Aura & Transvestment

Dear early visitor:

This project is still in development and not ready for the general public.

Click here to watch a preliminary version of the video essay. Better suited for individual consumption in mobile devices.

You can explore the site in it's current state, but come back soon for the full version!

Aura & Transvestment

Why claim ownership over the intangible?

Why conjure a market into existence through the illusion of authenticity?

Why build platforms, communities and infrastructure around enforcing property rights?

To willingly carry the weight of physical matter?

To knowingly emulate the unfair structures of capitalism?

To surrender the infinite power of abundance in favor of commodity fetishism?

On this site you can find a series of images based on public domain photographs of various western paintings created between 1900 and 1935 that have been visually transformed through simple, yet resource intensive algorithms. This new pieces have been tokenized as crypto-collectibles. When purchased, each tokenized image gives you access to a corresponding video-essay. Together they explore notions of value, ownership, artificial scarcity and abundance. The essay is a critical analysis of the commodification of digital art taking Walter Benjamin’s concept of aura as a starting point. Finally, the essay proposes tranvestment as a temporary counter-action for the expropriation of value from capitalist forms of production and into new models of social coordination.

The price of each piece is directly connected to the amount of computing power dedicated to its generation. Taking into consideration the total amount of pixels and the total of frames computed. For this first series a factor of 1x10¹² is used to divide the result. The formula is:

(pixelsX * pixelsY) = total_pixels

price = ( (total_pixels * frames) / 1x10¹² )ETH

All of the ETH that results from the selling of this pieces is directly donated to Yet to be decided.

Vase of Flowers on a Mantelpiece | Edouard Vuillard | c. 1900

14.5 megapixels * 36,263 frames = 0.472724468 ETH

Pan IV (Arcadia) | Hippolyte Petitjean | 1898/1900

6.92 megapixels * 204,162 frames = 1.413005202 ETH

Reverie (Study for the Portrait of Frank Burty Haviland) | Amedeo Modigliani | 1914

29 megapixels * 18,091 frames = 0.5244986138 ETH

Download the essay in text form
A project by Pablo Somonte Ruano