Wide eyes and good vibes at SXSW

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Hello readers! Andrew here. Welcome to a special edition of Internet Insider.

Today we continue our coverage of South by Southwest (SXSW). Downstairs Ramon Ramirezour chief information officer, explains how there have been discussions about the generalization of blockchains.

After that, our team of reporters in the field share the interesting, cool and weird things they see at the conference.

—AW



Two chairs on a stage.  Behind this a sign says

Event space in the Austin, Texas area, the Coppertank is historically prime real estate for South by South-West. It’s heavy with foot traffic and a short walk from the convention center. In previous years, for example, it has become an opulent facility for YouTube’s music streaming service to host private performances featuring pop stars like Future. But in 2022, SXSW headliners are salt and pepper men with AirPods who look like Jurgen Klopp. And they are here speak crypto.

On Saturday morning at the Blockchain Creative Labs NFT art gallery, futurists in puffy vests enjoyed empanadas and fireside chats about choosing a community to invest in. The Fox Entertainment-sponsored facility was there to codify buzzing new technology as it becomes common. Participants received two drink tickets.

But let me back up the Penske a bit. I don’t know what a blockchain is. To find out, I asked our newsletter editor and former associate technology editor Andrew Wyrich in our Slack newsroom if he knew what a blockchain was.

lol not really,” he has answered.

According to Investopedia’s otherwise helpful explanation, which is the first Google result when you search for “what is a blockchain?”, a blockchain is: “a distributed database shared between nodes in a computer network”. I don’t know what that means and that’s a big part of why these new spaces are controlled by very online rebels who are wreaking havoc on the Internet. In the future, money will be for the few who understand it.

After reading the Investopedia blog post in more detail, a blockchain is a storage space where data is arranged in a linear order. This way, early adopters have a more valuable place in the line.

On the ground at NFT Art Gallery, Collab.Land CCO Anjali Young said people who want to find blockchain-based art communities to invest in should basically check out the open public forums for them such as Discord and Telegram. (I know what an NFT is: a traceable JPEG).

“You get a taste of what’s important to this community,” she said of visiting one of the public channels in these online spaces. “If everyone talks about money all the time, it may or may not matter to you.”

But for Hollywood, the challenges are great. As Kinetic Energy CEO Diana Williams noted, currently studio forays into “Internet 3(the version of the internet least dependent on centralized giants like Google) or theMetaverse“(the future where we exist alongside our avatars not tied to phones and tablets) or even NFTs is basically”just marketing.”

This is because of licensing issues: NFTs can work much like Groupons where you pay for experiential ownership like an episode of a web series. As Williams noted, what happens when the web series goes viral and Fox wants to buy the episodes if you’re the poor sucker who paid several thousand dollars for an exclusive NFT of something that’s now free? Future riddles like this explain why the word “scam” came among the panelists.

But as Leo Matchett, CEO of Decentralized Pictures argued, the real value is essentially take advantage of the fandom in both creative directions (remember a bunch of people hated The Last Jedi and furious at his decision making?) so that fans can help shape, for example, TV show plots… and also find digital ways for fans to get products that can accrue value over time, the way from a ticket stub of the original star wars would like.

So, marketing.

Ramon Ramirez


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As the highly anticipated SXSW 2022 Film Festival spotlights emerging talent behind and in front of the camera, we want to bring you back to one of the best at doing both: Mr. Denzel Washington.

In tribute to the most nominated black actor in Oscar history, we’ve ranked our favorite Denzel Washington films that remind us of why he is the epitome of black excellence in cinema.


✏️ REPORTER’S DIARY

Our team of reporters are on the ground at SXSW in Austin, TX. Here are some of the remarkable, interesting and strange things they see.

🗺️ A young woman approached a bearded man at the corner of 6th and Congress. “Where is South by South Westshe asked. He spread his arms out, palms facing up.”It’s all around you, man.” — Mariam Sharia

👀 At the Friday night after-party for A24’s world premiere Everything everywhere all at oncea worker at the door handed over all participants a pack of wide-eyed, who play a role in the film. There were also bigger googly eyes pasted on various parts of the walls and decor, and several people had an eye on their forehead. Now I only want to go to parties that involve wide eyes. (You can check out Daily Dot’s review of the film here). — Tiffany Kelly

👻 There are quite a few movies about influencers at SXSW 2022, and a handful of them are, understandably, horror. Deadstream, which debuted Friday night and was picked up by Shudder earlier this week, follows a disgraced influencer as he spends a night at a haunted house. He asks a big question: Can you issue a copyright strike to a daemon?? — Audra Schröder

🚇 Activation of Amazon Prime Video, “Superheroes and Superstars”, was a lot. First I walked in a route supposed to simulate a metro, complete with noises and vibrations. And everything was linked to A trainone of the main superheroes of The boys— a series that offers a cynical take on what would happen if superpowered people worked for a giant corporation that made them do speaking engagements and brand campaigns. It was ironic and appropriateso, that Prime Video has set up an activation that on par with the main superheroes of the series for different experiences, from the subway ride to the carousel to an American-themed bar. Amazon had been promoting the series since Season 3 premiered in June.

Activation was in two parts. One side was The boys– on the theme, while the other side promoted a new series that will be released on March 25: Lizzo watch out for big grrrls.

The unscripted series follows the singer as she recruits women to join her on tour. This activation had nothing but good vibes: a beauty bar that offered services in 10 minutes, a food truck offering healthy lunch options and, of course, a giant “100% this female dog” sign to take pictures next. I was complimented nonstop by people working on the Lizzo side of activation, and I left feeling great. So, positive vibes vs. cynical vibes; this activation had something for everyone. — Tiffany Kelly

Three images of SXSW 2022

🍆 “A lot of dick.” “Dick-tickling.” “A little pinch of penis.” Each of them was used for describe the third season from Amazon Prime The boys by the cast and creator in their featured panel. Writer Eric Kripke even said he begged Sony and Amazon to post The boys– themed dildos for each character as merchandise. They said no. — Laiken Neumann

💰 Are NFTs a attractive incentive for potential applicants? Perhaps, as Unstoppable Domain Senior Vice President Sandy Carter said in her Web3 introductory speech, she received an NFT as a login bonus upon entering the business. — Daysia Tolentino

📺 I went to a Blockchain Creative Labs NFT activate today. There were walls playing WWE GIFs which were for sale on the blockchain and areas where you could download songs as NFTs. It was an immersive artistic representation of blockchain, but it really felt a bit dystopian. -Grace Stanley

The folks at SXSW are looking at great video cards.

Now Playing: 🎶“Carbon Prevails” by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross🎶

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