TRANSFER Data Trust Logo


TRANSFER Data Trust is a speculative design project to build an automated, non-profit cooperative trust powered by FVM. The outcomes of this project are both a non-profit entity holding data-based assets (artworks), and a set of governance contracts and UI that are open and available to any artist collective or organization to fork and implement. The vision is to shift how artists understand the value of their work, and how they grow that value over time through cooperative conservation and care practices.

The TRANSFER Data Trust has 3 key components:

  1. Decentralized storage network that exists as physical nodes in the artists studios and as data backed by Filecoin, creating a massively distributed encrypted and redundant backup of the artist's archive.

  2. Governance contracts executed on FVM which bind the data to the trust, enable human actors to exchange value around the data, and ensure it’s preservation and care in perpetuity.

  3. Experience layer interfaces for value exchange, that allow a distributed network of stewards to participate in the trust: artists, technologists, curators, collectors, researchers, archivists, appraisers, lawyers, administrators and institutions.

Our first prototype produced in partnership with Fission is a proof-of-concept for a decentralized catalog of information about artworks in the trust. An authenticated browser-based decentralized file system allows participants in the trust to access information about artworks, request a loan, or make an offer for acquisition. Upon successful completion of an offer, acquisitions are transferred from the decentralized network to the collector. This prototype builds upon Fission’s tooling including WNFS, IPVM and UCAN.

In the next phase of development, we are deploying NAS nodes in artist studios, collector’s homes and institutions to facilitate decentralized data exchange and cooperative care practices.

The Data Trust operational model is based on 10 years of collaborative programming at TRANSFER, representing 80+ international exhibitions of immersive media art.