Divine Multimedia Transmissions 0001 is a stream-of-consciousness verbal essay about creativity, interdependence & self-expression as a spiritual practice; performed with a live soundtrack & visuals
Minted on Zora under the full moon in Virgo, February 02021
It was primarily designed as a spoken word audio-visual experience. I invite you to set aside 9 minutes and watch it full-screen. You might enjoy using headphones or your favorite speakers.
To hear sound, hit the 'mute' icon in the bottom-right of the image
Patron: Yaniv Tal
The meta-story is that this is an experiment in patronage. Please enjoy the piece first: it was intended as an audiovisual experience but for those who prefer text (or want to quote me), a full text transcription follows. When you're done, we'll talk about the meta-story surrounding it in the Afterword section.
The version using text
What a moment we find ourselves in.
A moment where we are being presented with the opportunity to write a new mythology for our civilization. We're being granted the opportunity to do that together, with the role of art & music & creativity at the center point. We're getting the opportunity to ask what happens if we take seriously the role of art & artists & the people who make our culture.
This isn't hypothetical wondering about what a utopia might be like; this isn’t a fantastical utopia that is out of reach. This is an opportunity for us to get to decide what we will build together in our lifetimes with no one to stop us but ourselves.
And so this is the question: whether or not we value art and music. I can tell you the answer for myself. For myself, I wouldn't be here had I not reconnected with my own humble and vulnerable creative connection. We're not asking for celebrities, for people to put on MTV, for people to put on pedestals, or for people to throw awards at: that's not what this is about anymore.
This is about recognizing that the human capacity for raw self expression is the biggest gift that we could have been given, and is the reason that we're on this planet in the first place. Our individual, humble, creativity is how God expresses themselves in the universe. Before I lose too many people by saying the “G” word: I mean God as in the energy. I don't mean, an old white dude with a big white beard up in the sky wagging his finger at you. Although, if that's what you believe, I'm not going to stop you from believing that either.
I mean, God as an extra dimensional, infinite form of the purest, purest love. Of the most powerful unity between everything in the universe; between every human on this planet; between every sentient being in every corner of the universe; in every molecule of carbon; between here and wherever those depths are. And that's just in this dimension! We're talking about creativity, love & unity that span, far, far beyond & far deeper than those affectations of time that we believe to be so permanent. That's the God I'm talking about. Let's get back to talking about creativity, we can go back into that some other time!
I believe that God & source energy & love & unity & creativity are the same thing. These are my spiritual beliefs—you don't have to take them—but I know I'm not the only one who believes this: that creative energy; the energy that we feel when we're in the zone & making something we love to do is as close to God as we'll ever see. It is the same energy: of flow states & of peak experiences. That's what All Of This is.
And so we have a responsibility, as I see it, to reconstruct our society in a way that honors this. In a way that says, "Yes! Your art is valid!"; that says, “Yes! Your music is valid!”; that says “Yes! Every hobby, every interest you have that capitalism has told you isn't a real job is the most real thing you could be doing”.
That's what this spring is going to be about: inventing new mythologies for our civilization that says “your art is valid”; that say “your art, is not only real work. It is the realest work that you could do”.
And we’re creating a culture in which we celebrate and support people to do the things that they are here to do.
If you follow my work closely, you may have already seen the NFT of the audiovisual version of this piece on Zora a few weeks ago. Yaniv Tal was the first person to own the NFT, and I want to thank him for his ongoing support of my work.
Recently I've been tweeting a lot about NFTs representing a paradigm of Private Patronage of Public-Enjoyed Work. We are used to property being a private resource, and early media narratives around NFTs suggest that they represent a kind of "artificial digital scarcity". Instead, I believe in the inside-out notion that by being a patron of an NFT you're enabling everyone to enjoy it. Rather than a contrived constriction on the flow of information, interdependent patronage allows for communal abundance.
This exploratory format of audiovisual essays has a tradeoff: they're not inclusive for folks who are hard of hearing or can't understand my accent. I'm a musician and want to experiment with this new format for my words, and yet providing inaccessible content is unacceptable for me.
I didn't write any notes before I recorded the spoken word piece, and cheap, AI-powered transcription services don't understand my voice. Providing inaccurate computer-generated captions (as on YouTube and other websites) doesn't feel like a benefit to me, yet doing them by hand is very time consuming. Instead of spending hours of creative time transcribing this piece myself, Yaniv's patronage allowed me to pay for a high-quality human transcription. I happily used the time I saved to make art instead, and with the publishing of the text version I am satisfied that there is now an accessible alternative for people who can't listen to the audio version.
There are many more implications of Private Patronage of Public-Enjoyed Work which I intend to experiment with in all of my work across the metaverse, & write about here. For now, I am grateful for Yaniv's contribution in providing the transcription for everyone, and for freeing me up to make more art instead of typing it myself. At a meta-level I hope this inspires your own experiments with patronage; I am excited to read your own findings on the process.
Lastly: at the time of writing, Yaniv is the current owner of this piece on Zora, but if you appreciated either the piece itself or what it represents as a public experiment in patronage you can make Yaniv an offer for it and I get a portion of the sale. We can talk more about how Zora works and why it's cool at a later time: for now I want to offer this as another example of sustainable, ongoing, communal patronage.
With so much gratitude,