Decentralized Arts #16: Art Basel Miami
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
To analyze the deep interest that the world of traditional art—among others—is turning to cryptoart, we can study the NFT.NYC and Art Basel Miami events. However, this study would not fully grasp the phenomenon in progress, being made up of increasingly famous and adored galleries and artists.
The NFT movement arises from below, in all countries, in all segments of the population, and is made more and more accessible by technology and projects that work to reach the "unbanked of art." For this reason, the NFT phenomenon has this fundamental importance within BanklessDAO, because we not only want to achieve the aim of helping 1B people to make themselves financially free thanks to crypto, DeFi, and DAOs, but also to make everyone participate in a new way to share and to work.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
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Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: Andre Oshea
🏦 Auction Type: Open Edition
💰 Price: 0.025 ETH each
3D animator building the future
Curated NFT News
Digital Art Gaining Momentum in Art Basel Miami
At Art Basel Miami last week, galleries and platforms were competing with each other to offer the most attractive form of digital art.
One of these offerings was from The Open Earth Foundation, a tech platform for climate action, holding its OceanDrop NFT sale. All digital artworks and animations in the sale featured holograms using holographic technologies such as Portl.
The money raised from auctioning OceanDrop NFTs will be used for a new program called OpenOcean which will fund a project on Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica, supporting local non-governmental organizations (NGO) and park ranger operations.
But while NFTs seemed to dominate the art market—those looking at the sales—the majority of NFT-related events took place outside the fair.
One of these events, Size Basel, hosted by Size Chad and other figures in the space, attracted sponsorships from big players like Arbitrum and Sushi.
Event co-host Zhi Ko commented, “the demand for the event has been incredible. We have been approached by non-crypto artists, entertainers, and Art Basel regulars looking for a change of scenery. We hope to make this an annual event and grow it over the years.”
Other NFT events during the fair were hosted by traditional art world companies, like auction house Christie’s, as well as crypto-native businesses like FTX.
Art Basel Miami, a Retrospective
After last year's cancellation, Art Basel Miami is finally back. And cryptoart played an important role.
One of the most important art market shows of the year, Art Basel Miami, was held from December 2nd to the 4th, 2021, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
There was certainly no shortage of news in Miami, thanks to the presence of 43 galleries that participated for the first time. The admission criteria were changed after the pandemic, due to the organizers' willingness to open the event to today's world and to the social changes of recent years, starting with the reflections engendered by the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements. As such, we found for the first time, African galleries and artistic proposals, such as the Afriart gallery in Kampala, Uganda; or South American ones, such as the Pequod Co. gallery in Mexico City, Mexico.
In fact, there were numerous events that saw cryptoartists as protagonists, filled with intense and emotional moments, such as the presentation of the Fire Red Beachfront Gallery for Artist of Saint Laurent by the New York-based artist Sho Shibuya, or touching moments like Louis Vuitton's homage to Virgil Abloh at the Miami Marine Stadium.
Alongside massive traditional art sales, such as Picasso's "Mousquetaire et Femme a la Fleur" (1967) sold by Helly Nahmad Gallery for about 20 million dollars or a painting by Haring for 1.75 million dollars by Gladstone Gallery, cryptoart scored important numbers and presented innovative projects.
One project was presented by the German artist Mario Klingemann, known as Quasimondo. Quasimondo has created an opportunity for the visitor to approach the NFT world and understand its deep mechanisms: he generates AI portraits of visitors, who can then transform them into NFTs through the Tezos blockchain. This experience is part of the "Humans + Machines: NTFs and the Ever-Evolving World of Art" exhibition, which aims to present the NFT world in a form that is most attentive to the climate and the environment.
Among cryptoartists most focused on this aspect, Memo Akten—digital artist and computer scientist—showed images of octopuses generated by AI in "Distributed Consciousness." In each image are fragments of coded text invisible to the naked eye, which form a poem.
At the Pace Gallery stand, the NFT work “Block Universe” by DRIFT artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, in collaboration with musician Don Diablo, was sold for $550,000. In a combination of physical and digital, showing cube-ish planets floating around a rectangular sun with a soundscape, the work is part of the augmented reality work of the Block Universe artists. The work was sold through Pace Verso, the NFT platform launched by the gallery. At the buyer's will, the physical and augmented reality components of the work will be on display in a European museum for an exhibition later this winter.
The work, which comes with a handheld custom display that shows the NFT in an infinite loop, was originally priced at an even half-million, with 10% of the proceeds going to Justdiggit, a grassroots organization that fights global warming by re-greening Africa. The buyer decided to donate an additional $ 50,000 to the cause, providing for 247 acres in total to be replanted.
Ralph Nauta added that he was proud to create the work with Lonneke Gordijn, “because women are underrepresented in the NFT community. In the last two years, only 5% of NFTs sold were made by women."
This statement by the Dutch artist opens a reflection on the theme of inclusion in the art market.
But we want to ask ourselves: at what point will gender equality be addressed in the NFT market? Given the known gender disparity in the traditional art market, the fear of a male-dominated digital world seems real.
To combat the scarce presence of women in this new world, several projects have been developed.
A very interesting work is the collection of exclusively female images curated by World of Women. World of Women "was created to bring diversity and inclusiveness to the NFT space while bridging the gap between collectibles and single edition art worlds." In this space, created and illustrated by Yam Karkai, are 10,000 randomly generated digital collectibles of varying rarity that live on the Ethereum blockchain as ERC-721 token and are hosted on IPFS.
by G. Contro
In these days, the troubled inauguration of a statue that Emanuele Stifano has created to commemorate The Gleaner of Sapri, a shining fragment of that vaguely Deamicisian patriotic taste that our institutions cannot give up is stirring up a lot of ink, and even more pixels. Is the statue ugly or is it beautiful? Is it a petty sexualization of the female body? Or is it rather a naive, and perhaps a bit clumsy, homage to the plasticity of the neoclassical nude? Does it have something to do with the episode it is called to remember or is it a gratuitous and incongruous object?
Here, ignoring any consideration on the matter—it being understood that gleaning the grain in a silk slip seems to us a rather unique choice of clothing—we want to entertain ourselves with something else, expressed in a quick comment that Enrico Cicchetti published in the virtual pages of the newspaper Il Foglio on September 29, 2021.
Here is how the writer (whom, it is clear, we have randomly caught "gleaning" here and there) illustrates a series of cases which, in his opinion, play down the episode under discussion:
"From the 'Barberini Faun', sculpted with great virtuosity in 220 BC, who is completely drunk with his legs apart, to the naked and abandoned nymphs of Bartolini and Clesinger. Hands that grasp the flesh and bodies that yield under the fingertips in the scenes (of sexist violence, to be honest) of Giambologna's rape of the Sabines and that of Proserpina by Bernini. Or the busty water nymphs: the Naiads of the homonymous fountain in the center of Piazza della Repubblica, in Rome, and the Nereids squeezing their breasts under the 'Żigànt' of Piazza Maggiore in Bologna - while from the breasts of the fountain of tits of Treviso for the feasts in honor of each new Podestà poured white and red wine. Due to the scandal they caused at the beginning of the twentieth century, the architect Giuseppe Sommaruga had to move the two busty and semi-naked women (allegory of peace and industry) that decorated the facade of Palazzo Castiglioni, at 47 Corso Venezia in Milan - renamed with Milanese sarcasm Cà di ciapp (house of asses). Last in order of time, but not for the number of controversies raised, the washerwoman of Saura Sarmenghi, that in 2001 the municipality of Bologna placed between the fracts of a flower bed in via della Grada.”
A correct and instructive lesson, although not essential. There really was no need to go and redesign the murky and changing aesthetics of the scandalous case by case, with which the history of the relationship between art and public execration overflows. Moreover, it is well known how—sheltered from any hesitation by an inexplicable imperturbability—a large part of Christian iconography, for example, creates a huge gallery of sex-political bodies, a review of tormen nudity, bleeding, sadomasochistic joyous and suffering, imprisoned and exposed, in which the torture of the damned and the ecstasy of the martyr dialogue in a deliciously perverse and transcendent sensuality, orgasmic and hyper-corporeal.
Just as it is known that for the Greeks the body was over-executed because it had to be, the perfection and power of the divine was perfection and power of the divine libido, of coitus, but also of rape, according to the dictates of Pan—irresistible and fecundating; just as full and terrible was the lordship of Aphrodite Kalliglutos, with beautiful buttocks. The boundary of this or that "scandalous" episode cannot be placed on the historical and intra-cultural breadth of artistic semiosis, because every scandal is counterbalanced by the peaceful contemplation of the obscene as a corollary of a system of significations, at least provisionally, conditionally, and implicitly signed.
The point on which it is necessary to dwell is, however, elsewhere, or in the few lines that Cicchetti prompts his homily: “Yet even on certain masterpieces from other eras, if one had to read art through the lens of the pol. corr., there would be complaints."
Given that “pol. corr." stands for Politically Correct (it is not clear where the need for the abbreviation arises), it is immediately evident how this pre-faction is destined to put everything in a different light, that is, to intoxicate the argumentative fabric invali-giving an exposition that, in itself, would have been not without interest.
In fact, we are not interested in what Politically Correct actually is, or if—after the 1990s—it still had a real space in public communication, but we are interested in how it has become a universally recyclable polemic category, a meta-judgment (judgment on judgment) that anyone can quickly adapt to need from the moment. Also, and perhaps above all, in a context such as the one discussed here, where its application is obviously completely misleading, inadequate, or irrelevant, if you prefer.
As a device of a rhetorical techné, this elusive and total object (and who is not suspected of carrying some in his pocket?) becomes an aesthetics of aesthetics, a critique-of-criticism, capable of determining a sublime paralysis of the look and of the word. In other words, perhaps something unique in the history of art is being created: the censorious spirit interpenetrates with a censorship-of-censorship and, as a result of an equal and opposite reaction, blesses us with the balm of silence.
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
Last week’s weekly showcase numbers
Artist Mostmeta made a total of 0.285 ETH in sales with the NFTs “Let Us Eat Cake”.
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