In recent weeks it’s become apparent that the serious end of the international art market has decided to go all in on non-fungible tokens that register digital art on a blockchain forever and ever. They’re going to be a thing. And that’s an end to it, alright?
And really, what’s not to like for the pros servicing the market?
This isn’t the first time they’ve had to contend with the question “but is it really art?” Or had to tackle “I just don’t get it”-type criticism.
Not getting the art is kind of part of art these days. At the very least, it is not a reason to stay away. (Especially if there are countless would-be collectors happy to tell you the opposite.) The market provides what the market demands.
And in this case there’s also another obvious draw: a huge pool of freshly enriched crypto fans with money to burn on anything that matches or supports the system that enriched them in the first place. Hell, yes! NFTs were obviously going to be the sort of low-hanging fruit the art market could not ignore.
And yet, there is one not insubstantial niggle. The art market is not exactly devoid of hip-and-considerate-vegan types who want to save the planet. For them, crypto’s energy intensity is clearly going to be a problem.
The irony hasn’t been lost on artist Simon Denny, who has been chronicling developments in blockchainland from its earliest years.
Denny’s 2016 exhibition at the Petzel gallery, “Blockchain Future States”, was one of the first artistic projects to unpack the complex politics of the blockchain, and to critically address the major actors in cryptoland.
He also joined FT Alphaville on stage in 2019 at our Vaudeville production, where he gifted self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright, with a cardboard copy of a CryptoKitty.
We can now exclusively reveal that in his latest exhibition, “Mine”, Denny will not just be turning his attention to NFTs, but to a kind of NFT “offset”.
Here’s the press release:
Now that’s what we call an NFT that can be banged into a 2021 ESG portfolio.
The official release of the work is set for next Thursday, March 18.
But the good news for those who aren’t exactly convinced by any of the above is that Simon has agreed to come and talk to Jemima and me just as the whole thing launches next Thursday (Jemima will be in a childcare bubble in deepest Cornwall so her appearance depends on strong connectivity). So prepare your quibbles, your cynicism or your love and come and join us on ClubHouse at 9pm London time (4pm EST). We will be sure to have a great discussion, and an important one at that. Because who knows, you could end up being tokenised one day too.
Related links:You are a valuable asset. Tokenise yourself. - FT Alphaville