This week host Matthew Stotts talks with tech entrepreneur and scholar Josh Rosenthal to gain insight into the similarities between the Renaissance of the Middle Ages and the current Crypto Renaissance. What gets highlighted is how art can be used to build communities, upend authoritative systems, and create a new world.
Josh Rosenthal is a Co-founder and partner at 6ixth Event Cataclysmic Capital. The company is a think-tank mixing culture, history, and technology to pave the way for a crypto-first future through funding and investments. Josh also holds a PhD in Late Medieval, Renaissance history, receiving a Fulbright scholarship to Sorbonne's Institute for Advanced Studies.
When Rosenthal first discovered crypto in 2017, he immediately saw a connection to the renaissance period he had studied in-depth years prior. Josh views history as a pendulum that swings back and forth between times where a few select people hold tremendous power, wealth, and control over communication. He explains how ledger-based accounting and the printing press contributed significantly to the former changes and compares them to modern ledger-based technology and NFTs.
"They essentially unwound 1,000 years of hegemony and hierarchy and were able to rebuild their world to rebirth it economically, work-wise, culturally, socially, politically, to such a degree that it became a new world and was reborn."
The pamphlets from the printing press used artist imagery to poke fun at the hierarchal power in place. And while you might think only profound, revolutionary art could have made such an impact, Rosenthal explains it was super offensive imagery that got people talking, dreaming, and imagining a new world.
"You'd be looking at the stuff. These images would be completely crazy because, for the first time, they posed a challenge, not just a challenge, a super pointed challenge at all authority, political authority, economic authority, and military authority."
What happened in history is now happening again with decentralized finance and communication tools used to create new alternatives to replace failing systems and intuitions. However, according to Rosenthal, what's unique about this Crypto Renaissance is that people have decentralized rights, which cover things in the synthetic world and the physical world. He explains how NFTs are really on the cutting-edge of this, as communities like the Bored Ape Yacht Club emerge.
To learn more about Josh's contributions towards the Crypto Renaissance listen to Permissionless Art's full-length interview now available for download now via Apple, Spotify, or your favorite streaming platform.
To stay up to date about upcoming episodes, please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Twitter.