An installation view of a gallery with black painted walls and text printed in different colors on one wall, and two colored graphs visible on the other
Installation view of “Rhea Myers: The Ego, and It’s 0wned,” Nagel Draxler Crypto Kiosk, Berlin, 2023. Photo: Simon Vogel


Rhea Myers

by Outland

Rhea Myers has been making work that explores blockchain technology for more than a decade. Having studied at the Center for Electronic Art at Middlesex University in England in the 1990s, she had long been interested in how emerging technologies could be used by artists to accurately reflect their contemporary moment: a strategy that Myers refers to as “technical realism.” She started to attend blockchain meet-ups in Vancouver in the early 2010s, becoming quickly alert to this innovation’s potential as an artistic medium and subject.

In this virtual studio visit, Myers discussed her work to bridge the politically divergent worlds of art and crypto: drawing on crypto as a financial resource for artists, and bringing the critical perspective of art to bear on discussions of the technology. Joined by critic Kevin Buist, who recently profiled Myers for Outland, she described how projects such as Is Art (2014/15)—an Ethereum smart contract that can be toggled by users to assert that it either “is” or “is not” art—take their cues both from the history of conceptual art (the 1960s group Art & Language is a notable reference point) and the particular properties and claims of the blockchain. She also offered an overview of her recent solo exhibition at Nagel Draxler in Berlin, “The Ego and It’s 0wned.”

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