This piece was written in early 2019, commissioned by the V-A-C Foundation Moscow for their “Time, Forward!” show at the Venice Biennale. I came across it while going through files and thought it might be useful to post here, in light of exciting experimentation happening with tokenized DAO and Guild models, particularly building from the foundations of backchannel infrastructure such as Discord and Telegram. If you’re interested in having a physical copy to read, it was printed in this book with contributions from some great ppl.
Posting text to this slide I use to explain some distinctions between the two. By no means comprehensive but hopefully of use.
LISTENERS RENT MUSIC FOR PENNIES
ON STREAMING PLATFORMS
ARTISTS RENT LISTENERS FOR AD DOLLARS
ON AD PLATFORMS
ISOLATED ARTISTS MAKE TUNES IN THEIR BEDROOMS
FOR ISOLATED LISTENERS IN THEIR BEDROOMS
“HUSTLE” MYTH MAKES A VIRTUE OF BEING SELFISH
AND FINESSING OTHERS
TRICKLE UP ATTRIBUTION (LONE GENIUS MYTH)
AND COMPENSATION MODELS (STAR MAKES ALL THE $)
IRREVERENT OF INSTITUTIONS AND THE ARCHIVE
IN FAVOR OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND AHISTORICITY
20TH CENTURY KITSCH INDIVIDUALISM
FRACKING / SHORT TERMIST
Just dumping the transcript from this talk given at CTM:Persistence here, if you prefer to read stuff. The end gets messy as it was largely adlibbed.
Gratitude to Liz Pelly, who has made haranguing Spotify the newest and most exciting genre of music journalism. This used to be a marginal position.
It might get worse before it gets better
No-one is going to pay for music anymore sufficient to keep scenes as we know them going. At least not in the ways many have been used to. So while some artists might make petty change from digital sales through Bandcamp, my assumption is that those figures will dwindle over time as streaming establishes greater supremacy. My assumption is also that whichever streaming platform wins (as all roads lead to monopoly in this current paradigm), the artists that benefit from that streaming platform will be those that most dutifully satisfy the requirements of the streaming platform, which I think is a very different aspiration than satisfying the requirements of feeding healthy international and local music scenes. When Daniel Ek says he wants “one million artists to live from their work”, I think of one million musicians, sitting in flat shares, stocking playlists for people to shower to. Music from nowhere, for no-one in particular. …
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the recent, somewhat unsurprising, news of Soundcloud’s troubles.
My intention is to put these thoughts out there, but also to run a temperature check on how people respond to the idea of tokenization in musical communities in general. I’ll continue to add to the list of reasons I believe the initiative might be worthwhile as feedback rolls in from this initial gesture. I also bought soundcrowd.org if y’all want to amass a serious petition.
What are tokens, and what does tokenizing mean?
There are a great many articles far more erudite in their description of cryptocurrency tokens and their utility and application in culture and business. …