The first in the world and the only one of its kind Blockchain Art Hackathon took place on October 6-8, 2017, in the territory of innovative park UNIT. City in Kyiv. Blockchain experts and artists gathered to plunge into an absolutely new world and create a quality new kind of innovative art — Blockchain Art. As a result, ukrainian artist figured out the subtleties of Blockchain technology and expressed their understanding in their works.
Three days of inspiration and creation
At the opening session on October 6th people whom Blockchain is an integral part of life for spoke out. They were bitcoin enthusiasts and owners of companies which involved into projects related to this technology. The speakers shared with artists their own success stories, mistakes and failures, told about their views on Blockchain-revolution.
Among the speakers there was Olexiy Mushak — the people's deputy of Ukraine, the first who declared bitcoin.
«Bitcoin, Blockchain, and everything else — there are no people in the world who know where they are going to lead us. And, perhaps, it is good, and, maybe, it is bad. I am really the first one in Ukraine, among people who are in the state power, who declared bitcoin. And after that, the attitude towards Bitcoin and all this began to change: it is not a game for marginals or crypto-freaks, serious people also do it».
Olexiy told that in 2013-2014, without being a people's deputy, he was engaged into mining, now he is promoting Blockchain technology and considers himself as a cryptoanarchist. Now the deputy believes that his goal is to keep the top positions of Ukraine and Kyiv as the capital of Blockchain which we have now.
The founder of Blockchain Art Hackathon, Stanislav Poddyyachev, emphasizes that Blockchain is a new technology and its regulation entails development limitation.
«Art does not require regulation as well as innovative technologies at the beginning of their existanse should sef-regulate and develop freely», — believes Stanislav.
Birth of Blockchain Art
After listening to the experts' presentations, artists were given an opportunity to show their own vision of Blockchain technology, its impact on the present and future world through the creation of art objects. According to the conditions of hackathon, artists were limited in space and time: they worked in one of the UNIT. City buildings for two days — from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, October 8, the final phase of the hackathon was held — the presentation of works. Among nearly three dozen works were selected the best ones which combined art and Blockchain.
The jury included the chief executive officer of the Center of contemporary art M17 Oleh Pinchuk, chief executive officer of the National museum «Kyiv picture gallery» Yuriy Vakulenko, the moderator of Blockchain Art Hackathon Aida Dzhangirova and the managing partner of BlockchainLab Tymur Mykhailovskyi. The winner was going to get a prize — 50 thousand hrivnas.
The famous Ukrainian artist Marianna Abramova participated in «Art Hackathon» as an honorable guest. Her work was not introduced among the presentations of the participants and sympolized yet unreceived Bitcoin block.
The task of the jury proved to be uneasy and eventually the winners were at once two participants — Anna Bitaeva with her painting «The Beginning» and Astian Rey with the installation «The Harmony of Progress». They shared the first place and the prize among themselves.
Three works — «The Harmony of Progress» by Astian Rey, «The Blockchain-mechanizm» by Mychailo Markin and «The New Massons» by Daryna Momot received special prizes from BlockchainLab. Apart from it, the visionary of BlockchainLab Anton Chernykh showed artists how to use purses for virtual currencies simply and notified that the authors would receive a virtual currency on their bitcoin-addresses.
All the works — the first property of Blockchain Art — are included into the catalog that you're holding in your hands. According to the hackathon conditions, art objects remain in the ownership of the organizers. The world tour of the exhibition began with an exposition in the Verhovna Rada of Ukraine which took place on November 7-11, 2017.
In 1916, a little more than one hundred years ago, an event that turned upside-down the previous perception of art took place. On the futuristic exhibition "0,10" the well-known "Black square" by Kazimir Malevich was presented. It proclaimed a complete freedom of expression and rejection of traditional figurative painting. Innovative talent of the world-famous painter appeared at the junction of scientific and technological progress and a new ideology, when society was stormed by revolutionary technological and political changes.
Modern society is in the similar situation. The fourth industrial revolution gave rise to a huge number of unique innovations that are changing the world each moment. One of such revolutionary discoveries is the creation of Blockchain technology which is currently breaking into the life of modern society with an enormous speed. Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have become usual things for a huge number of people.
Conserning advantages and disadvantages of the technology there are a lot of sharp debates: somebody believes it is almost a panacea for corruption and financial crises while others complain about its destructive qualities. We don't know how the history of crypto-currency will develop, what ups, downs, hopes and disappointments they will bring to millions of users. But today, 9 years after Bitcoin's emergence, we can confidently state that this technology has changed the world perception of many people and has created a new ideology that still needs to be understood and comprehended.
Blockchain Art Hackathon is the first in the world, unique hackathon which artists were able to show their own vision of the Blockchain technology and crrypto-currency on through the creation of art objects. The event gathered the people of the arts, the supporters and opponents of Blockchain, the owners of Blockchain-based companies — people whom this technology is an integral part of life for. The shared with artists their own success stories, disappointments and failures, told about their views on Blockchain-revolution. As a result, 29 amazing works were created which we are glad to present to you in this catalog.
We believe that the result of this unique collaboration will form the basis of a new innovative art — Blockchain Art.
Founders of Blockchain Art Hackathon
Stanislav Poddyachev and Timur Michailovsky
How crypto enthusiasts presented Ukraine in Europe
On May 14, as the continuation of Blockchain Art, U2Europe kicked off — it is the unique image-building project that presented Ukraine to Europe in partner locations in European capitals: Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague.
U2Europe is the series of interactive events that took place simultaneously in a common space in order to achieve the effect of maximum informative saturation and free interaction of participants. European capitals opened the doors to Ukrainian blockchain initiatives, businessmen, investors and artists, providing an innovative presentation platform.
In Paris, in addition to the presentation of Ukrainian companies and the traditional exhibition of Blockchain Art collection, the opening of Art Fork took place — the art workshop whose participants reflexed and produced an artistic product on a given theme, continuing the line of presented Ukrainian works. French artists, inspired by the works of Ukrainians, created the so-called “hard forks” of art objects: rethinking the works, continued the creative line of their colleagues in new art objects, which also become the part of the Blockchain Art collection.
The integration of two different areas — technology and art, the unification of interests and the presentation of successful Ukrainian projects to the European community — these are the goals that Blockchain Art sets for itself.
Ukraine-Alsace: innovative projects in the electronic space
On June 25, in Strasbourg, the teams BlockchainLab, UNIT.City, Blockchain Art, btcu.ua, Dep.exchange and ICOkit.me together with the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the Council of Europe held the first-ever conference “Ukraine-Alsace: innovative projects in the electronic space".
Participants presented their vision of the future of IT-technologies and the corresponding cooperation of Ukraine and France through the prism of their professional expertise and business strategy. In parallel with the discussion part of the event, the exhibition of the works of Blockchain Art Hackathon and Art Fork took place. It is worth noting that art objects created during the relevant event in Paris also took part in the Art Fork in Strasbourg. Thus, the works are reflected and continued in new art objects, without ceasing to develop.
Virtual World of Blockchain Art
On October 13–19, the new stage of the international project uniting art and technology, Blockchain Art Hackathon 2.0, took place in Kyiv.
This October the international project Blockchain Art Hackathon was second time held in Kyiv. This year participants there are residents of 10 countries of different ages: the organizers, following the principles of decentralization, refuse age and status restrictions, do not set the style framework, giving artists the opportunity to show their own vision of innovative technologies by creating art objects. In addition to artists, professionals of the IT industry, crypto anarchists and enthusiasts, managers and owners of large businesses traditionally participated in the project. The goal of unity is the creation of the unique Blockchain culture. After all, what do IT people do, if not art?
The idea of Blockchain Art Hackathon 2.0 was to design solutions to the challenges of the future, in which the joint existence of human and artificial intelligence can radically change reality. The mission of the second Blockchain Art Hackathon is the comprehension and appeal to the future. The topic: HI-TECH AND ART: CO-CREATION.
The project was organized by the provider of blockchain solutions BlockchainLab in partnership with the virtual and augmented reality studio Sensorama Lab, V Kyiv International Economic Forum and the innovative park UNIT.City.
The special feature of the event in 2018 is the format and platform for ideas pitching. This year Blockchain Art Hackathon reinforced the decentralization format by moving the location from Kyiv to the village complex, where educational and creative stages were taking place, saturated with workshops and master classes. Participants listened to lectures about Blockchain and other innovative technologies, singularity, futurology, urbanism, geopolitics and art business from leading experts — Denis Belkevich, Mikhail Minakov, Igor Novikov, Erik Nayman, Irina Akymova, Kazbek Bektursunov.
At the weekly art residence artists and animators tried to imagine new meanings of human and the role of the individual in society in the future, when technology will take over the routine that man today performs. The participants investigated how people's economic relations would change, what would be the difference between human and machine and which side would have an advantage; tried comprehend the large-scale problems of modernity and imagined where humanity would be at the end of the era of technological singularity.
HI-TECH AND ART: CO-CREATION
The languages of artistic solutions in the project were painting, graphics, animation and virtual reality (VR). As the result of the joint work of artists, animators and business representatives the VR film was created, assembled from the work of teams. The most important meaning of the hackathon was the successful collaboration of artists: the participants were united into 15 teams, each of which have working on the chosen problem, united by the single theme “Economic Relations of the Future”.
“The main positive result of the project I see is the experience of international communication and the creation of digital art in pairs with previously unfamiliar artists. In the digital age the world is moving towards an increase in the number of collaborations in the international space, where human communication comes first. Do not forget that VR and Blockchain are just tools in the hands of the artist, the main engine of which will always be the exchange of thoughts and emotions with the outside world. It is nice that new art niches for the created works open up today: from 2019 CADAF will be held in New York — the first international fair of digital and crypto art. Looking at the final result, we can confidently say that the work of the participants would look worthily at the fair’s booth”, — Denis Belkevich, co-founder of Artherium, commented on the results of the hackathon.
For the first time this year in anticipation of bright decisions and answers to actual questions the V Kyiv International Economic Forum opened the door to art. KIEF — 2018, whose theme — CREATING FUTURE IN THE HI-TECH WORLD — echoes the theme of the hackathon, entered into the partnership and signed the memorandum with Blockchain Art Hackathon. The hackathon participants presented ideas at the pitching during KIEF — on the platform where business owners and heads of companies from around the world gathered. And the final VR film was demonstrated on the final panel of the forum with the country's most successful businessmen — Hard Talk with business leaders “The Shapers of the Future” from the main KIEF stage.
“Artists are great. It was the real challenge for everyone. It was such a serious marathon, which in complexity and tension was not inferior to other hackathons. We really showed that in the creative environment, despite the fact that everyone is a personality, every creator has an unconditional talent, cooperation is possible, co-creation is possible. This is the example of the fact that in the future people can move from war to unification, from competition to cooperation, complementarity. Someone succeeded more, some succeeded less. There are, of course, those who did not like this form, but nevertheless, we presented the general picture of the future. Yes, there are more questions than answers. Yes, it is not always bright and beautiful, it is not always figurative, but sometimes abstract. Nevertheless, the artists were able to feel the theme and express the attitude. As always, someone plunged deeper into the topic, someone not so deep. Someone had the opportunity to reflect in more detail, but someone did not. Eventually, our hackathon achieved its goals, the animated film — the result of the work of 30 artists from 10 countries — was created, and in the future we will continue to cooperate with artists and develop the project”, — Stanislav Podyachev, co-founder of Blockchain Art, shared his thoughts about the hackathon.
Business and art stretched their hands one to another, realizing that only the synergy of creative industries will create the prerequisites for understanding the rapid changes in the field of technologies that are already affecting the global economy.
Blockchain Art Hackathon 2.0 will be traditionally presented with a series of exhibitions both in Ukraine and abroad, as well as the result of the hackathon — an animated film will take part in international animation festivals.
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