Art + Authenticity

> A Starling Lab Case Study


Step 1: Download the Prototype

Yo-Yo Ma plays Boccherini’s Concerto in G Major for Cello and String Orchestra, G. 480: II. Adagio

Yo-Yo Ma, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Ton Koopman


Courtesy of Yo-Yo Ma

Step 2: Keep the file and the CID safe

Step 3: Watch Anita’s Testimony on IPFS

This recording of Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of the Adagio from Boccherini’s Cello Concerto, is not just your typical MP3 File.

It is a vessel. 

It holds within it, through the language of music, the incredible story of how Anita Lasker-Wallfisch survived the horrors of the Holocaust.

It also has in the header of the file, a content ID or CID. This string is generated by an algorithm that converts the data of Anita’s video testimony of her experience into a unique code that marks the file’s authenticity.  With the CID on the dWeb you’ll always find Anita’s exact testimony file plus you’ll have a record of its origin. Its authenticity.

By downloading this MP3, each of us and all of us, now have this precious number. Anita’s CID. 

We are the keepers of the authenticity of her testimony. Hold onto it tight.

This autumn the Starling Lab is uploading the full 4 petabytes of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive onto the decentralized web. From what had been stored in just 3 data centers we are now expanding to hundreds. 

This effort is the largest ingestion of data onto the dWeb in the world. 

And the first testimony that is on the dWeb is from Anita – over two hours, of her telling her story. 

To learn more about this Starling Lab prototype and Anita story please watch this video case study, presented at the UNFINISHED LIVE conference in September 2021.

Dedicated to Anita Lasker-Wallfisch
Alive and well.

Prototype Lead: Jonathan Dotan

USC Shoah Foundation:

Stephen D. Smith, Sam Gustman, Kori Street, Anita Pace, Claudia R Wiedeman, Hoan Tran, Jon Fields, Rachael Cerrotti


Dan Boneh, Tsachy Weissman

Distributed Systems Team: Bofu Chen, Ethan Wu, Tammy Yang

Distributed Infrastructure Team: Kevin Huynh, Stuart Berman, Raymond Zhang

Artist: Sara Baur Harding

Storytellers: Joel ben Izzy, Wendy Hammers 

Special Thanks:

Raphael Wallfisch

Benjamin Wallfisch

Jonathan Bays

Ben Mandelkern

Lara Galinsky

Libby Franklin

Dietrich Ayala

Danny O’Brien

David Choi

Marina Kostioutchenko

Brenda Lee

Robert Jan Van Pelt 

Jeromy Johnson

Pooja Shah

Martin Smok

David Steinberg

Clara Tsao

Christiane Weber

and Frank McCourt