Why a JPG picture can be worth tens of millions of new media art ushered in an explosive moment?

On March 11, 2021, digital artist Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” (Everydays: The First 5000 Days) went under the hammer at Christie’s for $69.34 million, becoming the world’s first traditional artwork Purely digital works sold by auction houses.

As the third most valuable artwork in auction history by a living artist, “Every Day: The First 5,000 Days” started at just $100, but such a starting price greatly underestimated the enthusiasm of collectors.

As of the last minute, 2.2 million visitors visited the auction page, and the work, which took more than 5,000 days to create, sold for nearly 700,000 times higher than the starting price.

On that day, digital artist Beeple made history, broke through the cognition of the real world, and let encrypted digital artworks break into the public’s vision.

While lamenting the changes in art, everyone has a huge curiosity about the supporting technology behind it. What is NFT ? What is new media art ? This question has become a topic of constant debate over the past year.

In reality, however, “Every Day: The First 5,000 Days” is not the first crypto-art work to break the circle.

In March of the same year, a group of art lovers burned the world-renowned street artist Banksy’s work “Morons” on the streets, and sold the NFT digital version based on “Morons” for 4 times the price.

This show, which is more like a performance art performance, makes everyone realize that the boundaries of art have a new extension.

As Leo Tolstoy said, “Art is the mirror of life”, and with the development of the Metaverse Age, art is undergoing tremendous changes.

In the past year, the new media art industry has undergone earth-shaking changes, and finally ushered in its explosive moment

What is new media art?

So what exactly is new media art? We might as well do a small experiment first and ask this question in the circle of friends. How many people can answer it without asking for help from Baidu?

The answer may be very few.

There is no other reason, it is not that new media art appeared late, or that its influence is not far-reaching enough, it is just because art always subtly changes us, along with our daily production and life behaviors.

Just as it is difficult for many of us to clearly express what “land art”, “realism” and “romanticism” are, new media art is a new art discipline, a product of the times, and has inadvertently penetrated into the world of contemporary art. middle.

To put it simply, new media art uses modern scientific and technological means to explore culture and aesthetics. It integrates the most cutting-edge digital technology, biotechnology, quantum theory, economics, linguistics and other disciplines. basic art.

It is an art form that places more emphasis on the interaction between the audience and the artwork .

New media art is a kind of art that is fluid and constantly reshaped. It uses computers, networks, and images as creative media to change the public’s perception of traditional art.

As a pure art discipline, new media art is a very large category, including digital art, interactive art, algorithm art, sound art, video art, lighting art, generative art, etc. It is a complex but clear context. system.

New media art is not just “NETART”, but “ART IN NET”, not just a cold technological innovation, but a leap in public aesthetics, a milestone event in the history of aesthetics development.

At present, many colleges and universities at home and abroad have opened new media art majors, including Tsinghua University, China Academy of Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Tongji University, Carnegie Mellon University, New York School of Visual Arts and other well-known institutions.

As a branch of new media art, digital media art is one of the most important and most extensive forms of expression in contemporary new media art. It is mostly expressed in the form of pictures and gifs, and it increases the participation of time and the perception of the audience through painting, photography, and installation. , reshapes the four-dimensional space of art and gives the audience a whole-hearted experience.

The development of digital media art from the 1960s to the present has produced countless amazing works and laid a solid foundation for the current outbreak of new media art.

As Flaubert said, “art and science always reunite at the top of the mountain”, art is gorgeous because it expresses feelings, and science is sublime because it reveals laws. New media art integrates the boundaries of science and art, and achieves each other .

How has new media art developed ?

New media art seems to cover all fields of contemporary art, so how did new media art come into being and develop so far?

Before answering this question, we need to know an important premise, that is, art not only creates social wealth, but also reflects on social culture.

The process of art feeding back social civilization is the crystallization of the wisdom of the public, and new media art demonstrates this very well.

In the late 1960s, the information revolution made personal computers popular, and then the Internet became a new artistic medium, creating the foundation for the birth of new media art.

New media art, whose core lies in communication and interaction, originated from conceptual art, Dada-like behavior and early futurist manifestos .

Early new media art included sound art, video art, and lighting art. Its representative, Korean-American Nam June Paik created many precedents in the fields of video art, video installation, and video performance, and won the “New” with “TV Buddha”. “Father of Media”.

At the end of the 20th century, with the continuous advancement of technology, with the support of the media industry and related government agencies, artistic utopias such as ZKM (Art and Media Center), AEC (Electronic Arts Center), and ICC (Inter-Communication Center) were established one after another.

It aims to promote the dialogue between contemporary art and science, and to promote the further development of new media art .

At the same time, new media art exhibitions break the perception of the real world again and again. The emergence of large-scale curatorial exhibitions such as the “MULTIMEDIALE” Multimedia Art Biennale has made the new media more widely disseminated and audiences.

And many outstanding artists let us feel the shock brought by new media art.

Bill Viola’s work uses the human body and perception to interact, moving generations of participants through fluid art. The color series “Space of Light” created by James Turrell allows users to create new definitions of distance, color and size, “fascinating” a series of viewers.

Japanese TEAMLAB uses space and light and shadow to allow the audience to redefine the concept of time and space.Random International’s Rain room allows experiencers to enjoy walking in the rain without getting wet.

Science has empowered new media art to “change the world” and redefine artists .

As Random International stated in an interview, “The engineering challenge of building a device like this is fascinating, but at the same time it’s a social science, and no designer is going to create a device that doesn’t make sense. .

The new media art installation allows the audience to experience their own energy. The creative process is more captivating than ever, as the audience defines the artist’s identity, perceives it, and experiences it to the fullest. “

Almost at the same time, Internet technology gradually matured, giving birth to the emergence of computer graphics and providing new creative tools for new media artists.

The tools used by ordinary users to make drawings on the computer range from Microsoft drawing to coding, and then to various Adobe software, resulting in the emergence of a large number of digital artists on the new track of new media art.

Known as the “pioneering idol leading the trend of the 21st century” DAI FAN, the 18-year-old genius artist Fewocious, the NFT god-level figure Pak, and the Beeple who changed the history of traditional auction houses, etc.

Artists experiment with new digital tools and artistic mediums, connecting their work with visual arts spaces and diverse disciplines such as music and poetry .

Nowadays, encrypted art, algorithm art, interactive art and generative art are popular, and the birth of NFT based on blockchain technology provides the basis for the confirmation of digital artwork rights.

Its immutable, transparent and unique properties make GIF not just an infinitely replicable image, but a digital asset with real value.

At the same time, the development of AI intelligence has made the tools of generative art more “fool-like”. For example, the software “DeepDreaming” developed by Google has opened the door of generative art to ordinary people, provided creators with imaginative tools, and improved ordinary people. The public’s sense of participation in new media art allows anyone to become one of the creators.

The development of new media art closely follows the rhythm of the development of the times, steadily and imaginatively promoting the progress of human civilization.

Why is new media art ushered in an explosion?

The outbreak of new media art is not an elusive “black swan” event, but a long-planned “foreshadowing”.

As we said above, new media art brings together the most cutting-edge science and technology, and realizes the unity of art and science. The development of science has brought inexhaustible impetus to the shaping and innovation of new media art .

At present, the computer language is no longer a simple binary stack of 0s and 1s, and the code structure is constantly being simplified and optimized, which provides a basis for realizing more complex programs.

Artificial intelligence has developed from the initial machine intelligence to the present. In the field of robotics, language recognition, image recognition and expert systems, it has unmatched rational thinking and low error rate, which has become the key to human beings entering the era of intelligence.

Computer science and AI have come to a stage where they are more inclined to develop consumer-level scenarios, and for any industry, entertainment and art are the best means of communication.

More scientists are not just chasing the truth in the ivory tower, they hope that theories can be proved experimentally and more interestingly. Scientists carry deeper humanistic concerns, and then give birth to algorithm art and generative art in new media art.

As Hegel said, ” The value of art lies in the display of an inner vitality, emotion, soul, style and spirit by means of external material forms, which is the meaning of what we call a work of art .”

New media artists allow the audience to feel that art is life, and to perceive the rhythm of the times at close range.

In addition, the development of the Internet has gradually transformed from the Web 2.0 era that meets user interaction needs to the decentralized Web 3.0 era. The confirmation of digital assets has improved the status of artists and the scarcity of artworks.

The innovation of NFT has endowed everything with value, and new media art works have sprung up in our field of vision.

Famous encryption artist FEWOCiOUS’s “The EverLasting Beautiful”, 87-year-old comic book artist José Delbo’s “Genesis”, anonymous encryption artist Pak’s “Finite” and “Metarift”.

“banana & tape” commemorating the performance art Maurizio Cattelan put bananas on the exhibition wall of the art fair… Digital media art works are no longer a topic discussed in niche salons, but a global carnival.

Why a JPG picture can be worth tens of millions of new media art ushered in an explosive moment?

The outbreak of the global epidemic has caused certain changes in the global economic structure. The digital economy is booming, and the Metaverse era has entered the public eye. People’s curiosity and attention to new media art instantly swept the world.

For the Metaverse, which replicates all production and lifestyles in the physical world in the virtual world, and has a complete economic system and trustless identity authentication, new media art endows the Metaverse with a novel user interface and immersive experience.

People can connect with the world, interact, and create as they like.

New media art builds the foundation for the interaction of the Metaverse world, and the opening of the Metaverse era brings a catalyst for the explosion of new media art. The value of a JPG picture is not only a game of capital operation, but a new The assembly number of the opening of the era.

Where will new media art go in the future?

The development of new media art has a history of only about 60 years. For an emerging art discipline, the future of new media art still has a long way to go.

So where will the future of new media art go? Is new media art the ultimate form of art? These topics are worth pondering and exploring.

  • Technology + art will change the development of the industry

The development of new media art is inseparable from the progress of science and technology. New media art and technology are closely related to shadows and objects. We can even simply think that new media art is the reflection of technology in the field of aesthetics .

With the continuous development of science and technology, the display forms and achievements of new media art will continue to subvert our cognition, and even change the development of the art industry.

In addition to the “DeepDreaming” developed by Google that we mentioned earlier, there is a software “Wombo Dream” that can help us “braille into painting”, which not long ago set off a new wave of AI creation.

There is a popular short video of “lip-synching” on TikTok and Douyin. Some still photos of celebrities have turned into funny singing videos. Many celebrities have been recruited. The company behind it, Wombo, is the creation of “Wombo Dream” By.

Users only need to enter a keyword and a description in “WomboDream” and select an art style to get their own masterpiece.

Even if the input keywords and the selected style are the same, the generated pictures will be different each time, which perfectly interprets the true meaning of art.

Why a JPG picture can be worth tens of millions of new media art ushered in an explosive moment?

As of the end of last year, WomboDream users had generated more than 10 million images and inspired many artists.

Technology unleashes human labor and creativity, allowing more time and opportunity to think about broader issues.

When human beings create and upgrade technology, technology is also changing human beings. This is a mutual process.

With the support of science and technology, art is no longer limited to the burst of personal inspiration and superb skills , artistic creation has become more imaginative and imaginative, and everyone can become an artist.

Whether it is AI creation, algorithm art, installation art or interactive art. New media art deeply touches us by enhancing the perception of the participants.

As technology advances, we look forward to seeing more imaginative and creative works. The rich humanistic feelings and social values ​​in these works will deeply influence the next era.

  • NFTs will give artists a better deal

The emergence of NFT allows new media artists to get their due remuneration and respect.

Its core significance is not the impact of the ever-expanding commercial value on the art market, but a gradual change in people’s views on ownership, which will bring about a profound change to the foundation of social order .

For a long time in the past, new media artists must have a connection with the real world if they want to realize their profits. After spreading through the Internet, they always need to authorize products or cooperate with brands in order to make digital art commercial in the traditional sense. .

The emergence of NFT allows artists to jump out of the bundling and anchoring of entities, which perfectly solves this problem.

The non-tamperable blockchain technology that NFT relies on makes the data around artworks and the transaction process more open, transparent and traceable , which greatly avoids the dilemma that digital art can be copied through screenshots, and makes the ownership of digital art more Smoother management system and clearer definitions.

Technology has become a means of deterring evil, and NFT can be regarded as a change in the way of cooperation between human civilizations in a higher dimension and for a longer time.

More and more artists are getting better deals because of NFTs. After Beeple, “The Beach with Poetry” from Dabei Universe’s “Text Gene Project” series fetched a whopping $140,000.

His series of “Future”, “Garbled Poems” and “Virtual Butterfly” have created a delicate and detached bizarre aesthetic, creating a precedent in the field of digital art in the Asian Metaverse.

Tian Xiaolei, a digital artist who explores the relationship between people and technology, Chi Lei, a trend art dark horse with millions of fans, and Chen Tianzhuo, a contemporary art creator, and many other well-known digital artists in China have also entered the game. New media art is full of vitality due to the existence of NFT. .

  • Everyone can be a creator and collector

At the same time, the explosion of the new media art era has made it possible for everyone to be a creator and collector .

The creation of new media artists is no longer limited to physical paintings and sculptures, no longer limited to excessively refined aesthetics, but has more abundant forms of expression. Video, pictures, and installations can be used as components of new media art.

Art creation tools have also made qualitative breakthroughs, and everyone has the talent and qualification to become a creator.

Dabei Universe was originally a 3D game scene builder. When it first tried artistic creation, Dabei Universe once chose to create sculptures for a short time.

However, his inspiration is unleashed in his sculptural work, and his creativity is limited by the physical medium.

So free creation with a free medium seems to be an essential part of his artistic career.

Digital art provides him with infinite possibilities. Through algorithms, he hides organic information in a chaotic system, allowing the world to see the unique charm of Asian digital artists.

As ordinary people, we may not be able to form a unique way of expression, but the era of new media art provides us with simple and easy tools.

Whether it is “Wombo Dream” mentioned above, or “DeepDreaming” developed by Google, or Nvidia’s 3D design collaboration and virtual world simulation platform Omniverse, Epic Game’s Unreal Engine, anyone can use related tools proficiently And become the creator of new media art.

The new media art based on blockchain technology has changed the global perception of ownership, making it possible for everyone to be a collector .

Collectors have more options for art, and can more easily and securely acquire works of art and trade or liquidate them on the secondary market.

The future of new media art may have countless possibilities, and the creation and collection of all people is an indispensable part of it.

  • Metaverse makes new media art present more innovative forms

2021 is the first year of the Metaverse. If civilization in the information age is a superimposed tower, human beings are like Sisyphus carrying these difficulties on his back.

Yet, as Albert Camus said, “The whole silent joy of Sisyphus consists in this: his destiny is his, his rock is his business. My world, which has never been mastered, is neither to him. The desert is not fertile soil either. The struggle he has to fight to get to the top of the mountain is enough in itself to fill a man’s heart.”

The Metaverse Age is not a last-ditch orgy of entertainment to the death.

One end of human civilization is virtual reality, and the other end is the sea of ​​stars, which are parallel and interdependent.The arrival of the Metaverse is an accident of necessity, a product of the development of science and technology to a certain stage.

At the moment when we are exploring the positive role of the Metaverse, we have further promoted the iteration of technology and art.

The addition of the Metaverse provides more innovative forms for new media art .

Let VR games, AR interactive experiences, holographic images, 3D printing sculpture groups and other futuristic and technological expressions become an important part of new media art, enrich the display methods of new media art, and enhance artworks and audiences The perception and interactivity between them make the new media art more immersive for the participants.

At the same time, Metaverse provides a detailed material library for new media art creation, which inspires creators and enables more artists to think about the relationship between man and nature, man and technology, and man and the future.

Further accelerate the arrival of the Metaverse era through the creation of artists.


The emergence of new media art has opened the door to the Garden of Eden and brought a horn of abundance to the world. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of new media art, and this small part has changed the world and the way people view the development of things. Way.

Art is endless, what remains unchanged is art, and what is constantly innovating is also art.

As Goethe said, “There is no better way to escape the world than art, and there is no better way to connect with the world than art”, we should look at new media art with an open mind, Constantly accept it and create value for it.

Apart from freeing hands and being creative, the development of human civilization is inherently absurd and dramatic.

Under the uncertainty of the rapid iteration of the times, the new industries that are born and the relationship between future technology and life have become crucial issues that the next generation must pay attention to .

Not long ago, the comprehensive video installation series “Post-Human Museum” was held at the Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art, which brought infinite moving to the audience. What stopped the audience was not the amazing images displayed by artificial intelligence and technology in a fantasy future world. , but the dancing human astronauts in the bottom of each installation.

Although times are changing, we always have “love and freedom”.

Perhaps new media art is not the ultimate form of the art industry, but it undoubtedly gives artworks a new soul and penetrates into every aspect of our lives.

As an integral part of the Metaverse, new media art not only provides a new display form for the Metaverse, but also enriches the format of the Metaverse industry.

With the iteration of the Metaverse era, we will see all kinds of novel new media art exhibitions, encrypted art works, and more young artists who are willing to challenge their own limits.

The future is coming, are you and me ready?

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