I couldn’t believe my eyes when we flew over the Dotsama continent for the first time!

It was nothing like the expensive and grey business districts of the overcrowded Nation of Ethereum. This was different… this was new! Innovators and Builders were moving to this new place to collaborate on new technologies, social networks, identity hubs, futarchies. Artists were creating remarkable pieces and metaverses. I knew it the moment I saw it: This is the future!

Flying over Dotsama, we saw the building blocks of this new society: Individual islands, each with their own governance, all connected to two main islands: Polkadot and Kusama. We passed the huge Themis statue that we heard so many stories about. While the airwhale was landing on a platform, I already knew that I have found my new home.

The godess Themis greeting you

tl;dr - We are doing a crowdsourced study that explores Solarpunk in the context of Dotsama. We invite all artists to join and create a piece that contributes the the universe. The best pieces will be selected for a shared collection and any proceeds will be forwarded to the artists.

Art is always on the forefront of new innovations. This has been the case for thousands of years. It’s no wonder that NFTs and the Metaverse are now one of the fastest growing economies in Crypto. And while some worry about the commodification of art, we at Mangata see that there is still so much untapped potential of how art and artists will evolve with this new technological possibilities.

The Zeitgeist of Cyberpunk

Art captures emotions and trends far better than blog posts can often do. Consider the Kusama image video for example:

The message is clear: “Builders & Innovators, if you want to fix the Internet, build on Kusama!”

At the same time it is also worth noting in what genre Kusama is often expressed: Cyberpunk.

Kusama is very much Cyberpunk. It still lives in the more hidden corners of the Internet, slowly building a revolution. It is a product of the Internet generation. It is part of the Cyberspace, embraces technology and innovation, is embedded into capitalism and creates its incentives around these conditions. It is glitchy, Chaos may happen at any time.

But while Cyberpunk is a pretty cool genre of art, it still induces a dark, dystopian and unsettling feeling: If Technology is King, where does it leave humans? A common motto of Cyberpunk is: “High Tech, Low Life.” It is the reason why Cyberpunk is often used as genre to critique the negative effects of a highly technologized society that risks leaving individuals behind for the sake of the collective progress.

The main characters from the Cyberpunk Movie "The Matrix"

Not all is dark in Cyberpunk, as it also helps point out dangers to which our society needs to pay attention to. Cyberpunk often tells a story of rebellion against inhuman tendencies. But the unsettling feeling of the story is still there and it is telling us something important: A better and brighter future is possible…

The Paradigm Shift towards Solarpunk

Solarpunk starts out by rejecting the premise of “High Tech - Low Life” and asks: “How would the world look like if we use technology to make it better?”

A Solarpunk world

Solarpunk is optimistic and Utopian. It shows a world that has overcome its problems by embracing technology in a positive way. A bit was written about it (the Solarpunk Manifesto might be the best primer on it) and you can find loads of content on Artstation, Pinterest, Instagram, DeviantArt & Reddit.

We see glimpses of Solarpunk in Dotsama already…

The recent RMRK Kanaria: Skybreach Metaverse announcement shows some fancy flying islands and a flying ship.

The Kanaria Skybreach cover art

The recent Talisman Extension announcement similarly offered a fantasy universe with floating islands in the background.

The Talisman Wallet cover art

But while both these images are playful and optimistic, they still are “just” fantasy and are not going FULL Solarpunk yet.

Mangata is here to change that and we invite you to become part of our open Solarpunk Exploration!

Join the Mangata Solarpunk Exploration Challenge

We think it is time for a game: Let’s do a crowdsourced exploration of Solarpunk in the Dotsama context. How do Polkadot and Kusama look as a world? How do Metaverse Creators and DeFi Builders look like? How do people protect themselves from being hit by airdrops?

Doing this exploration together is deeply in the sense of community and Web3: The Metaverse is an intermingling combination of tech and art, each inspiring the other.

This can also help us make complex technical solutions understandable in a fun and light-hearted way. Instead of saying “we built a protocol that prevents front-running and MEV on the protocol level”, why not just tell the story of the Cyberpunk-Robot-Thief-Princess Maeve using her robots to steal from people when they go shopping at the markets and the Solarpunk goddess Themis stopping her from doing so?

Instead of rambling about gas prices for transactions being too high because of network congestions, why not just draw the streets on the Nation of Ethereum packed with cars and gas stations raising prices?

A meme claiming "The Gas Prices are too damn high"

If artists can do one thing best, it is explaining complex concepts with simple emotions.

So why not have fun inventing a Solarpunk Universe while also minting some NFTs?

How the Challenge works

The ultimate goal is have a collection of sketches and artworks in our new Mangata Solarpunk Universe as the result of this collaborative exploration.

Our goal is to explore this space together and find new inspiration on how we at Mangata can explain complex concepts with simple emotions. Our thinking is that if we create a place where we can allow a collective of artists meet and create together, it will turbo-charge this creative process.

We provide all artists with the Mangata Solarpunk Briefing and a common Solarpunk art discussion channel at the Mangata Discord. You are invited to create any piece of art you can think of: Backgrounds, Sets, Characters, Items… you name it! It can be 1D, 2D or 3D. It can be still or animated. You can exchange ideas, sketches and stories on Discord.

Let’s explore where our collective imagination guides us!

We don’t want to set a limit on how many applications we will accept yet. Mainly, because we don’t want to guess and set a limit that is too high or too low. We ask you to treat it as a fun holiday excersize in trying out a new genre. If your submission yields some KSM, even better.

At the end of the article, we provide a link to a form where you can submit your artworks. We ask you to post them on a platform of your choice (we suggest ArtStation) and provide us with the link to your creation(s). You are free to post your creations on Social Media in the meantime. Please use the #MangataSolarpunk hashtag if you do so.

On 6th January we will close the submission form and start selecting submissions. We know already that we will have to make hard choices of what to accept and what to leave out. We will then mint a collection of what we deem the best submissions on RMRK to show to the world what we have created collaboratively. If time a logistics permit, we will then sell them (the mechanism still needs to be determined, maybe it’s a silent auction) and forward 100% of the proceeds to the artists.

Ready to join the Mangata Solarpunk Exploration Challenge?