This is an opinion editorial by Stefan Dzeparoski, an award-winning international director and creative producer.
This article owes its inspiration to the essay “A Quest for Social Truth” from “Bitcoin is Venice” by Allen Farrington and Sacha Meyers.
“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.” — Morpheus
From the 14th to the 17th century, a significant shift in consciousness happened in the Western world. This shift is known as the Renaissance. During this period, the church was gradually removed from the role of middleman in the lives of citizens. The church was the epicenter of all political, monetary and social power. In the Renaissance, a social class of merchants emerged as the dominant one. This class did not need a middleman to instruct their daily lives and dictate the distribution of wealth. The merchants introduced double-entry bookkeeping as the first manifestation of decentralized money. Merchants also led the way in decentralized communication by adopting a printing press. This class saw the value of different kinds of assets. The Medici family legend was born not from investing in banking and commerce, but from conscious investment in intangible cultural projects. Art and artists became a store of value not connected to any nation, political or ideological structure. All this will later lead toward the separation of state and church.
Today we are all subjects of a different church: the church of the fiat bank.
The fiat bank is the epicenter of power today. Bitcoin challenges this by being a store of value not connected to any nation, political or ideological structure.
It is time to look closely at the connection between art and bitcoin, so that we can envision and create a new reality through Bitcoin. To artists, bitcoin offers the opportunity to present a new version of reality inextricably tied to a new way of determining value. With every artwork, artists are ultimately investigating and reshaping personal and collective identity. Every piece of art allows us to re-create the world. This point of reexamination and re-creation is where artists and bitcoin meet. Artwork from the Medici era is still around and is still exciting, intriguing and inspiring. Art is constantly reimaging and innovating time by transcending the boundaries of space and time. The Bitcoin blockchain is itself an innovation of time. The Medici family invested in the form of value that promised to withstand the limitations of time and space. Art has become the ledger of knowledge, education, information and value. By being a creator today, artists have an incredible opportunity to become their own “private” Medici family through bitcoin. Artists have the opportunity to lead a different kind of revolution and inspire the separation of state and money. As long as artists are directly dependent on money structures associated and connected to national, political and economic ideologies, they will never be free.
Bitcoin is fundamentally about freedom. It was born out of the chaos of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Bitcoin seeks to preserve the freedom to store value and transact freely, as it is relentlessly individualistic and libertarian. Bitcoin could be the defender of artists’ self-sovereignty.
As much as artists can benefit from educating themselves and being involved with the Bitcoin community, Bitcoin can also benefit from artist involvement. Artists were the ones spreading knowledge and offering a perspective on ever-changing consciousness during the Renaissance. Let artists be the messengers of Bitcoin and spread awareness of it through creating music, performances, video art, movies and digital art. Let us connect Bitcoin and art. The possibilities are endless. Bitcoin seems like a natural fit for Canadian artists or any artists anywhere in the world. Yet, skepticism and not enough credible education are preventing artists from direct involvement. My hope for this article is that it can work its way through a diverse landscape of Canadian artists. To inspire curiosity about the sovereignty of artistic identity, which can lead to a better life for them.
In the social and economic system that systematically undermines and neglects the financial stability of artists, bitcoin has the potential to bring a sense of security in the long term. Bitcoin can serve as a defense for artists’ financial freedom. It can serve as a defense of an artist’s mental health and psychological power. Lastly, bitcoin might provide an economic opportunity to artists that they likely never had. Artists are not thriving in this era of capitalism and the dying breath of globalization affects the freedoms of artists even more. Being dependent on various centralized monetary sources such as arts councils, private or state-run foundations, sponsors and donors, means artists are forced to satisfy a desirable political frame of ideas in order to continue receiving funding, even if they do not follow this ideology. In this unhealthy system of corrosive and manipulative fiat dependency, artists are losing their identity, integrity and raison d’être.
Words have power. They shift and instruct the thought that creates reality. For too long, art has operated from the perspective of ultimate existential scarcity. Art has been forced into a position of having to endlessly explain why it even exists. It is not surprising that the false and destructive question, “Who needs artists?” seems legitimate. Has the question, “Who needs another used car dealership?” ever been asked with such passion and commitment to prove that it is not necessary?
The financial self-sovereignty of the artist is the foundation of identity that cannot be undermined by society any more. Bitcoin fixes this.
If we look at bitcoin as a digital bearer asset with absolute scarcity, the artist’s share of the monetary network cannot be diluted with money printing if the artist owns bitcoin. Artists will learn that with time, their wealth and purchasing power can grow.
Bitcoin is not just sound money, it is freedom and a positive ideology. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin. Bitcoin itself is an idea. It is a concept and proposition for different societal structures in which the artist is at the center with power and creative thinking. Bitcoin is not just the financial order, but also a positive shift in global consciousness. Within bitcoin, rules are laid out with some governing principles to enforce fairness and freedom equally for all participants. Yet, Bitcoin has no ruler. Like art, Bitcoin applies the principles of long-term thinking, patience and perseverance. Art and bitcoin are more connected and intricately intervened than it appears at first look.
Let us connect bitcoin and art. The connection between bitcoin and art should be the foundation of the future world. Bitcoin can support artists, and artists can spread the word about bitcoin. United, they will defy the fiat monopoly over free thought and creativity.
This is a guest post by Stefan Dzeparoski. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.