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Stephen Hayles, co-founder of Upfest and Mark Date, a researcher based at Bristol VR Lab, have joined forces to launch Rendar.org, an application that brings authenticity to the world of digital artworks. Bristol has been a melting pot for both the creative and digital sector, so it’s no surprise the Bristol duo are taking a lead in combining street art with Blockchain technology.

Blockchain tech may still be in its infancy, but it’s already powering things such as cryptocurrencies and other applications where there’s a requirement to validate digital assets. Whilst larger companies are investing millions into Blockchain development, history proves that sometimes it’s the smaller creative start-ups that ultimately deliver this technology into the real world with innovative use cases.

The world of Digital art has been in existence for many years now, but has one major issue to those wishing to collect it: how can it be authenticated as an original, and therefore retain its value? Rendar is an application that solves this problem by utilising the Ethereum blockchain to create authenticated limited-edition digital artworks that are provably scarce. A blockchain is made up of decentralised validators, whose job is to independently broadcast the address and description of a digital asset, enabling its ownership to be tracked.

This process effectively gives digital assets ‘physical’ properties, allowing collectors to own verifiably scarce digital images, which wasn’t possible before the advent of this ground-breaking technology. Rendar.org launched this month with ‘Digital Vision’ a blockchain verified digital artwork with renowned street artist My Dog Sighs, who will be the first of many artists releasing works with Rendar.

My Dog Sighs has sold out shows throughout the world and is widely known for his photo-realistic eyes which house reflections of their surroundings, sometimes containing hidden messages. Most recently, he’s collaborated with Rendar to create their debut release ‘Digital Vision’ A limited run of 100 crafted digital artworks which commemorate his most recent Street painting in Bristol UK.

The first 40 verified artworks have already been distributed with the sell-out physical release of Windmill Hill, the remaining of this limited run will be available from 10am (BST) Thursday 29th August via Rendar.org

The artist My Dog Sighs comments: “As a progressive artist I’m always looking for new ways to share my work with new and existing audiences, my background in the real world has seen me paint 40m high murals, create detailed artworks for galleries and even share my work through physical tokens. The blockchain has resolved an issue allowing digital artwork to now possess physical properties by enabling verifiable authenticity for these works, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me in the digital world.”

Stephen Hayles, co-founder of Upfest comments: ‘For the past ten years I’ve worked with hundreds of artists bringing them to the streets of Bristol UK through Europe’s largest Street Art Festival, Upfest, and the selling of these artists work through our Bristol Gallery and online. The development of everything digital has been monumental and it’s an exciting time working with Mark Date on Blockchain technology. We’re very much at the beginning and can see the opportunity for many applications of this technology in the world of arts and culture. For more information visit www.rendar.org


Geraint Evans