How Winston found intimacy in online spaces with a blockchain-based social network

Winston Chmielinski’s work has mostly been in the studio, until lockdown forced him to reconsider his direction and he found himself working at a blockchain-based social network for artists. Image: Winston Chmielinski

Sometimes in life, balancing the desire to do something we love and the pressure of having to accumulate more and more money can be hard. Not everyone is in fact lucky enough to do something they love for a living and sometimes one of the two – wealth or quality time – needs to be prioritized.

Berlin-based community member Winston, the choice is pretty clear and perhaps unexpected for many: Wealth or time? I won’t devalue either of those, because first and foremost wealth is not about money, it’s about feeling that you always have something to offer. And time is not the amount, but it’s the expansiveness of the moment. And the two are the same to me.’

 

Winston in the studio. Photo: Winston Chmielinski

Winston’s answer to this question actually was drawn from his own experience during the past few (very strange) months:

An odd thing about this period of time for me is that I haven’t actually been home for a year. So this entire lockdown, I’ve been getting very intimate with very impersonal spaces. I rented a studio that was way above my means so I could live and work there while my apartment was rented out. Because I don’t believe in compromise when it comes to art-making. […] I pivoted my practice to do away with all the things that made me uncomfortable inside, everything that always felt like a further compromise: materials with weird chemicals and inferior polymers, galleries with misaligned expectations. To counteract, I created natural alternatives for the materials, and finally let go of stifling art-world structures. I decided that I want to look back on this time as a time when I no longer considered it risky to feel integrated, to forego perceived comfort for meaning.”

Images: Winston Chmielinski

This currently troublesome world, however, also led Winston to new discoveries: “In the span of about six months, basically, I confronted my artistic blocks head-on and ended up with… a new life. Haha. I’m literally working for newlife.ai, a blockchain-based social network for artists.” he explains.

Newlife might actually be the social network of the future, they describe the concept themselves as:

“a decentralized computing platform enabling a seamless flow of content, data and feedback loops between content creators and AI producers. When you start your new life, your mind gets wired to a network of contemporary artists, designers, and cultural influencers in order to shape the cultures of tomorrow, today.”

What’s innovative about Newlife is the Deep Touch, the universal gesture of the app: “you can navigate the app and rate content by tapping and holding your phone on the zones you care about. […] Forget about ‘following’, touch+ hold your screen intuitively to magnetize who and what you love into an AI-customised feed. […] The more you hold your finger on the screen, the more intense your appreciation is” – according to their website.

This app seems therefore to be the perfect blend between a social network to meet other interesting humans with the help of an algorithm, an ever-changing source of inspiration for creatives, and a platform to cultivate one’s creative bandwidth. It might be a way to use AI and its endless possibilities to build more a more significant network and, as a start-up with the same human-based approach, we couldn’t be more excited about it!

Find out more at Newlife!

  • Visit Berlin and immerse yourself in its worldwise famous cultural flair and polihedric society, its everlasting parties and strong musical and artistic roots.

  • Stay at Winston’s apartment which looks out on Karl-Marx Allee, East Berlin’s most iconic area for architecture, and get the feeling of living in the sky thanks to its huge north and south-facing windows!!

     

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