Upcoming: A Leap into the Void. Art Beyond Matter

Exhibitions
René Magritte, Le grand siècle, 1954. Oil on canvas, cm 50 x 60. Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen – © René Magritte by SIAE 2022

Along the last year, I have been working hard along with Lorenzo Giusti, curator and Director of GAMeC, Bergamo, and his wonderful team on a monumental museum exhibition, the third chapter in a trilogy on matter conceived by Lorenzo for the museum. I’m happy and proud to start sharing some information about the artists and works that will take over the museum from February 3 to May 28, 2023.

After the break you can find the full press release. Click on this link to download the press kit.

Browsing bottom-up alternatives for Art on Web3

Lectures

On October 22, 2022 I took part in a round table hosted by the Uzbekistan National Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, organized and moderated by Silvia Dal Dosso and Giacomo Scandolara, with Andrea Baronchelli, María Paula Fernández and Ryder Ripps. The complete recording is available online, kindly provided by the Art and Culture Development Foundation under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Giga Design Studio. Additionally, an edited transcript of the conversation has been recently made available by Silvia Dal Dosso on Nero Magazine. Check it out!

After the Bubble: NFTs as a long-term artistic medium?

Lectures

On November 12, 2022, I had the pleasure to introduce and moderate a conversation between María Paula Fernández, Michelle Kasprzak, Vuk Ćosić and Cornelia Sollfrank in the framework of the conference “From Commons to NFTs”, organized by Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art in Ljubljana. A video recording of the conversation is now available on Youtube. A transcript of my intro speech with references and links has been minted on my Mirror blog for those of my readers who’d like to collect and support.

“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

Texts

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

Texts

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

Texts

“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

Texts

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.