CryptoKitties Are The New Art: German Museum Uses Digital Cats To Explain Blockchain

The collectibles game makes its way to the ZKM Center for Art and Media.

CryptoKitties as art is not a new concept. Remember when somebody paid $140,000 for an art piece coupled with a CryptoKitty? Folks love their fuzzy, collectible, and sometimes hideously cute virtual cats.

This time around, the litter of digital kitties – in partnership with digital art firm Meural – is hitting the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. Part of an exhibit called “Bringing Blockchain to Life,” the CryptoKitties are intended to help people visualize (or put a furry face to) blockchain technology.

The exhibit will display the blockchain-based cats on digital canvasses provided by Meural. Each cat is unique and can stand alone as a work of art.

The CEO and co-founder of CryptoKitties, Roham Gharegozlou, sees the museum exhibit as an opportunity to get more people interested in blockchain technology:

“Emerging technology often has its most innovative work conducted in the art world – the Kitties are artworks themselves. Our exhibit at ZKM continues our mission of demystifying the blockchain so that the people that can benefit from it most – whether they’re creators and consumers, or artists and their fans – can be a part of the technology’s future.”

“Bringing Blockchain to Life” will be included in ZKM’s ongoing “Open Codes” exhibition, which presents “artworks and scientific works based on digital as well as on analog codes,” according to the museum’s website. The works in this space attempt to explain the complexity of digital codes – including algorithms, machine learning, and virtual reality – through the medium of art. Other notable blockchain-inspired art pieces in the exhibition include the following:

"BitterCoin" (2016) by César Escudero Andaluz and Martín Nadal
“BitterCoin” (2016) by César Escudero Andaluz and Martín Nadal
"Blockchain Future States" (2016) by Simon Denny
“Blockchain Future States” (2016) by Simon Denny
"KryptoLab" (2017) by Daniel Heiss
“KryptoLab” (2017) by Daniel Heiss

Blockchain and art have intersected before. In June 2018, for example, art platform Maecenas began its cryptocurrency auction for digital shares of Andy Warhol’s silkscreen “14 Small Electric Chairs.”

Daniel Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

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