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METAMANTEROS, Digital activists in Web3 (ongoing project)

2022-ART/NET. The Web3 expose a new paradigm in terms of human labour, economics, data and planetary resources. It is promoted by companies obsessed with finding new forms of commercialization and surveillance models. –A new form of extractivism, which is leading to the inevitable creation of DAOs and the NFTisation of everything, merging internet services, social networks and entertainment in the Metaverse.
In the Metaverse avatars are able to move and interact with other avatars and other metaverses, but also to trade with objects, books, music, films and other services that are tokenized. This is the so called “creator economy”. A set-up resulting from experiments in the world of the art market and computer games. The intellectual writer Evgeny Morozov questions this discourse and asks himself: “How does one criticize a flawed, unrealistic, and extremely partial narrative that is, nonetheless, being rapidly turned into reality?”( Evgeny Morozov. Web3: A Map in Search of Territory)

“Manteros” (blanketmen) is the term used to refer to people who sell counterfeit goods on the street, such as music CDs, DVDs, video games, clothes, watches, etc. Manteros are illegal immigrants from countries such as Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, usually forced by mafias to work. They sell their products on the street on a blanket and pick up their goods as fast as they can and flee when they notice the police presence. The project, Metamateros consists in the creation of 3D avatars, to act as digital migrants capable to travel anonymously from metaverse to metaverse, (Mozilla hub, Decentraland, Sandbox, cryptovortex or Zuckerberg’s future metaverse) trading data and digital assets.

Screenshot from Second Life

The Metamanteros avatars are provided with a blanket that is spread out on the floor, where they display digital products like clothes, bags, music or images, all of them digital fakes and copies, but also their manuals, because each Metamatero will includes manuals describing: a) Techniques for downloading/hacking digital assets, from Screenshots, NFTbay and web scraping; b) Strategies that help virtual migrations in different metaverses; c) a manual to report on DAOs, tokenisation and Web3, decentralisation and decarbonisation; d) tactics to sell products through parallel platforms such as e-bay, Willhaben, or barter IRL; e) a manual refusing to work for free and trade in virtual environments through unsustainable NFTs. (See crypto art WTF)…
The metamanteros will have a function that allows to collect his products and flee if the police appear. The avatars, manuals and digital products will be free download in a web.

In addition, the main objective of this project is to provide expression and digital tools to users, but specially to the discriminated collective of Manteros. To this end, we will contact
the “Sindicato de Manteros de Madrid” (“https://www.sindicatomanteros.org/”) in order to set up a virtual workshop with them, (also during the worklad) during the workshop the project will be explained, each participant will create an avatar and they will interact though a metaverse in a virtual open event. The final outcome on the project will be the creation of a video documentary compiling the Online performances and virtual events, the workshops, the feedbacks and manteros testimonies of their lives, with the aim of validating the effectiveness of the project as a tool at the service of society.

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