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[thoughts] How have forms of art changed? What new capabilities do NFTs give artists?
Crypto art is continuous, while traditional art is discrete:
Creating, bidding, and selling take place at the fine time granularities of minutes and even seconds. Now, crypto art acts as a real-time stream of events, more similar to financial trading than traditional art auctioning.
Similarly, with generative art, we have turned traditionally discrete forms of art (paintings, sculptures) into continuous pieces.
While film and performance art have used time as a medium, and artists have manipulated layers in artwork (created with time) for effect, the permanence of the blockchain’s timestamps has never given time a more prominent role in artistic expression. Artists can add onto each others’ work (dada.art), and some art like The Plantoid have literally taken on a life of their own.
Increasingly populist definitions of artistic value…
if a rock, a NYT article, a cryptokitties can be sold as art, the proverbial question of the Museum of Modern Art vs. the Museum of Ice Cream will become more contentious than it is already
…but definitions that now include digital art nonetheless.
In the entire history of humankind, it has been very very hard to sell digital art. In the 80’s, Jean Pierre Herbert –– a pioneer in the field of digital art — was physically removed from galleries after they found out he was selling art made by computers. Manfried Mohr — pioneer of algorithmic art — was egged for ‘corrupting art’ when he first showcased his digital work to a room of artists. With NFTs, that’s changed. Conversation about whether digital art is even considered art has disappeared.
NFTs retain scarcity and value in artwork:
“in a realm where novelty, rarity and exclusivity underpin so much of the ‘real or perceived’ value of a work, copy and paste goes from being an act of creation to an act of destruction” –– Dash
Fractional equity can create shared ownership structures for art: while we have ‘web2’ versions of platforms that allow for fractionalized ownership of artwork (like Masterworks), centralized platforms still make trading very difficult and shares illiquid.
Similarly, NFTs can create new managerial models for art communities: an example is in theatre, where blockchain allows for a theater to create an investment structure by which patrons buy tokens and own part of the theater instead of only buying tickets or donating philanthropically. These models shift from the economics of consumption—buying tickets—to investment models of ownership—buying shares.