Analyzing “HOW ARE WE”, a tokenized performing arts film

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As reported by Cointelegraph, earlier this week a quarantine-inspired performing arts film called HOW ARE WE was processed and minted into a non-expendable token in the Ethereum block chain. The project also minted another set of HOW expendable tokens and distributed them to film contributors.

The rights to the work are now controlled by the primary token holder, although mechanisms are in place to ensure that any change in Bitcoin Lifestyle ownership will also reward the HOW token holders. The total value of the initial sale will be distributed among the contributors, with 10% of the value of any future sale being distributed in the same manner.

Performance rights are now tokenized in the Ethereum block chain

As a concept to tokenize art, demonstrate legitimacy and ownership and provide ongoing rewards for the original artists, it is a tantalizing vision of a future potential enabled by blockchain for the art world…

…but is HOW ARE WE any good as art?

A heterogeneous mix of performing arts
The film consists of 15 separate performing arts clips, each lasting 90 seconds. Individual artists devised and filmed a performance inspired by the quarantine conditions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As each piece has been created in isolation, the styles vary greatly, from works that focus on movement to representations of spoken words and characters to more abstract and esoteric clips.

We see the artists squirm, dance, get excited and move. One man lets a handful of glittering confetti be picked up by the wind in slow motion, while another plays tennis against a wall while the background audio of the sirens sounds.

One woman drowns under a sea of her own creation, while another has a Zoom call with several instances of herself in a remote garden. Some leaves move while distorted children’s voices play in the background, and a clip is just a picture of a dog dozing.

Something for (almost) everyone

Obviously, the performing arts can be quite divisive and certainly not for everyone. If you think it’s just an excuse for pretentious pseudo-intellectuals to jump around like cretins, here’s something to change your mind about.

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However, if you’re open to a little artistic expression, there’s a lot to see here. While it is a mix in terms of style and quality, some interesting concepts are explored. Also, each one lasts only 90 seconds, so if you don’t like a piece, then there’s not much to wait for until you get something totally different.

And, of course, who wouldn’t benefit from watching a dog sleep for a minute and a half?

While the rights to the artwork can be kept in the block chain, the 25-minute film is currently available free to view online.