Decentralized Arts #15: When NFTs Meet the Public
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
We all already know, thanks to the protracted conversations about Decentralized Arts, that cryptoart is an increasingly important component of the art world. NFTs have created one of the main novelties in the world of contemporary art, allowing the rise of new artists— cryptoartists— often totally unknown until a few months ago. NFTs have allowed many to be able to use expressive means much more common to new generations than traditional art, thus allowing the creation of a new intergenerational audience.
What not everyone expected, but is witnessed in all circumstances, is the enthusiasm that NFT events, especially exhibitions, arouse in the public. Not only is the public already accustomed to cryptoart but the curious— those who have heard of it without having had the opportunity to learn more about it up to this moment— are also becoming accustomed.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
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Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: Mostmeta.eth
🏦 Auction Type: Open Edition
💰 Price: 0.015 ETH
Working with AI at the wonderful Adobe. gif maker. blockchain & NFT fan. NFT-onboarding-specialist.
bDAO: How did you become a cryptoartist?
MM: My journey started when I was looking for a way to digitally sign custom gifs I created for my Giphy channel, giphy.com/mostmeta, way back in 2016. I was kinda stunned there wasn’t a method to do this outside of partnering with a brick and mortar gallery that would maintain provenance on a centralized database. After a lot of trial-and-error (very comic) at creating a way to digitally sign gifs—involving QR codes, 2FA, and Google docs—I finally stumbled across Jason Bailey’s Artnome article, “What is CrytptoArt” in 2018. This was exactly what I was looking for; this entire ecosystem was already built! I instantly fell down the rabbit hole.
bDAO: What is cryptoart to you?
MM: Cryptoart to me is a way for humanity to unlock creative value. There are such low barriers to entry and such upside for so many people it’s breathtaking. All boats are lifted with the rising tide. Cryptoart = Abundance.
bDAO: What evolution do you see in the world of cryptoart?
MM: As far as evolution, here’s where it gets fun. Evolution = Metaverse. (And not Facebook’s version). The fact that anyone can build a smart contract that interacts with any existing NFT is super exciting. Q: What is the Metaverse? A: We’re building it together right now.
bDAO: What do you think about the combination of cryptoart and DAOs?
MM: The combination of cryptoart and DAOs is such a natural fit. Both are crypto-native and both reinforce each other. Cryptoart is a way for DAOs to express themselves and DAOs are a way for cryptoartists to contribute to this thriving ecosystem.
bDAO: Tell us about the works we are dropping.
MM: The title of the piece is a play on the, “Let them eat cake” phrase that sparked a revolution. In our money revolution, we’re the ones who get to make and eat our cake! This work is about celebrating the Bankless Nation and the more equitable monetary future we are creating together. And about yummy cake. I love cake. Creating this one with the Bankless colors, it definitely came out as a red-velvet cake. Mmmm. I have a vision of all the Chippi and DAOpunks having a slice in the Metaverse while patiently trying to explain the wonders of a Bankless future to their relatives over Thanksgiving dinner…
Curated NFT News
Collins Dictionary Chooses NFT as Word of the Year
According to the dictionary, the usage of the “non-fungible token” abbreviation has risen 11,000% in a year. They also stated that this is unusual for an abbreviation and its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly their word of the year.
NFT is one of the three tech-based words to make the Collins new word list. The other two are crypto, short for cryptocurrency, and metaverse.
In 2020, the word of the year was lockdown reflecting the influence that the pandemic has had.
Rarible Launches Messaging Application
Rarible revealed the messenger tool on November 23rd. The marketplace aims to connect NFT creators with the community. For now, the Rarible Messenger is live as an internal marketplace tool but the company will release a standalone tool for people to communicate in Web3.
Rarible added: “Rarible Messenger is also the most user-friendly way to connect with anyone via blockchain, allowing users to communicate by entering each other’s wallet addresses. The tool also features privacy settings, which can be enabled to block messages from unknown users.”
Axie Infinity virtual land slot sells out for 550 ETH
Axie Infinity tweeted about the sale on Thursday and according to the game developers this is the largest sum ever paid for a plot in the Lunacea virtual world.
Lunacea is a 301 x 301 square grid where each section represents a tokenized plot of land called Terra, which players can buy, sell, or rent out to other players. The land that was sold for $2.3 million is classified as Genesis, which is the rarest form of virtual real estate available in the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
DART Exhibition, When NFTs Meet the Public
It is the largest exhibition of NFT art in Italy to date, which sees the contemporary presence of 150 works, including cryptoartists and collectibles, alongside works of art of global importance such as those by Caravaggio and Titian.
The organization of a physical NFT exhibition must always face various problems and, to investigate the matter, we spoke together with Skygolpe, a well-known and appreciated cryptoartist, who participated in the installation.
How to best present the works? How is it possible to make NFTs better perceived by the general public, mainly those who do not have an in-depth knowledge of them? What should be the path in which the public can be accompanied? Is it necessary to communicate to the users which are the most relevant artists and works? What kind of attitude should artists have with each other and with the public?
These are just some of the questions that the organizers of an NFT exhibition have asked themselves.
To begin to analyze the choices that led to the preparation of the exhibition, it is perhaps necessary to begin with the place chosen to hold it, the Museo della Permanente. Unlike many other NFT exhibitions, the organizers of the DART have chosen, as a stage, an art museum known throughout the city of Milan, which hosts various exhibitions of "traditional" art throughout the year. The desire to hold the exhibition here was therefore rather courageous, to be able to face the traditional public visiting art exhibitions head on, proposing the revolution of art, aesthetics, and technology that the NFT movement is carrying out.
The artists whose NFT works are exhibited represent a mix of world-famous cryptoartists and young Italian cryptoartists, who already have significant sales volumes. The names on display are known to all those who know something about the NFT world, such as Beeple, Pak, XCOPY, Hackatao, Skygolpe, Fabio Giampietro, Federico Clapis, DotPigeon, Alotta Money, Giovanni Motta, Dangiuz. These are accompanied by NFTs more related to the world of collectors and the metaverse, such as a CryptoPunk, a BAP, a Homer Simpson Rare Pepe NFT, and Sandbox NFTs, in an alternation between blue chip artists, OGs, and collectibles.
The 150 works are located in two adjoining rooms, arranged in such a way as to create an encircling and labyrinthine effect, which can allow the viewers to immerse themselves in the colors and movements of the works. These are shown through black screens mounted on equally black metal structures, to (successfully) limit the "television" display effect that sometimes occurs in NFT exhibitions.
The exhibition opened with the presence of many of the artists on display, with the desire to create a direct link between new NFT art and traditional art. The cryptoartists, witnesses of this new era and technology, had the opportunity to explain to visitors their expressive methods and the path that led them to NFTs.
The phenomenology of NFTs is often characterized by collaborations between cryptoartists and a deep sense of camaraderie between them. Both elements were immediately visible during the opening day of the exhibition, with the presence of some works created in collaboration between cryptoartists alongside the evident sense of community, or rather of "artistic movement," which transpired from everyone's conversations and facial expressions.
Skygolpe showed us his great satisfaction both in the organization and actual realization of the exhibition.
Reporting his thoughts: "There were several unknowns. Would we have been able to collect the adhesions of blue chip artists? Would we have been able to represent the NFT fine art in its validity as a new real artistic movement, detached from the elements of speculation indicated by some rumors? Would the exhibition have been appreciated by the public?" The responses from the artists and the public have been extremely positive, with commentary from initial visitors conveying the excellence of the exhibition.
Skygolpe wanted to underline how in the minds of many cryptoartists and experts, the current one appears as the beginning of a real artistic movement. "The cryptoartists feel that they are all building together something new and beautiful and the solicitations that come from the outside, even insiders from "traditional" art sectors, seem to confirm this more and more every day.”
The exhibition will remain open until February 2022 and only at the end will it be possible to analyze the data relating to the public and the visibility of the exhibition on traditional media and social networks. Already today, however, we can define this event as unique for the Italian scene and as a milestone for the fine art NFT.
Anamorphosis-11 Restart: by G. Contro
We all know that the new year starts in September.
Millennia of astronomical conventions and historical-cultural traditions are not enough to convince us that the cosmic cycle is renewed (or trivially reappears) in that melancholy and noisy night that separates the thirty-first of December from the first of January; we feel that the restart of the system can only be placed in the restart of productive activities, in the gloomy spring of the restart—what a clumsy expression!—school-work …
After all, it seems that today we expect only this: to return to normality. More or less as if the free-grown wheat invoked the advance of the threshing machine or as if the infantryman, tired of the still fetid warmth of the trench, clamored to throw himself at the enemy machine gun. So it is.
As Eric Arthur Blair—aka George Orwell—observed, "The Cratchits are able to enjoy Christmas precisely because it comes only once a year"; the nature of happiness, in Dickens' Victorian sentimentality as well as on the slippery plane of history, is welded in logical and existential symbiosis with its provisional nature.
On the ecliptic of our discussion of Art and Technology, this observation is grafted in a slightly oblique way, but not out of place for this. The possibility of placing Art as a moment of happiness, for those who create its forms as well as for those who benefit from it, is given in the interstices of lawfulness (because freedom would be too demanding a term) granted by the production-consumption system only for distraction, irrelevance or incompleteness of its protocols (the dejà vu of the black cat in the Matrix). Insofar as Art is the concretization of an imaginary, it is also the last enclave of resistance, the Panshir valley, or the Bastogne,in a collective mind infested with nightmares and dreams that do not belong to us, but to which we have been sold out.
According to what the old Adorno noted in 1963, "In the cultural industry the concept of technique has only a name in common with its equivalent in the field of works of art. Here the technique refers to the object itself, to its internal logic. Being above all a technique of diffusion and mechanical reproduction, that of the cultural industry always keeps its object external. The cultural industry finds ideological support precisely in the fact that it is careful not to apply its techniques to its products with total consistency."
Art is the possibility of enjoyment given outside the system of infinite and undifferentiated reproducibility, outside the administered seriality; it is a holiday just before the restart. And if it seems to you that this has nothing to do with what we are talking about, take some advice:
Reboot the system.
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
💰 Last week’s weekly showcase numbers
Artist Ultra_Sound (Bertaliot) made a total of 1.363 ETH in sales with the NFTs “Decentralised Love” and “Future is Blooming”.
Call to Action
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