A2029 - Art as Survival in the Turing Age
In the year 2010 we set out to create a tool that would allow anyone to present their work on the web in an easy way. Our goal was to create “A whole new way of presenting artwork online.”
We kicked off our mission with a crowd funding campaign, centred around a simple request: “Help us to unfuck online publishing”.
Little did we know how fucked the internet was.
Just two years later Edward Snowden's leak revealed the extent of our entrapment within a surveillance system, whilst the underlying platforms of the internet became ever more centralised.
The ‘unfucking' we were referring to, was the need to improve the limited possibilities accessible to non-technical people for displaying their work the way they wanted.
Whilst the common platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, limit your creativity by effectively offering a slot where you can drop off your artwork, without any means to control its context , more advanced content management systems, like Wordpress, offer many options at the cost of simplicity and ease-of-use. What annoyed us most, as content creators, was the separation of the interface to add and shape content from the display of content. With Wordpress you're offered a backend of forms where you enter and alter your content, after which you have to switch to another view to see the results. As a creator you want malleability, you want to form the content and the context of its presentation until it feels just right. Of course Wordpress lets you do that … if you don’t mind switching between backend and frontend dozens of times while battling against the restrictions of your currently chosen template.
Instead we wanted to build a process that is more similar to writing or drawing with a pen on paper, where you’re able to simultaneously *read* and *write* - without switching modes and without constraints other than the dimensions of the paper itself.
A simple (*brutalist*) website builder.
What we came up with, Salon.io, was a new way of displaying artworks online, a tool where you’re presented with a blank, infinite canvas and the ability to do anything you want without the need to switch between viewing and editing screens. With Salon.io there’s no separation of editing and viewing. What you see, is what it is. Everything can be changed instantly. This allows creators to iterate on the presentation of their contents fast, often and with ease.
Today Salon.io has around 15.000 users and around 1000 paying customers. Although we received a great deal of praise for our service we were not able to grow the customer base rapidly. My unwillingness to raise (venture?) capital led to insufficient funds for saturation marketing.
We still believe there’s a lot of value in delivering a online publishing service that offers creative freedom and ease of use to artists and content creators. We also believe that the usability of Salon.io, in regards to presenting creative works online, is still unmatched.
“Bitcoin started with the idea of a new form of internet”.
Furthermore we began to realise that Bitcoin Cash and its upcoming Tokenisation & Smart Contract features present a huge opportunity to offer even more benefits to our service and our customers.
Today we strongly believe that by using Bitcoin we are actually able to build a better internet.
An internet that is much closer to Ted Nelson’s original vision of Xanadu:
From Salon.io to Crypto.Salon
We imagine an arts & design platform where:
- we can tokenise digital content
- we can allocate value to digital content/artworks
- we can vote with ‘skin in the game’ on digital content
- we have secure authorship of digital contents
- we have (fractional) ownership of digital assets
- we have provenance of digital assets
- we can rely on immutability and resilience of digital content
- we can give controlled access to digital assets
- we allow artists to monetise their artworks by letting them trade globally
- we are able to crowdfund based on fully compliant security tokens, representing common shares with dividends and voting rights
- we have a full circle tokenised economy that facilitates the exchange of values between artists, collectors, investors, curators and customers
- we have accountability and stewardship
When we break this down we envision the Crypto.Salon platform as a bundle of 4 essential web services: *Tool, Content, Market, Education*.
- a Publishing Tool (easy, versatile, serverless, BCH-enabled, freemium SAAS)
- an Arts Discovery Platform (fresh and daily, social, customisable streams, high traffic)
- a Marketplace for Tokenized Art
- Education and User Support
By following this path we will push the boundaries of the web and allow everyone to make use of a new internet, an internet of value that appreciates art and authorship.
Crypto.Salon's Art & Design platform will operate on Bitcoin Cash and will eventually create its own Salon token on top of the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain. The token allows the tokenization of individual digital artworks as well as the allocation of sound value to human based art practice, based on, but not limited to, Bitcoin (BCH).
The challenge is to establish transparent and fair incentives for rewarding art & design of relevance with real value. That is achieved through common methods like selling, collecting, trading, speculation, tipping and voting on art. Basically, the Crypto.Salon market will allow anyone to participate in the trade of (digital) art on a global level. Some will make a small side income, a few will be able to live off their tokenized art, whilst most will do it for the joy and to support art and artists in an easy and benefiting way.
But most importantly, Crypto.Salon will help your art to be seen AND appreciated, in a way, that wasn't possible until now.
After all, the ultimate goal is to create a token that is a measure of value for any kind of artworks.
The currency and technology which for us seems most suitable for this challenge is Bitcoin Cash.
1) Subscription/Membership (Pay-per-use, SAAS fees)
2) Marketplace (Commission, Transaction/Listing Fees)
We are seeking for Angel/Seed funding in order to build Crypto.Salon.
620 BCH (~ 300.000 EUR)
To rewrite Salon.io with added features, produce marketing, sales & support in order to turn it into a self-sustaining business.
To built a marketplace for digital arts we are planning a crowdfunding campaign based on fully compliant security tokens, representing common shares with dividends and voting rights.
2000 BCH (~ 1.000.000 EUR)
2018 Q4 Angel/Seed funding
2019 Q2 Crowd funding