• Ubiquitous Music, Untokenizable Resources and Creative-Action Metaphors: Introducing the Internet of Musical Stuff (IoMuSt)

    Marcello Messina (see profile) , Ivan Simurra
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    Book chapter
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    As a subcategory of the blockchain technology that underwrites cryptocurrencies, NFTs are prominently targeting the market of multimedia digital art. In this chapter, we revisit the concept of IoMusT within the context of the current attempts to monetize the web contents through the use of NFTs. Recent literature on musicology, cultural studies and digital economics helps us analyze the attempts to produce scarcity within systems of digital exchanges. We contend that the NFT initiative involves a massive reification of non-material resources whose transition into the status of “things” may set yet another barrier to creative music making. As a resistance strategy, we propose a reconfiguration of the IoMusT as IoMuSt — the Internet of Musical Stuff. “Stuff” is fluid, malleable, unfixable and pecuniarily irrelevant. Thus, it may be invulnerable to an assigned ownership or market value. Rather than focusing on devices, paid services or monetized assets, IoMuSt conceives its ecosystems in terms of interconnected processes, actions and support-mechanisms that yield socially responsible, sustainable and open creativity-oriented engagements. We exemplify the concept of IoMuSt through four ubimus examples. These practices are based on volatile and antirivalrous resources, in other words, the resources only available during the activity and they gain social value through unrestricted sharing. They are also untokenizable, insofar as they benefit from an unlimited reproducibility. In contrast, NFTs rely on scarcity secured through the deployment of social labels such as “ownership”, “the real thing” “market value”. The validity of these social labels in blockchain is guaranteed by energyexpensive calculations that not only preclude the flourishing of creative ecosystems, they also represent a risk for the existence of life on the planet.
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    6 months ago
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