A centuries-old practice is made programmable as Women of Crypto Art releases the first ever project of its kind: The Arcana Crypto Tarot. The on-chain, randomized and functional Tarot NFT being the first to utilize a brand new Async capability is making history in more ways than one — it’s also the largest all-women NFT collaboration to date. Over the course of 7 months, 22 artists from 13 different countries worked synergistically to see WOCA’s vision come to fruition.
The final piece was well worth the wait, as today the NFT is accessible by the public — anyone with internet access — as a working oracle, generating a random reading of 3 cards every 24 hours, automatically, at midnight UTC.
The auction for the Master ends on May 1st. Join fellow WOCA artists in Async’s Discord voice chat at 11am PDT | 7pm BST as they share their experience working on the collaboration as well as celebrate the ending of the auction at 12pm PDT | 8pm BST.
A visitor may approach the cards from a number of angles to seek wisdom, guidance, and encouragement at any given moment, just as a physical reading might. The project’s description suggests that a visitor come with a question or concern in mind, and contemplate the answers found within the 3-card spread according to any of the following:
Left card: What is past, or passing
Center card: What is occurring now
Right card: What is to come
Left card: What you wish for
Center card: The obstacle being presented
Right card: How to overcome the obstacle
Left card: Yourself
Center card: Someone else
Right card: Your relationship
Left card: What’s in your heart
Center card: What’s in your head
Right card: What’s in your spirit
In true programmable Async fashion, the NFT collector or its visitors are invited to partake in the experience of the project, to interact with it, and to integrate its story into their life. More than a piece of art to be observed, it’s a two-way street. As the Tarot talks, the viewer receives — and can do so over and again, as the cards randomize each day. (Not to mention, at the time of publication, WOCA member Karen Frances Eng is sharing a universal daily reading according to the live NFT deck. Check it out on the WOCA Twitter.
Of the project’s genesis, Karen shares that its development can be broken down inside WOCA’s Discord, a means of communication for the organization’s now nearly 1,000 members. Several months prior, WOCA co-founder Angie Taylor and Sparrow initially gathered women cryptoartists together in a Twitter private chat. Through those organic conversations, WOCA was born and Discord established for easier communication. As excitement bubbled around collaboration opportunities, Daniella Attfield suggested a Tarot project and another member created a spreadsheet for artists to express their intent to collaborate, allowing for each artist to assign themselves 1 of the 22 traditional Tarot cards.
The artists championing the project, including Stina, Karen, and Sparrow, reveal that the project was self-driving and self-sufficient. No deadlines nor guidelines were assigned (other than the fact that the starting point for each card came from the classic Major Arcana best known via the classic Rider Waite deck), “yet the artists swiftly created and submitted their cards,” Karen says, “with a diversity of styles and approaches forming a magically coherent whole.”
At the expression of my surprise, Karen responds: “Artists are always excited to create art. It was incredible how it came together.” Of course, it helps that the group is multifaceted and wildly talented, composed of writers, graphic designers, and media specialists. Silje and LUVRWorldwide created the promo assets; Karen writes the texts; WOCA Co-founder Gisel is helping to install the deck in Cryptovoxels.
Over the course of several months, all 22 artists submitted their work (each having a unique style, means of creating, and thematic elements), and — just like magic — the final outcome was both aesthetically cohesive and exceptionally beautiful.
Each of the cards and their artists are listed as follows:
Along with the 1:1 NFT, the original collector of The Arcana Crypto Tarot will also receive a numbered, limited-edition physical deck, wrapped in hand-sewn black satin crepe cloth and tied with a gold satin ribbon. WOCA is printing 50 decks in total, with one going to each participating artist, the NFT’s first token holder, and one to Async. The remaining decks will be auctioned off to benefit WOCA in support of women crypto artists, a necessity in a male-dominated space. The artists have also agreed that WOCA will receive an equal share of the auction, and the funds used to support the organization and its contributors.
As an all-women-driven, historically significant project, this is a stake in the ground to say: “Look at all of the talented artists that happen to be women that you mostly don’t see” says Sparrow. She explains further: “A fair percentage of artists that participated in this collaboration don’t get noticed in this [NFT] space. My hope is that this piece will allow their work to be seen, and that they’ll garner the support that they deserve. Women produce beautiful art, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Many people say we need more women in cryptoart. I agree, we do. But often those who are already here are overlooked. See the hundreds who are already here. Here are 22 of them. Right here, now.”
"Even as we enter a “new era” of art creating and collecting, with decentralized technology as its vehicle, we see that some of the traditional art world has already infiltrated into this space. Women are underrepresented, under-supported, and under-recognized, “which isn’t how it should be,” says Sparrow. “The culture is replicating the old art world. All you need to do is look at the leaderboards; they’re all based only on $ sales volume. The top selling women are nowhere near their male peers in these lists. So, what’s up with that? It isn’t because their art is any less compelling or less collectible, and that is something that we really don't want to carry over from the old art world.”
What The Arcana Crypto Tarot does, as a piece, is pivotal for a multitude of reasons: It highlights women artists in NFTs, puts WOCA on the map as an collective that tokenizes work in addition to onboarding and supporting women artists (the Arcana Crypto Tarot is the first piece tokenized by WOCA), and illustrates the ingenuity of the NFT space. Karen likens the cryptoart space to a sandbox, an “experimental space that allows artists and technologists to ideate and invent together.” In this piece, the 15th century meets the 21st, championing the ever-evolving relationship between art and tech — and celebrating the women at its forefront.