Proof of Work
Blockchain Provocations 2011–2021
328 pp., 8 x 10 in, 15 color illus., 22 b&w illus.
- Published: January 24, 2023
A beautifully produced anthology of crypto-artist, writer, and hacker Rhea Myers's pioneering blockchain art, along with a selection of her essays, reviews, and fictions.
DAO? BTC? NFT? ETH? ART? WTF? HODL as OG crypto-artist, writer, and hacker Rhea Myers searches for faces in cryptographic hashes, follows a day in the life of a young shibe in the year 2032, and patiently explains why all art should be destructively uploaded to the blockchain.
Now an acknowledged pioneer whose work has graced the auction room at Sotheby's, Myers embarked on her first art projects focusing on blockchain tech in 2011, making her one of the first artists to engage in creative, speculative, and conceptual engagements with "the new internet."
Proof of Work brings together annotated presentations of Myers's blockchain artworks along with her essays, reviews, and fictions—a sustained critical encounter between the cultures and histories of the artworld and crypto-utopianism, technically accomplished but always generously demystifying and often mischievous.
Her deep understanding of the technical history and debates around blockchain technology is complemented by a broader sense of the crypto movement and the artistic and political sensibilities that accompanied its ascendancy. Remodeling the tropes of conceptual art and net.art to explore what blockchain technology reveals about our concepts of value, culture, and currency, Myers's work has become required viewing for anyone interested in the future of art, consensus, law, and collectivity.