New Creative Economies and Protection of Cultural Heritage through Blockchain

The most essential phenomenon for building a creative economy is having a community. Community economies have been built collectively throughout human history and have led to the separation of ownership concepts. Community economies have been established, sometimes between states, sometimes between individuals, and sometimes between companies. The main motivation and purpose behind the creation of these economies is to create a culture of building sustainable financial systems together. Investment partnerships and cooperatives can be examples of this. So much so that, with the development of blockchain, these economic structures have become decentralized through codes and have created a more accessible and democratic financial area for everyone by destroying the bureaucratic procedures involved. The decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) established within the possibilities of blockchain are the first steps in the governance of these community economies.

Now, let's take a closer look at the subject from an artistic perspective. Arts economy; in a contemporary sense, it is an expression used for the entire chain that covers what is produced in the artist's workshop, including exhibitions, galleries, auctions, and primary and secondary collectors. However, we have known since the Renaissance that the art economy goes back much further and is a part of strong capitals. For example; works made to the church by order, family collections.

Rijksmuseum, Nightwatch
Rijksmuseum, Nightwatch

Of course, when we look at it from this point of view, the monopolization and inequality of capital over the centuries have led to the construction of an unsustainable structure for art and artists since the beginning of the millennium. Non-organic increases in artwork prices, artworks constantly changing hands during economic crises and wealth transfers have always led to infertility in the art market. Although this sterility seemed to have eliminated the problems through Web2 initiatives at the beginning of the millennium, in fact, it could not go further than bringing the current system to the internet. Until web3 and blockchain appeared. The art economy has undergone an unstoppable change in recent years, although it did not have a full impact on Web3 in the first decade. Now, thanks to Web3, we can create our own economies by programming our values and ideas into our money. Here is the key point. Programmable money! The new creative economy, whose future we decide and shape together with our own talents and the community.

The pandemic has caused radical changes in the world as well. Changes have had an impact in many areas, and areas such as finance, culture, and art have gained rapid momentum in digitalization. These changes have brought NFTs into the blockchain, which has a common cluster in the fields of art, finance, and technology. With the spread of NFTs, the acceleration of cultural interaction between creative talents, and the development of rapid decision-making and progress processes, it was possible to implement these decisions collectively in terms of governance. The process inevitably brought the future of art and its technological infrastructure together with the blockchain, and the problems in the art ecosystem gradually disappeared and progress was made. Blockchain offered a solution to this, as central systems could no longer make progress in any sense. Transparent, fair, pluralistic, and sustainable. Being able to make elections on a network where the internet of values and money is created means building an Athenian Democracy for billions of people. Designing the future of art in this direction and establishing coordination between NFT, F-NFT and DAOs are some of the important steps in the creative economy. For example, the coordination that Particle carries out in the field of art today is making art more accessible and programming money for art. It is possible to see that not only Particle but also world-famous auction houses, galleries, and artists are included in this system day by day. We are at the beginning of humanity's social evolution, and culture is becoming more complex every day. Therefore, the best way to promote social well-being and culture is to make these economies sustainable. The solution for the preservation and improvement of culture and cultural heritage is also possible on the blockchain. Making information open-source, transferring traditional inventory recording methods to the blockchain with an environmentalist approach, raising funds, and using this fund for cultural heritage… The only technology that will provide us with this is blockchain.

Statue of Apollo in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium
Statue of Apollo in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium

We can ensure that museums, archaeological sites, and cultural heritage are recorded on the blockchain by making inventory records through NFTs. Keeping records of museums, archaeological finds, and cultural heritage on blockchain will not only prevent theft and loss of cultural heritage but will also ensure the development and diversity of the NFT ecosystem with different usage areas. Also, another aim of this idea would be to integrate traditional archiving, document saving, and classification into Web3.

In this way, historical artifacts will be tracked on the blockchain, historical artifacts and art crimes will be prevented, as well as the energy consumption of traditional methods will be minimized. On the other hand, I believe that not only the creative crypto economy but also the regenerative (healing) crypto economy will build sustainable forms and structures for cultural and cultural heritage. For culture and cultural heritage; however, we have only just begun to attempt to meet this challenge by focusing as much as possible on cultural systems that are complementary, remedial, or global in scope. We are embarking on a long journey. But it is not impossible. Sooner or later, we can do it.

Art Historian
Ogulcan Yildirim

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