Press Release

æternity’s blockchain to immortalise urban street art

The Drone Graffiti Project marks the start of the initiative with a live art installation powered by blockchain during Mexico City’s Art Week

Mexico City. 8th February 2019 – æternity has today announced that its blockchain will immortalise urban street art forever with the launch of the Drone Graffiti Project, a collaboration with a number of leading art studios and tech startups. Coinciding with Mexico City’s Art Week February 8th – 10th, a city that when it comes to street art, is up there on the world stage, the Drone Graffiti Project will complete the world’s first live urban art installation powered by blockchain.

Cutting-edge technology has been developed that will use drones to spray art on the walls in Roma Norte alongside Latin America’s most important art fair. Three artists have been selected to work with Drone Graffiti, including US artist Tom Edwards whose high profile farting unicorn image is not only seen on the screen of Tesla automobiles but is considered a symbol for artists rights in the digital age.

An emerging creative medium, Drone Graffiti embodies the ethos of urban art while offering fresh means of expression with a new aesthetic in places normally physically out of reach for artists, as well as a way for the artwork to be immortalised forever on the blockchain.

Street art is far from static — and often ephemeral, a race against the clock before building walls are ripped down, or detailed murals are painted over by the city or frustrated landlords, where these impermanent works become nothing but a distant memory. By leveraging core features of the æternity blockchain; public, decentralised, uncensored, transparent, distributed, these works of art can be archived and authenticated indefinitely, while making it accessible to a global audience.

Yanislav Malahov, founder of æternity blockchain and the man behind The Drone Graffiti Project, says: “Urban art has always been a medium for expression, an artistic commentary on the state of the world, a progressive and innovative way to connect via images and words. Urban art also has the tendency to be ephemeral, painted over or otherwise destroyed by the powers that be. So built into the Drone Graffiti Project are ways to make urban art not only unstoppable but permanent and available to everyone, as the art will also be housed on the blockchain.”

Building the hardware and software needed for this project were æternity blockchain, Voliro AG, SPH Engineering, DRONEMASTERS and Mexico-based urban art legends All City Canvas, among others.

æternity managed the process of having the blockchain linked to the drones, but having them modified to be able to paint literally anything submitted via an app was the work of SPH Engineering. “To enable a drone to become as the tool for graffiti artists is a technically challenging task, as the drone has to fly near to a wall and the flight path has to create a painting. Compared to other projects where drones are used for swarm management, professional research, or search and rescue operations – the Graffiti drone project provides the opportunity to be a part of a one-of-a-kind project where the technical management of the drone’s flight path has to create art,” says Janis Kuze of SPH Engineering.

Blockchain can produce a verifiable digital identity for urban art that would be retained for eternity. Since all relevant information pertaining to that piece of artwork is easily accessible, it will put an end to the risks of fraud (Is that Banksy really a Banksy?) and tokenization offers immense opportunity for street art become highly valuable in the future.

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