To NFT or not to NFT, is it a question?

Let’s be clear, the main reason NFTs dominated the news cycle lately was the fact that Beeple’s peace Every Day: First 5000 Days was sold at the Christie’s for $69+ million. Its buyer known as MaraKovan says that “This NFT is a significant piece of art history. Sometimes these things take some time for everyone to recognize and realize. I’m OK with that. I had the opportunity to be part of this very important shift in how art has been perceived for centuries.”(CNBC).
Everydays: The First 5000 days, fragment. © Beeple.

So, immediately we are thrown in the midst of discussion of relationship between a unique historical significance and its monetary equivalent, crypto or otherwise, also known as commodification. Anything of course can be commodified, and consumerized, as it is in this wild wild world, but there is a specificity to the NFTs and the way it is now permanently attached to the artworld.

There is also this: “Today was supposed to be my second CryptoArt release on NiftyGateway. Considering the insane and unnecessary waste of electricity involved, I’ve decided to cancel the drop until the issue is addressed.” Joanie Lemercier

With the NFT craze raging round us, we feel it is our duty say a few words and consider a few actions on the subject matter. Without clutching those old brushes, and cursing the day blockchain technology and cryptocurrency invaded the pure and pristine artworld, let’s have a look at the real implications. Some argue that art is not turned into currency, as the code is not buried in it, only in the token itself, while the original file stays intact.

However, we do need to recognize it for what it is. 1. Code is buried in the file, as soon as it’s ‘tokenized’, as it should be able to be blockchain traceable. 2. You don’t have to ever turn it into money, it can sit in your ‘wallet’ and change value depending on the ethereum fluctuation just as any other currency. Nothing especially bad about it, as whatever is bought for ready money is also gaining ‘value’. Not sure that cryptoart is a term here, the art/as much as non art is turned into currency – NFT. Not much different from corporate collectors keeping their possessions in a vault, but a blockchain supported provenance, i.e. nobody will ever will make a fake, and you will get royalties on re-sale.

 The ingenious machinations of the speculators as usual lies in the fact that they attached one under-regulated entity (cryptocurrency) to a non-regulated ‘industry’ – art market, which gives them innumerable opportunities for market manipulations and things of this nature. Business as usual.
Ephemereye is exploring the field, but does’t plan to dive into offering NFT minting and selling services until the environmental impact is remedied. If you are still inclined to try and mint your very own NFT, here is the list of platforms to explore:
It’s great that artists can make money, and as every individual decision will be a manifestation of an individual social conscience, we can only hope that it will be a responsible one. Huzzah to this!

Ephepereye was born in 2017. Ephemereye [ephemerˈaɪ] is a constantly updating video art gallery where artists can showcase their work in the natural frame of computer screen, and connect with others via Ephemereye Social. Where professional and aspiring, critics, venues, and collectors alike can engage in the contemporary discourse, and enjoy video-art-related news from around the globe. 

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