Episode interview with Max Osiris. Find his twitter Max Osiris Art and his blog at Max Osiris.
[00:37 – 01:30] Max was bitten by the NFT crypto art bug in 2018 when, during his research on blockchain, he stumbled across SuperRare and the concept of art as NFTs on the blockchain.
“It [NFT crypto art] seemed naturally like the evolution of art. I had the intuitive sense that this is going to be big.”
[01:31 – 02:53] Max then started submitting artwork to SuperRare, describing it as a digital and modern fine art gallery.
“They [SuperRare] looked like Sotheby’s.”
[02:54 – 04:19] Describes himself as a transdimensional artist. Has been called a digital shaman, which he understands he might have earned through his interests in psychedelics and visionary states.
[04:20 – 04:59] Some of Max’s favorite art is art that speaks to something (be it political issues or philosophical issues). Feels crypto art is a good vehicle for capturing the zeitgeist.
[05:03 – 07:20] Feels that the democratization of art is one of the most exciting aspects of NFT crypto art. Resents the idea that there is an exclusive group of people like Kenny Schachter who have “great taste in art” and who, thus, dictate what great art is.
[07:25 – 08:50] Loves that crypto art has disintermediated the art world, making traditional art galleries and curators less important than they used to be. Notes that individuals can now show off their NFT crypto art collections (like Robness, X Copy, etc) on sites like Cyber.
[08:51 – 12:14] Has had to mint art on different platforms like KnownOrigin, Rarible, and OpenSea because, at some point, he was kicked off another platform. Was kicked off SuperRare because he used portions of Hackatao in his “I1O I1O I1O [EDIT] LOVE” piece without Hackatao’s permission. Was kicked off KnownOrigin because he got doxxed.
[12:15 – 13:27] When an Institut Gallery show in London demanded that Max’s submission be bound by the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), Max refused and, instead, submitted a piece titled DMCA which was mostly whitespace with a paragraph talking about the absurdity of the DMCA.
[13:38 – 14:28] Displeased that Kim Dotcom was harassed over copyright issues and has been fighting extradition for about 10 years. Largely blames industries that pay lawmakers to control individual artists through digital rights management and, invariably, stifle creativity.
[14:29 – 16:38] Robness digitized the 64 GALLON TOTER as a protest to copyright issues and Max being banned.
“That was like the resistance piece to me getting banned, amongst other things.”
This was to be the beginning of the Trash Art movement, with more artists joining in to stand up for each other against the gatekeeping on platforms. Following the clamour by artists that the ban on Max and Robness be lifted, the platform eventually caved, agreeing to let Max and Robness back on with hopes that they would not “cause any more trouble”.
[16:39 – 19:28] Max believes the platforms are simply trying to avoid hosting content that violates copyright laws. Resents that DMCA is used to stifle creativity, control, and extort money from artists. Discusses Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie vs Sad Frogs District, where Matt, via a DMCA takedown request, prevailed on OpenSea to take down the Sad Frogs District project.
Sabretooth reflects that since most NFT projects are run anonymously and one needs to reveal one’s identity when filing a counterclaim to the DMCA, copyright holders could file even baseless copyright claims, knowing that the artists are more likely to decide fighting the DMCA takedown is not worth revealing their personal information.
[19:29 – 20:42] Max’s ex-girlfriend used a celebrity’s photo on her shoe website, and she received an automated DMCA takedown request demanding that she pay a fine and stop using the photo. Max also had a run-in with DMCA, where they took down his tweet of a piece of crypto art because it “contained, within it, an image of a porn star”.
“I hate the automated [DMCA] extortion racket system based on outdated law that cannot keep up with the intricacies of what we’re all experiencing.”
[20:44 – 21:13] Sabretooth thinks that, while there might be more NFT art platforms, most of them are centralized platforms that are subject to US laws.
[20:46 – 24:32] Max had a negative visceral reaction to the announcement on OpenSea that Coca-Cola had dropped their first NFT. Fears that crypto art could become corporatized just like almost everything else in the modern world.
[24:34 – 27:17] Max worries that world governments and banks can, through loans, own a company’s resources including their people. Refers to this as “modern version of slavery”.
Feels artists must unite to resist “the old systems” taking over the NFT market.
Thinks crypto will promote more creativity and help more artists earn more, no matter where they are in the world.
[27:18 – 30:51] Max is looking forward to projects using crypto to restore the world.
Has downloaded the Cosmos framework and is looking forward to developing his own blockchain and contract which will allow the “ethos of the individual” to align with nature.
Hopes to be able to have a smart contract that will automatically use whatever wealth he can aggregate to fund worthwhile projects such as people planting natural food in their neighbourhoods, helping remediate the land, etc.
Iterates that we need to restore our habitat and our relationships with our fellow human beings.