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Art, Internet

The World’s First Official Doge Exhibition

Collab between OSHI gallery, OwnTheDoge and NFD, produced by @SaladPingers and @Dundo 8 mins read
The original Doge photo, in a gilded frame - Atsuko Sato

Introduction

When most people hear “Doge” they think of Dogecoin, internet memes, or Elon Musk, but the as-yet-untold history of this Japanese Shiba Inu is far more rich and inspiring. Communities around the world honour the Doge, whose name is Kabosu, and strive to “Do Only Good Everyday”. OwnTheDoge (OTD), Non Fungible Doge (NFD) and OSHI gallery are proud to present the first ever exhibition featuring the original “Mona Lisa of the Internet”, Kabosu the Doge.

 

A Brief History of The Doge

Kabosu was born sometime in 2005 in a Japanese puppy mill. When the mill closed down, Kabosu and her siblings were put up for adoption. She was saved from euthanasia by kindergarten teacher Atsuko Satō, on November 2nd, 2008. This date would become Kabosu’s chosen birthday. Satō manages a blog (https://kabochan.blog.jp/) and in 2010 she uploaded eight photos of Kabosu. Shortly afterwards, one of these photos (the famous image) was somehow used in a promo carousel on Reddit for their advertising options. John Monarch, (papajohn56 on Reddit) saw this image of a Shiba Inu with a quizzical look, and made a Reddit post titled, “LMBO LOOK @THIS FUKKEN DOGE”. This is how Kabosu got her name. By 2013, Doge memes were all over the internet, often accompanied by phrases of “dog-speak” written in comic sans (“much wow”, “so scare”). In December of that year, the cryptocurrency Dogecoin was created, and in 2019 Know Your Meme recognised Doge as “Meme of the Decade”. In 2021, Satō auctioned the original 8 photos as unique, 1/1 NFTs: Non-Fungible Tokens which leverage blockchain technology to record the ownership and secure the provenance of digital assets. The international art collective, PleasrDAO, purchased the original Doge photo as a unique NFT for approximately $4M USD, making it the most expensive meme and the third most expensive photo ever sold. They then broke down the image into fractions, which are represented by a cryptocurrency token called $DOG. This democratised ownership of the image and the decentralised community known as OwnTheDoge was born to manage the treasury of $DOG tokens. Now anyone can acquire $DOG tokens and verifiably own a piece of the official NFT. Holders can submit proposals and vote on decisions around how the treasury is spent to proliferate the meme and story of Kabosu, always prioritising real world positive impact.

 

Atsuko Satō and Kabosu on Doge Day 2023 - Nicole Gulien

Atsuko Satō and Kabosu on Doge Day 2023 - Nicole Gulien

 

 

The Exhibition

The exhibition opens on Thursday, the 22nd of February, at OSHI gallery, with an official launch event starting at 6PM. The exhibition will run from Friday the 23rd until Wednesday the 28th of February. Open daily, from 12PM - 6PM.

On Saturday and Sunday, OSHI will open the beer garden and serve hot dog(e)s.

 

OSHI gallery as an exclusive pop-up for Parkway Drive 2022 - GT Sewell

OSHI gallery as an exclusive pop-up for Parkway Drive 2022 - GT Sewell

 

OSHI gallery transformed into traditional pizza parlour for NounsDAO and PizzaDAO’s Bitcoin Pizza Day 2023 - GT Sewell

OSHI gallery transformed into traditional pizza parlour for NounsDAO and PizzaDAO’s Bitcoin Pizza Day 2023 - GT Sewell

 

The launch event will include complimentary food and drink, a panel discussion, as well as the first ever opportunity to buy official Doge merch and a Limited Edition run of gallery quality prints. 

 

OTD has developed a close relationship with Satō, and is able to licence official merch. The Limited Edition prints that will be sold through OSHI will be the first ever official Doge prints, and as with all OTD initiatives, a portion of proceeds will go to a local dog charity.

 

The exhibition runs until Feb 28th and will feature the original 8 Doge images, other digital pieces/projects that have been created by OwnTheDoge and NFD, as well as physical artifacts. All dogs and humans are welcome to enjoy the space, hear the story, admire the art, and even paint a giant collaborative Doge mural upstairs.

 

On Monday the 26th, local pop-artist Lambie will run a free meme-art workshop inspired by the Doge, from 6pm - 9pm.

 

You can view the full exhibition details with side-events here: https://oshi.id/dogeexhibition

 

“I think the lore and influence of Doge isn’t well known in Australia. Elsewhere, you’ll find communities who consider this funny looking dog to be a kind of deity. I’ve heard, “The Divine Avatar of Silliness” thrown around before. Doge is so much bigger than Dogecoin. It’s a wholesome symbol for acceptance, love, playfulness, and making a positive impact in the world. Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, and has been quick to embrace digital art in the form of NFTs, so it’s really exciting that OSHI Gallery can present this world first. We want traditional art patrons to see how powerful memes and online communities are.” - SaladPingers, Exhibition Co-Producer

 

 

Memes Are Art

Since launching in 2021, OwnTheDoge has been on a mission to inspire an art revolution that places memes above the great pieces of previous centuries. 

 

“We believe that the power of the Doge meme, with its playful and positive energy, can bring joy and unity to the world. By fractionalising ownership of the Doge, we allow more people to share in its value and meaning.

By using a decentralised platform, we can ensure that ownership of the Doge is transparent and secure, and that the value of Doge is determined by the community rather than by a central authority.

We believe that the fractionalised Doge represents the future of art and internet culture, and we invite everyone to join us in this exciting new frontier. Together, we can create a world where everyone can own a piece of the internet, and where the power of art and memes is accessible to all.” - OwnTheDoge

 

Many of the remaining NFTs of Kabosu were purchased at auction by crypto trader and influencer, CryptoPathic (aka Path). Path was actually the first to fractionalise a 1/1 NFT and created NFD, the community and token ($NFD) for the “Feisty Doge” photo. Path is now a leader of OTD as well, and is committed to supporting meme creators. He worked with Jeff McCurry, the official photographer of famous gorilla, Harambe, to mint NFTs of his images. Path has also helped “The Oh My God Guy” (Joseph Leflore) and underground crypto meme legend, The Boy Sminem create NFTs and tokens so that they can be rewarded for their contribution to internet culture. 

 

“The provenance — the authenticated story of an object — provides the magic behind it, and gives it value beyond any copy. This is vital for validating history and is the backbone of all collectibles. This is what the community has formed around, and we care deeply about enabling the recording of truth to empower all artists, so future creators are not discouraged by the culture of content theft and are able to keep producing the memes we all love.” - CryptoPathic aka Path

 

OwnTheDoge has been working toward a Doge exhibition since 2021, but this isn’t their first foray into fine art. In 2023, they worked with The Dogecoin Foundation, NFD, The Doge Pound and Rainbow Wallet to crowdfund $100,000 USD for a bronze Doge statue in Kabosu’s hometown of Sakura City, in Japan’s Chiba prefecture. Project managed by SaladPingers, and unveiled on Kabosu’s 18th birthday and the first official International Doge Day, November 2nd, this is the only meme to be made into a statue. It has already become a tourist hotspot, with Atsuko and Kabosu visiting nearly everyday. OTD flew meme icons BadLuckBrian, and Tay Zonday (Chocolate Rain) to Japan for Doge Day. 

 

Tay Zonday, BadLuckBrian and Bronze Doge - Nicole Gulien

Tay Zonday, BadLuckBrian and Bronze Doge - Nicole Gulien

 

“Art and sports have always been ways for people to come together and find common ground, regardless of politics. Art movements like impressionism and dadaism have historically existed as a response to politics and power.

 

Sometimes I wonder what popular Internet memes like Doge Dog, Bad Luck Brian, and Chocolate Rain have in common. These memes come from different time periods, formats, and online communities. However, in a broader sense, I like to think that memes, like Damn Daniel, Chewbacca Mom, David After The Dentist, and Bed Intruder, are a form of digital counter-culture.

 

For me, memes are how we naturally fight the predictability of algorithm-driven content. Recommendation systems often reduce us to our hashtags, demographics, and advertising preferences. Machine learning AI scrutinises every bit of our online activity to fit us into its idea of an ideal user—one who clicks the most, watches the most, and buys the most.

 

In the midst of an Internet that maximises user engagement, session duration, and sales by feeding us personalised content that confirms our existing beliefs, memes provide a different perspective. Memes don't conform to the rules of search engine optimisation. They don't follow the predictable patterns that advertisers try to target. Memes can disrupt the algorithms that govern our online experience.” - Tay Zonday

 

OTD and NFD have commissioned artists around the world to make Doge art, including local illustrator and Triple J host, Stacy Gougoulis.

 

Doge-a Cat NFT, by Stacy Gougoulis

Doge-a Cat NFT, by Stacy Gougoulis

 

 

The Future of Doge

OTD has been funding an official Doge documentary, Underdoge, for over a year, directed by Jon Lynn (New York). They are already planning Doge Day 2024, an epic pilgrimage to the Bronze Doge statue, on November 2nd, and they’ve just launched official merch: https://shop.ownthedoge.com/

 

Bandana designed by Jim Staten

Bandana designed by Jim Stoten (UK)

 

 


Key Facts:

-World Exclusive Event- First official art exhibition for The Doge dog, named Kabosu.

-Sits at the intersection of fine art, memes, internet culture, social action and web3/NFTs.

-Original 8 images of Kabosu the Doge on display, plus a historic timeline of her life, the communities that were built around her and their subsequent digital projects and real world impact, as well as physical artifacts from Kabosu ans those close to her.

-First ever opportunity to purchase official prints of Doge, licensed by her guardian, Atsuko Sato, and the online community, OwnTheDoge, with 50% proceeds going to local dog charity.

-Fun and inclusive week long exhibition for humans and dogs alike. Beer garden open over the weekend, a collaborative mural of the Doge, and a free meme-art workshop run by local digital artist Lambie on Monday.

-Doge has come to stand for Do Only Good Everyday, and Doge fans around the world, sometimes referred to as Shibes, strive to make positive impact.


About us:

About OwnTheDoge

OwnTheDoge is a tribe of Doge enthusiasts on a mission to spread paw-sitivity, celebrate the legendary Doge meme's legacy, and spread the ethos of "Do Only Good Everyday". OwnTheDoge is the largest crypto contributor to charity, giving over $1 million to Save The Children. https://www.ownthedoge.com/

 

About NFD

NFD token is the original coined meme. Even before PleasrDAO fractionalised Atsuko Satō’s original Doge NFT, CryptoPathic did it with Feisty Doge. NFD has grown into a community of artists and builders. https://feistydoge.art/  

 

About OSHI gallery

OSHI is the home of digital art, crypto and web3 culture in Australia.

Situated on Smith St, Collingwood, OSHI is a purpose built venue that has hosted a slew of world firsts and exclusive events, ranging from custom curated experiences with Metamask x DeadFellaz, Blockchain Australia, CryptoVoxels, Federation Square, Exclusive VIP afterparties, Workshops, and panel talks. 

OSHI has produced for Sony Music (Tyler the creator), Ed Sheeran, Gorillaz, Paramore and many more. OSHI provides a home for the future thinkers and creators, and in just a couple of years the gallery has hosted upward of 50,000 people. https://linktr.ee/oshi_


Contact details:

Media Contact

SaladPingers

Email: SaladPingers@gmail.com

X: @SaladPingers

Phone: 0415605307

Media

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