Interview with Carmen Zella, Founder and Creative Director of Now Art
Why is Now Art getting into cryptocurrency?
Today, many community based organizations are struggling because they’re limited in their reach and scope and are all vying for the same funding sources. Now Art seeks to engage the community through a more democratic platform and provide transparency by default — a necessary component to any organization receiving outside funds. Looking into the future, cryptocurrency can be an excellent source of funding and transparency for the art community because they establish verifiable trust that is public. The investor and community as a whole understand how their dollars are being spent as well as give them access to new causes and have an active role within them.
Art and technology are often looked at as two separate fields and we believe that they’re intrinsically unified. Cryptocurrency is always viewed as financial technology and we believe that the art world should be using this technology to collaborate with other community organizations to create a larger base and widen our impact. It will also allow greater participation from the public enabling us to do art pieces that challenge the way we interact and see the world around us.
Some of Now Art’s best projects so far have involved the public from start to finish and worked to solve problems. For example
by Akiko Yamashita in DTLA at Weller Court
was commissioned for the explicit purpose of bring safety and light to a dark corridor. The piece is now one of DTLA’s most instagrammed places and it has solved the larger safety issue.
by Patrick Shearn Pershing Square
Was a powerful, kinetic artwork which brought people out of their homes and offices and challenged them to engage with the city around them.
Moving forward, Now Art using cryptocurrency technology can create more of these kinds of projects. We’re excited to be one of the first organizations to mobilize this way in this space.
Why Ether Party and OST Kit?
Now Art’s goals are community engagement and art access. As a successful public art company we associate with visionaries and pioneers who are looking out for their clients and consumers. We have high standards and want to ensure accountability with the projects we take on and equal opportunity to the artists and the public.
Ether Party is a cryptocurrency developer community. Now Art will be using Ether Party’s Rocket — a secure, transparent, crowdfunding platform built on Ethereum. Since Now Art produces artworks for the benefit of the people of Los Angeles, rather than consumer goods for individuals, we are using a crowdfunding tool that will work at the public service scale. Other crowdfunding platforms are lacking in transparency and have limited scope and narrow bands of participation.
As public art consultants and problem solvers in the nonprofit world, we know reputation is everything. Sadly, transparency is often absent in the art world. OST is another developer community using Ethereum that solves the transparency problem. OST Kit gives Now Art and all stakeholders a total overview of how our funds are spent and the status of projects in real time.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a global decentralized computer which allows for smart contracts. A smart contract is a agreement between parties that does need an outside party to verify its execution. The rules set forth in a contract are encoded into Ethereum’s blockchain. Anyone can access the blockchain and see the transactions and confirm the obligations have been met.