Arts DAO Fest is a prominent cultural festival that emphasizes the burgeoning world of digital art and Web3 technologies. It’s organised by Arts DAO, the largest Web3 community in the Middle East, and aims to foster innovation, creativity, and connectivity among digital art enthusiasts and creators. Culture For Causes Network will display, in partnership with Polkadot, some artworks of ‘Reconciliation with the living’ on the occasion of Arts DAO Fest 2024, 20-21 April in Dubai.

Artist & artworks

The Dubai edition will focus on zancan’s artworks especially made for ‘Reconciliation with the living’.

Michaël Zancan is an artist from Bordeaux, France, who has worked as both an oil painter and a creative programmer since the early 90s. In 2021, he discovered in blockchain technology the ideals of decentralization, and in NFTs, a tool that challenges the art market and gives artists and collectors the ability to connect and the freedom to invest in art and engage in social projects without prejudice or intermediaries.

Zancan practices a genre of art that he describes as “generative-figurative” with a focus on rendering nature using computer code and mathematical formulas. His series “Garden, Monoliths” or “Lushtemples” encourage discussions about virtuous and toxic interactions between technology and the natural world. Zancan is currently the most sought-after artist on Tezos, a blockchain known for its minimal environmental impact.

Photo: Benoit Cary

Landscape with Carbon Offset

Landscape with Carbon Offset 2022, zancan, 110 cm x 195.5 cm Courtesy of 6529 Capital.

I was a very young boy when I was stunned by a machine in a store: a typewriter with an LCD segment display. It was tangible proof of a dream future, then called “the year 2000”, which would bring us flying cars and helpful humanoid robots. I grew up and organized my professional and creative life inhabited by this childhood fascination for the marvels of technology. You have to mature enough to understand when adhering to these promises of a benevolent and playful future makes you a devoted consumer. I broke later with this utopia of abundance, ease and technological comfort, not without difficulty; Having become a critic of my own desires, I now live with this torment: our energy to build carries our own demise.

There are those gurus whom we love to revere, those makers of jewels, pleasures and riches, who chant the promise of our individual happiness in technological progress. These make solutions up that stir up the very problem. “Always control your speed,” said the driving instructor; today no one knows how to brake. Everything I create today is inhabited by this doubt and this guilt, in the realisation that my innocent pleasure of creating depends on what fuels our race towards disaster.

Yet energy is the engine of men. Art has this kind of energy, charismatic and unifying. If I believe little in technology to save humanity, I keep hope in humanity, in its conscience, in the universality of its love. If only one power is given to artists, it is that of being able to touch, sometimes, the hearts of men, and in this sense, I have this duty to continue to try.

“Landscape with Carbon Offset” is an honest critique of my own consciousness as an artist working with technology. The canvas where the desire to explore new forms of art is expressed, will always remain stained with the hydrocarbons that I participated in burning ; the technological solutions that we place our faith in are barely more than ways to wash away our guilt. For these reasons, through the hard times, more than ever, we need beauty in our lives. – Michaël Zancan

Landscape with Carbon Capture

Landscape with Carbon Capture was created by zan- can in November 2022 on the occasion of the campaign #Artists4theLiving organized by the non-profit Culture For Causes Network in coordination with UNESCO. It is a gen- erative artwork, meaning that it was created through the use of programming code and math formulas Moreover, the artwork was accessible for purchase during the cam- paign by NFT collectors, who could buy various versions of it as the algorithm made alterations to the artwork on-the- fly. These unique pieces showcase the exciting possibilities that digital tools are enabling, as they usher in a new era of artistic creations that are captivating entire communities of NFT art aficionados.

Landscape with Carbon Capture #1028, 2022, zancan, 36 cm x 36 cm. Courtesy of Kylo

Landscape with Carbon Capture #6887, 2022, zancan, 36cmx36cm. Courtesy of agksys

Landscape with Carbon Capture #10175, 2022, zancan, 36 cm x 36 cm. Courtesy of Darek.eth

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