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October 3, 2023

HELLO WORLD | The MoMA Postcard

A new project from The Museum of Modern Art celebrates co-creation on the blockchain
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HELLO WORLD | The MoMA Postcard
A total work of art is only possible in the context of the whole of society. Everyone will be a necessary co-creator of a social architecture, and, so long as anyone cannot participate, the ideal form of democracy has not been reached. Whether people are artists, assemblers of machines or nurses, it is a matter of participating in the whole.¹ (Joseph Beuys)

MoMA Postcard is an act of borderless collaborative creativity, powered by Autonomy, that invites any and all to participate. Akin to a digital chain letter and echoing Beuys’s notion of “social sculpture,” each postcard is designed collaboratively — stamp by stamp, person by person — as it moves from one destination to the next. Reminiscent of early pixel art and paying homage to the mail art movement, participants design stamps using a 10 x 10 pixel grid. As each stamp is confirmed on the blockchain, it becomes a token of ownership, resulting in a 15-stamp postcard that is simultaneously co-created and co-owned. 

Both the concept behind the project and its technical mechanics ask us to consider the role and importance of community. The more people who contribute to a postcard, the more aesthetically rich it becomes. In this way, the MoMA Postcard is as much a reflection of the individual as it is of the whole. Because the creation of each card requires collective action, the initiative seeks to create a digital space that inspires meaningful connection within and across multiple communities — to work together, share experience together, and create value together. 

Kicking off the project with a special collection, we asked 15 artists working at the intersection of art and technology to create their own set of postcards. Each creator started with a blank card for which they devised their own personal prompt. The 15 cards were then passed around all 15 artists, accumulating new stamps as they traversed the globe. In total, the First 15 postcards have traversed 35 cities, 11 countries, and five continents to produce a full set of cards and a unique work of social sculpture. Here, the First 15 artists reflect on the importance of co-creation — and crypto art — to digital culture. 

Anna Lucia, Vermillion-Network-Architecture, Prompt: “a path from A to B.”

Anna Lucia

It's exciting to see MoMA exploring ways to interact with the blockchain, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Instead of launching an NFT collection, the MoMA Postcard project makes creating and interacting with the blockchain accessible to a broader public. The constraints on the number of pixels and colors you can use to design your stamp make it easy to collaborate yet offer enough space to be playful and creative. 

I don’t have a formal art education — collaboration and co-creation are a way to educate myself. When I initially started teaching myself how to code, I wasn’t connected to anyone working with the same medium. 

When I started sharing my work on social media, a world of generative artists opened up. This community has been instrumental in my development as an artist owing to the spirit of knowledge sharing and supporting one another. 
Stamp: Grant Yun | Prompt: Anna Lucia

Grant Yun

I am proud to be here as one of the 15 selected artists and happy I have the ability to share my voice and vision with a larger audience. It has been uplifting as a digitally native artist to see support from the MoMA for digital and blockchain-based artists. 

I hope that, in the future, people will reflect on moments like this as monumental timestamps that shifted the narrative for blockchain, contemporary, and digital art.  

There is something remarkably special in Web3 that can impact contemporary art. [...] One clarification to make is that gatekeeping and curation are not the same — as artists begin to adopt this technology, I hope to see more important bodies of curation shape the way digital art is consumed. That is how this model will survive. The ability to share assets via blockchain will be at a scale never seen before in human history. The MoMA Postcard helps mark the beginning of this technological transition. 

Linda Dounia, Fawn-Particle-Gouache, Prompt: “Remember flowers.”

Linda Dounia Rebeiz

While participation in the blockchain isn’t technically restricted to anyone, there is a steep learning curve involved in gaining the confidence to navigate it safely. The MoMA Postcard project makes this otherwise daunting journey fun and educational. The combination of the MoMA’s reputation with the playful and community-oriented mechanics of this project can introduce people to the blockchain and get them excited about its potential. 

As an artist working with technology, I always felt lonely. I live in Dakar, Senegal, where I haven’t met many artists who work with digital media. Joining the blockchain, which felt like the very edge of the internet, was the first time I didn’t feel like the odd one out. It didn’t matter where I was from, what I looked like, which art school I attended or didn’t attend. 

During my time in Web3, I have had the opportunity to engage in co-creation — collaborating with peers to build a body of work, co-curating exhibitions, and experimenting together with new tools. Building with others has become an integral part of my practice. It is true that, much like every institution in the world, the blockchain is overwhelmingly male, and white. But, in my opinion, that’s poised to change. Some of the most vibrant blockchain ecosystems are in Africa, and I am convinced that the future of the blockchain is in the Global South. 

Before the blockchain, I was frantically applying to residencies hoping to get an introduction into the art world. I didn’t go to art school and didn’t have connections to the gallery circuit in my home town, so building a career as an artist felt impossible. The literature I came across about women, black women, and black women from Senegal in the art world wasn’t encouraging. A couple of years on, and I have the blockchain to thank for a thriving practice in both the digital and physical realms. Many opportunities I have received in the art world have come from the exposure the blockchain has given me. 

Stamp: Ykxotkx | Prompt: Linda Dounia


I am very honored to have been selected to participate in the MoMA Postcard First 15. It is a great project that shows that there are talented artists actively working in Web3 all over the world. It also proves that Web3 can enable creation, co-creation, and the sharing of art like never before. Of course, it’s ultimately up to me to decide what my style should be. However, getting candid feedback on my artwork, and learning about the practices of other artists is a good opportunity to objectively reconsider my creative process.

Crypto art has promoted the democratization of art. Creators have made their works available to collectors all over the world, while collectors have been able to obtain their favorite works at reasonable prices. 

Although there are some drawbacks to crypto art, including its dependency on the price fluctuations of certain cryptocurrencies, I feel that it is improving thanks to the efforts of crypto art marketplaces and platforms. However, it is also true that crypto art is still less well-known than traditional, non-crypto, art. Projects like the MoMA Postcard can increase public awareness of crypto art, including work that utilizes blockchain and smart contracts.

Operator, Puce-Radial-Etching, Prompt: “Number of hearts you’ve broken (romantic love or not). Black pixels, white background, numeric characters only. Please sign.”


We are thrilled to be part of the story of how MoMA explored the blockchain and their role in educating the public about why artists are interested in the technology, its potential, and how it is already impacting art and culture. 

Trying to build a community is like trying to be sexy. If you try too hard you fail or just attract the wrong attention. If you have something real to say and believe in what you are putting out into the world, then genuine community is a natural by-product. 

We are blown away by the people, friends, collaborators, collectors, and supporters (community) we’ve experienced growing around us since we entered the Web3 art scene. Previously, we felt quite isolated — making complex projects that few appreciated or wanted to take the time to understand; not really fitting in anywhere; not having an audience except for select curators, writers, and entities who would host events where our work could fit. We are thankful to those people to this day because it was difficult having nothing to sell, few to listen, and no way to support us practically in creating the work we envisioned. 

The only thing that kept us going, besides complete impracticality, was our love for what we were doing and a belief that we were doing something worthwhile. Having a real community has propelled us into a completely different realm. It also has us thinking beyond “what can we create?” into “what can we create that can facilitate more possibilities for others to create?”

Stamp: Operator | Prompt: p1xelfool

Our collection, Unsigned (2022), in collaboration with Anika Meier immediately comes to mind when we think of co-creation. It is a collection of signatures from 100 women and non-binary artists, created to reverse the negative value of the signatures by proving their isolated value on the market. Due to the momentum around the collection and the fact that signatures went into major individual and institutional collections, we were able to facilitate what felt like a global conversation that included artists, collectors, and observers around an important topic. 

The speed with which Unsigned went from an idea at a dinner table to a real artwork with collectors and supporters is something that could only have happened within the Web3 art space. 

Beyond that, every Operator artwork is a co-creation because we’re a duo, but as experiential artists many of our works are also co-created by or with the audience. Web3 has unlocked new ways for us to allow audience participants to engage with or co-create our work from anywhere in the world and for much longer durations than was ever possible before. 

p1xelfool, Cerise-Boolean-Kinetic, Prompt: “RGB Paradise.”


It’s extremely exciting to see the blockchain being used in conceptual ways, exemplified by this project. Knowing that computational art has such a novel history, to see an established institution like the MoMA opening space for dialogues across the field is quite fulfilling. I also deeply admire the artists involved — it’s definitely a special project.

My practice is deeply influenced by the internet and more specifically net art, which was not informed by local practices, but by a huge network of people across the globe. My principal tool is Processing, a framework that has been kept alive by a non-profit foundation, which I have only been able to access because someone miles away from where I live made it available online. 

My work could only exist as part of a collective force.

We are still learning, but we have to make sure that we are opening space for people from all sorts of backgrounds and not reproduce the same logic that has kept the narrative focused on the same figures as usual. It is quite amazing to know that I’m so far from New York, but I can still participate in a project like this. 

Stamp: Casey Reas | Prompt: IX Shells

Casey Reas

It’s wonderful to do things together — to explore, have fun, and to play together. Art is extremely open, and it can be different things at different times. It can mean something unique to everyone. I’m always excited about diverse art ecologies and communities, and I’m always excited about encouraging people to draw with each other. 

The MoMA Postcard project creates a way for us to connect with others, to build and create new relationships. The art here is in the interaction and social play.
IX Shells, Tan-Fill-Landscape, Prompt:  “Let’s send each other shells, this is the only way Ix can play. Recreate the shell pattern you see. Use only black and white.”

IX Shells

For several years I have been creating artwork with the goal of sharing what I see with the world. The community that we are building on the blockchain is still nascent, while we represent people from all over the world, we are really the few. The validation and support of one of the world’s leading art institutions allows for our practices to reach new audiences. I recognize that because of the speculative nature of cryptocurrency, with which our artwork is bought and sold, the general public may be skeptical of art that lives on-chain. 

The First 15 are not just some stamps on a digital postcard — they represent a stamp of approval. It sends a message to many who do not understand what we are doing that there is a real art movement underway. This excites me and I am honored to be participating alongside 14 other pioneers of art on the blockchain. 

Prior to selling my first work, I did not have the resources to participate in Web3. It was actually my fellow artist and community member Dmitri Cherniak who purchased that piece. With the ETH raised from that sale and the support of the budding blockchain community, I was able to pursue art full-time. I have also had the privilege of support from individual collectors and micro-communities in the form of DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) who have played a very important role as patrons of the arts. It’s fair to say that the community that has sprung up on the blockchain has helped me to come out of my shell. 

Stamp: IX Shells | Prompt: Casey Reas

I like to think that all of my work has been co-created in some form. I draw inspiration from artists both past and present and while I have carved out my own visual style, I often create with their stories in mind. I am constantly in dialogue with other artists who have provided feedback on my work throughout the years. I work closely with my studio manager Rosendo Morel Choy, a fantastic artist who is also based in Panama, so I would say that co-creation is a fundamental part of my practice. 

Without the crypto art movement I am not sure that I would have been able to pursue a full-time career in art. The blockchain has provided a pedestal on which I and many other artists have been able to speak through our work. Voices like mine are historically underrepresented in the traditional art world. Women, particularly women of color and from my part of the world in the Caribbean, cannot access the same frameworks as other artists in more developed countries. For this, crypto art has been a blessing and while traditional galleries and collectors may not pay as much attention to people like me, the MoMA has proved that it cares to embrace inclusivity through its collection and exhibitions. 

The art world and the general public listens to the MoMA. Having its support can make a big difference in breaking down the barriers of entry to artists who previously did not have a forum.
Kim Asendorf, Opal-Frustrum-Landscape, Prompt: “Copy the last pattern and change 49 pixels.”

Kim Asendorf

I was curious about what can be done within the paradigm of the little 10 x 10 pixel canvas. The limitation of possibilities enforces an interesting level of creativity. It was like a little daily puzzle to solve. 

An artist can create an artwork and have a fulfilling time while doing so, but the artwork needs to be seen (or heard) to really come alive. Communities, however you define them, are vital to art. As an artist you can literally feel that energy. A similar energy can arise when a group of artists creates something together. You have to give away a lot of control but you get some energy back in return.

Stamp: LoVid | Prompt: Kim Asendorf


We’re excited to be part of this fun project with a great group of artists and friends. In 2008, we presented videos and an audiovisual performance at MoMA during a Modern Mondays event curated by Barbara London. We see our work with blockchain technology and NFTs as a continuation of our media, audiovisual, and material-based digital works. 

It is essential for digital and Web3 art to be contextualized within the frame of modern and contemporary art, and we’re excited to see how the public will respond. Since NFTs have often been associated with financial speculation, it is especially exciting to participate in something truly collaborative and experimental. As a collaborative duo (LoVid is two people) co-creation is everything. In addition to working with each other, we collaborate with other artists and technologists on a regular basis. LoVid can expand and contract to bring in more or fewer people as needed for each project. 

Artists rarely work in a vacuum — there are often fabricators, assistants, and curators who all help bring the work to life and we do our best to shine a light on this collaborative nature of art. 

Collaboration and engagement are also core elements of Web3 and generative art in particular. Engineers, developers, collectors, writers, artists, and many more people sustain and participate in this genre, system, and economy every day. It’s the nature of decentralization. 

Dmitri Cherniak, Mango-Grayscale-Dada, Prompt: “MoMA is making a 10k PFP project using Geese. Use to help create your honorary avatar.”

Dmitri Cherniak

To me, the MoMA Postcard project is both a reflection of the unique global community that tokenized art has created, as well as an opportunity to pay homage to some of the earliest, most iconic projects that helped propel the community to where it is today. 

One of the aspects of Web3 that might be obvious to its participants but not so clear to outsiders is just how global this movement is. As a Canadian, I now have friends all over the world whom I talk to, sometimes through translation software, on a daily basis. I get to visit their homes, meet their families, and the world sure does feel smaller and more connected because of it. [...] Although the miles between the artists are being added with each stamp, hopefully the act of creating these postcards brings us closer together. 

While the concept of a postcard chain letter elucidates this global yet tightly connected community, the MoMA’s 10 x 10 pixel constraint places some restrictions on what is possible. Though it does work nicely for the genre of pixel art, to me it is heavily reminiscent of the CryptoPunks (2017), one of the first well-known blockchain-based token projects and the accidental inspiration for what is known as the 10K PFP, where “PFP” stands for “Profile Picture.” [...] My prompt for my fellow artists was to imagine being tasked with coming up with the official low-effort 10K PFP project for the MoMA, using pixel art in MoMA’s very own color palette, and focusing not on apes, which are already taken, but geese. The generated Geese can have various color ways, facial expressions, hair styles, positions, and accessories (my personal favorite are the flower fascinators).

Stamp: Sarah Friend | Prompt: Dmitri Cherniak

In order to make their work much easier, I developed custom software to generate their own 10 x 10 pixel grids and asked them to choose an honorary PFP that they felt best represented them for their stamp. Why geese? In honor of Ringers #879 (2021). Ringers is one of my biggest projects and Ringers #879, also known as “The Goose,” has become somewhat notorious. At first, it was valued for its sheer statistical improbability — given the set of parameters and the randomness of the generative outputs, it was fascinating that Ringers could create something that could so plainly and obviously look like a goose — but then it became a talisman for the community in a way. The Goose had become something much larger than myself — it had truly become a meme. Ringers was decidedly not a PFP project to start, but it feels poetic to turn The Goose into one for this moment, acknowledging that our art is part of a much bigger movement.

On a personal note, the first time I visited the MoMA was in 2001 with my dad. At the time, Van Gogh’s portraits of his postman, Joseph Roulin, were on display, and I recall being deeply moved by the work. 

To think that, more than 20 years later, I get to return to the MoMA as a “postman” in my own right, and help a younger audience learn about generative art by serving up digital mail means a lot to me.
Sarah Friend, Maize-Extrusion-Collotype, Prompt:  “Draw nothing. Forge the signature of the artist after you. If you are last, forge mine.”

Sarah Friend

MoMA is one of those institutions that young artists look at and dream of working with maybe the most. For me, it’s definitely a career-long dream and I’m grateful for being invited to participate. Most of my projects are collaborative and participatory in some way — often not only between me and an audience, but also between collectors. For example, Off (2021-ongoing), which requires collectors to work together to unlock a secret, or Lifeforms (2021), which need to be cared for/given to others. 

This is one of the unique affordances of working with software as a medium — multiplayer software is easier and more familiar than perhaps multiplayer sculpture

[...] If this technology is going to enable more widespread participation in the art world, it needs to reach a mass audience. That is one of the potentials of an engagement led by an institution like MoMA.

Stamp: Peter Burr | Prompt: Sasha Stiles

Peter Burr

It is a huge honor to play in this space alongside friends and fellow pixel-crushers whom I greatly admire. It is also somewhat complicated, as I recognize the distinction between the museum’s exhibition halls and its gift shop and I am not sure where exactly this project fits. At times, it feels like a leg of the museum’s marketing machine is fueling the MoMA Postcard project. At other times, it feels like an open sandbox whose future can still be steered somewhere radical by its participants. I hope for the latter, but ultimately I know mostly time will tell.

Community has always been at the heart of my personal practice — whether it be designing a space for a DIY video show in a friend’s basement or assembling a group of artists to live together in the desert and make films for a week. 

Digital creativity in Web3, on the other hand, has a fractured relationship to the style of community-building I grew up nurturing, due to the way it centers financial instruments and surveillance tools. I often find these two components undermine the types of community I try to build and live within.

Sasha Stiles, Silver-Convex-Stroke, Prompt:  “Using only black, dark green, light green and white, please draw your letter: A,R,S,(design blank space),A,U,T,O,P,O,E,T,I,C,A.” 

Sasha Stiles

As a long-time resident of New York, I’ve visited MoMA at least a hundred times and have a stack of physical museum postcards of my favorite artists and artworks that I often turn to for inspiration. My shelves are stuffed with exhibition catalogs and well-thumbed texts I first encountered browsing through the MoMA bookstore. I’ll always remember Kenneth Goldsmith’s poetry takeover and Marina Abramović’s palpable presence, not to mention learning about Alison Knowles’s Fluxus lunches. 

Before presenting at my first NFT.NYC conference in 2021, I wandered through MoMA, stood before Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and had a rather meta moment as I thought of crypto art and the age-old shock of the new. To be among the First 15, in global collaboration with artists I admire from up close and afar, fuses a lifetime of personal epiphanies in the museum galleries with the electricity of all that’s to come.

Writing is typically a solitary act, but as T.S. Eliot said, “No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone.” Language works because of community and connection, thanks to millennia of usage, storytelling, agreed-upon literary devices, and cultural references. The AI-powered large language models I use are trained on inputs from millions if not billions of sources, and embody a canonical overview of humanity. Even chatbot interfaces are a kind of socratic dialogue. 

Collaboration is fundamental to poetry. Writing is communion. I’m fascinated by how the language arts will continue to reflect and advance our increasingly networked imaginations and decentralized creativity.
Stamp: Osinachi | Prompt: Grant Yun


NFTs are a technology in Web3 that a good number of artists have continued to experiment and play around with. The MoMA Postcard project shines an institutional light on what this technology can do for artists and creatives around the world. It is really an honor to be a part of MoMA’s project that brings together artists to co-create in Web3.

While decentralization is probably the most famous word in Web3, I regard collaboration as just as important because it will take us closer to a fuller, better [form of] decentralization. 

I found my home as a digital artist at the start of the “art on the blockchain” phenomenon. For some time we did not need traditional hierarchies and gatekeepers, but the space has transformed in such a way that I cannot believe where we are. With the influx of various actors to the space — some of them bad — the involvement of legacy art institutions such as MoMA is really crucial, not only for the sake of validity but also for the sake of (to put it mildly) “quality assurance.” Projects like the MoMA Postcard can become funnels through which collectors in the traditional art space can flow into the NFT space.

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Madeleine Pierpont is a creative-innovator working at the intersection of art, technology, and Web3. Driven by her desire to facilitate meaningful engagement with cultural and material aesthetics, she curates, strategizes, and produces art/tech projects across the digital and the physical. She leads Web3 projects at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

MoMA Postcard is a new project from The Museum of Modern Art, powered by Autonomy, that celebrates the blockchain as a space for global co-creation.


¹ J Beuys, interviewed by G Jappe, J Wheelwright (trans.), Studio International, vol. 184, No. 950, London, December 1972, 228.