It’s rather difficult to explain what Sean Bonner does exactly, though he’s often referred to as an author, artist, and activist… He refers to himself as a misanthropologist. He has been credited with changing the world more than once, and uncredited even more than that.

Currently Vancouver based, Sean Bonner is co-founder of the environmental open data non-profit Safecast and an Associate Professor at Japan’s Keio University where he worked closely with the Blockchain Research Lab, and has previously been a researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media and spent time with MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. For most of 2021 Sean has been immersed in the world of NFTs playing an educational and advocacy role, as well as consulting for or working in various capacities directly with several artists (Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinness, and others) and projects (The Visitors, 0N1 Force, and others). He’s written extensively about this on his blog.

He’s a published street photographer and releases ambient noise music under the name Delay 5000 (aka d5k). Previously he co-founded Coffee Common, the first hackerspace in Los Angeles and the multimedia art/music collectives Cross My Heart Hope To Die and Saturday Night Massacre. As a writer, he has contributed to BoingBoing, MAKE, Al Jazeera and authored several books. He maintains a regular newsletter¬†and became a Shuttleworth Fellow in 2014 where he co-authored a book called 50 Shades of Green: Reimagining Philanthropy. He recently revived Toybox Records, a record label he started in 1992.

The book Don’t Go Outside, a collection of Sean’s street photography from Tokyo was published in 2017. He’s been an Artist In Residence at the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, a Hacker In Residence at Sparkfun in Colorado, and a Entrepreneur In Residence at The Groop in Los Angeles. A selected artist CV can be found here.

He’s spoken at events in Geneva, Hamburg, Berlin, San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Vienna and others, though he’s currently taking a break from speaking.

In the 2000’s as co-founder of Bode Media Inc, Sean helped create Metblogs, the first global network of local media sites. He built the first version of Shepard Fairey’s Obey Giant website and helped Suicide Girls create their newswire. As a designer Sean has done work for Die Antwoord, Bad Brains and others.

Prior to all this, Sean helped build the groundbreaking contemporary art gallery sixspace exhibiting artists such as Glen E. Friedman, Shepard Fairey, Space Invader, Coop, Chad Robertson and others. He also ran a record label and produced several records by Hot Water Music and Less Than Jake among others. He’s managed his own design firm and designed things at Playboy and Victory Records, where he was the Creative Director during the mid 90’s. Way before that he was a dishwasher.

Shuttleworth Fellow

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