Marisol Vengas liked to throw adhoc art-making sessions at the local cafe. Passing strangers would stop by and color, assemble or be in charge of the composition, which made the final piece. What came from it, was a finished story, touched by many hands from people who had no relation to each other.
Marisol Vengas was also the pseudonym for real-life Max Infeld, the Chico-based artist whose featured work in Curio Cards was one that explored social engagement in art. Innovating across many mediums and fields of application, Max defies the label of “traditional artist” by subverting fine art practices. From early community monetary experiments predating Bitcoin, to his art featured in Curio Cards, to his current work with DAOs, the participant or community engagement is a common thread. All of which was a shift in focus from his California State University Fine Arts degree.
Backstory When Max decided to go to college, he initially chose to study computer science. However, with the end in sight, he pivoted, and underwent formal art training, obtaining a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts from California State University. During this time he made his first community currency “Viral Monetary Units,” an economic system for a gift-giving economy.
Following an interest in cryptocurrencies, Max became an early adopter of Bitcoin. After he learned about Namecoin, the first cryptocurrency that supported NFTs, he recognized the potential impact blockchain could have for art and finance, even though it would take years to realize. It was his friend, Mad Bitcoins in the Bitcoin community (featured in Card 20), that informed him about Curio Cards and encouraged him to submit his art.
Max’s interest in experimenting with social engagement in the artistic process led to the creation of the art submitted to Curio Cards. His submissions are considered among the first known represented “generative” artworks on Ethereum. Max continues to work on improving the crypto space in his current work with DAOs.
It's all in the Cards.
The Marisol Vengas Curio Cards 27, 28, and 29 are now immutable artworks, formed from a unique collaborative generative art process before generative art became popular. They’re the result of blending computer science, art, and community engagement, an early and significant piece of Ethereum history. Max has been at the forefront of some of the most significant movements — what will he engage with next?
For more from Max:
Engage with Marisol Vengas.
Follow Max on Twitter.