Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology.

Last Updated: 27. Dezember 2023By

Are cryptocurrencies an unpredictable speculative object or low-barrier alternative payment methods? Do they promote radical decentralization or technological monopolies? Are they climate killers or do they strengthen transparency, self-determination and democratization processes?

When it comes to Bitcoin, Ethereum and Co., opinions are divided. The exhibition Kryptomania. The Promises of Blockchain brings together works of contemporary artists from different perspectives at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen in order to critically classify the potentials and risks of decentralized internet, digital payment methods or NFTs. It examines how non-hierarchical organizational structures in the digital open up new spaces for collaboration, activism and resistance and how a society of human and non-human actors could function. The BlockLab, which is organized decentralously in the exhibition, develops further through interaction and discourse with visitors, so that the learning exhibition grows steadily.

Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology The invention of cryptocurrencies is like a digital revolution and a turning point for many: Digital payments can be sent in seconds and autonomously, since the validity of the transactions can be traced at any time and at any place due to the transparency of the blockchain. Cryptocurrencies thus enable, so supporters say, barrier-free access to the financial system.

DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) establish digital cooperative forms. Smart Contracts replace banks or notaries. Tokenizations create participation in assets. But what does democratization mean in this context and how decentralized do blockchain technologies really operate? Can the power of global companies be reduced or are new monopolies formed in terms of finance and technology? To what extent is the use of blockchain technologies monetization strategies?

In collaboration with external partners from the fields of science, finance, fashion and beekeeping, the central promises of the blockchain – transparency, democratization, sustainability, freedom, decentralization, trust and wealth – are analyzed and critically classified. At the same time, the exhibition Kryptomania. The Promises of Blockchain takes up these questions in the confrontation with various contemporary artistic positions. Collaborations of human and non-human actors, changed possibilities of political activism and DAOs as new forms of organization are discussed with their opportunities and risks.

Non-fungible comics as an entry point A point of entry is the non-fungible comic by comic essayist Julia Schneider and artist Noëlle Kröger, which explains the economic and technological basis of NFTs and embeds them in societal discourses. The artist and software developer Sarah Friend, specialized in blockchain, deals with the physical infrastructure behind blockchain technologies in an installation newly created for the Zeppelin Museum and at the same time raises the question of how decentralization can be realized and whether new monopolies emerge in its implementation.

The use of blockchain technologies also enables new spaces of communality in interspecies cooperation. Non-human actors are thus given power of action, communal, assets and financial resources are transparently and decentralizedly managed using blockchain-based codes. BeeDAO, a web3 organization that aims to secure the welfare of bees, is an example of such an interspecies, collaborative approach. Bees and humans can join the Decentralized Autonomous Organization by contributing their data (proof-of-life) or by purchasing a NFT membership that can be used in assemblies for voting.

A forest for digital self-administration Delegates can be appointed by pollination, who represent the interests and bring forward proposals for improving bee life. terra0 enables a forest digital self-administration. Wood and other economic returns are controlled by blockchain technology so that the forest interacts with the