February 21, 2022

Can we take NFTs beyond overpriced pixels?

Going beyond capital vs values

As the pace of technological evolution quickens and intensifies, it also exerts an increasing influence on all spheres of life, including art. Contrary to the inceptive ideals and driven by often obfuscated (private) interests, the advent of generative art, blockchain and NFTs has in many cases perpetuated old strifes and generated new ones.

But at the same time, it has enriched the landscape of creative work with a whole new inexhaustible canvas to pour ideas upon. These technologies are redefining the confines of art in Web3 and appear to be morphing into one of its cornerstones. But as with all tech, it can be used either way. In the words of Aaron Swartz, “which one will win out in the long run is up to us”.

The We Are Millions (WAM) Hackathon and Festival wants to look past the dichotomies of the capital vs values debate generated around Web 3 and look for original ideas instead. In light of this, WAM’s goal is to open a space for critical and reflective exploration of Web3’s potential that can serve as a basis for effecting a lasting change.

To this avail, from 1–21 March artists, developers, activists and gamers are invited to come together in an online collaborative discovery at WAM.

Learn about new tools and see what else is in the works

WAM is the binding tissue that will connect artists to the technologies at the very fringe of what is possible today. Because of the focus on connecting people with widely different backgrounds who understand Web 2.0’s gnawing problems, there’s a good chance of meeting someone who will understand your needs.

Join forces with developers who will take you through the steps of how to express yourself using code. Find new ways of leveraging NFTs and see if they are more than just overpriced pixel art. Learn what new tools are in development and how they could benefit your creative process. Meet with other creators, find out what they are up to and share ideas. Talk to gamers, activists and join a guild or a group. WAM is an open space for you to discover and make your own.

Art is at the very heart of WAM

The belief that art is an indispensable and requisite part of any human society’s DNA is one of WAM’s core premises and etched into every aspect of it. That’s why the entire process of signing up for the Hackathon through the Resistance platform will also be a chance to take a small piece of art with you when the event is done.

To help encapsulate the ethos of We Are Millions, the Swarm Foundation has commissioned an up-and-coming Spanish artist Teresa Rofer. Her unique handmade work will be the graphical signpost exclusive to WAM.

Each of the colourful planet-like spheres depicted in her graphic above is a one-off. When you use Resistance to create your avatar, a small fragment of this universe will become an essential part of your avatar, allowing you to own it as an NFT. As a gift, no hidden costs.

These NFTs can be combined by simply layering them on top of each other to represent how different teams, people, and participants work together. A visual representation of the decentralised voices and people joining WAM.

Save your work from obsolescence

As an added bonus, Resistance will enable you to upload your work in digital form to Swarm. Once uploaded it can stay there forever, resistant to content and access tampering. Keep in mind, though, that the tech is still in its experimental phase, so make sure to keep local copies of any uploaded material.

Web3 technologies are opening up an interesting space for artists to discover alternative narratives and engage in seminal research. WAM offers the gateway to join others on this same path.

The road is calling. Will you answer the call?

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