, this text sets out to show that today, the “problem” with digital art lies in the very use of this term, and in the artificial logics of merging (of works and artists that have little or nothing in common) and of segregation (from the rest of contemporary art) that its use reflects, and at the same time contributes to maintaining and consolidating. [2]