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Episode 63: From Tulips to Tokens

April 2 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm PDT

From the 1600s to the early part of the 1700s, there were a few dominant economic forces globally, and one of them was the Dutch Republic. But an odd thing happened in the 1620s. The world had two first-of-its-kind innovations. A newly discovered flower known as the tulip was sweeping the land. As speculation on who might breed the best black tulip reached a fever pitch, tulipmania broke out, and then the first recorded economic bubble in history burst. Today we’re seeking a mad rush to mint and buy and sell NFTs for art, music, and all forms of collectibles. Is this going to turn out to be a bubble or the next dominant economic force? Today we’ll enlist pioneers at the frontline to help us find out.

1. The Big Picture? 

How does all this excitement about NFTs translate into reality? What are the features and capabilities of non-fungible tokens that might reset the economics and power dynamics of the art and collectibles industry? Chris Snook and John Clippinger’ll join us to sort out the big picture and the underlying theories all these ideas are based on. To get a sense of the startup ecosystem percolating around the token space, Chris J Snook joins us for a report from the field. Chris is the chairman of the World Tokenomic Forum, bestselling author of Digital Sense, CEO at SDK Co, and Managing Partner at LODE — an Opportunity Zone based Venture Studio in Wyoming and Arizona. John Clippinger from MIT Media Lab explores theories about decentralized, autonomous, self-organizing systems for decades. A leader in AI and augmentation, Clippinger has been engaged in creating the extensions to man (and his nervous system) and their consequences for over 30 years.

2. The Neu New?

Spatial Audio as a new collectible? Sarah Stevenson is the founder of Unseen. Global – a spatial audio NFT Marketplace. Her medium: sound-based immersive experiences at the frontier of Music and Tech. She’s built a VR end-to-end distribution platform from camera to cloud to blockchain and brought music artists into it, consulted major automotive and music organizations, and produced an AR production with Microsoft Hololens that thousands of people attended. She’ll share how immersive spatial audio can help us feel something new and unique while giving us a sense of how Hollywood and traditional channels embrace new approaches.

NFT’s as community, distribution, and democracy for musicians. Jesse Kirshbaum leads the Neu Agency and loves music, and is forever in a New York state of mind. He has spent his life helping musicians play, be heard, and find a way to build a livelihood through music. He’ll share lessons from the wild world of music artists exploring NFTs and challenging the status quo. 

3. Art at the frontier 

Minting, Auctioning, Trading, and Energy: The emerging culture NFTs the “fine” art of disruption. Steve Sacks leads bitforms gallery, an NYC-based gallery with the longest tradition of supporting digital and software-based art. It’s an arena that has spent decades establishing legitimacy and growth with collectors, museums, and public art venues. And then NFTs come along with an entirely new set of collectors, different values, a trading ethos, and revolutionary economics. Now what? We’ll find out from the frontiers of contemporary media art.

Art, power, and change: Are NFT’s forging a renaissance in artists supporting social movements and promoting a thoughtful approach to the future of technology? Martin Wainstein leads the Open Earth foundation from his perch at Yale. His work to promote open platforms for climate action just partnered with top NFT artists on the Carbon Drop— which netted millions for climate-oriented non-profits and created a greater purpose-driven community among artists, collectors, and the broader NFT community. Is this the leading edge of a new conscience culture or a PR response to blockchain’s energy use concerns? We’ll find out today.


April 2, 2021
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm PDT