Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

NFT has become the “new darling” of the cryptocurrency world for some time now.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

NFT has become the “new favorite” in the world of cryptocurrencies over the past period of time.

Cryptocurrencies have recently plummeted. In the early hours of May 20 Beijing time, Bitcoin plunged 30% at one point, down more than 50% from its April price highs. On the same day, ethereum fell by up to more than 40%. The market wailed as many investors blew their positions.

Will NFT, which is closely related to cryptocurrencies, also be implicated?NFT, or Non Fungible Token, is a crypto digital proof of interest derived from blockchain technology.

Over the past period of time, NFT has become the “new favorite” in the cryptocurrency world. The latest report from NonFungible.com, a website that tracks NFT trading and marketplaces, shows that NFT sales surpassed $2 billion in the first quarter of this year, a jump of at least 20 times from the previous quarter. This does not include the $472 million in transactions for NBA Top Shot and $69 million for Beeple’s Every Day: The First 5,000 Days in the first quarter.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

Every Day: The First 5,000 Days, Beeple

Beeple’s NFT piece sold at Christie’s on March 11, 2021, which was seen as a sign that NFT had landed in the art market. But in this wave of cryptocurrency’s plunge, will this be the end of the road for the combination of NFT and the art market? One view is that NFT will be decoupled from cryptocurrencies in the future, and that the fever will continue in the short term and fall in the medium term.

In the eyes of the general public, NFT is a “string of code”, and the public is not clear about its real connection to artwork. What the public sees is more of a piece of “unreadable” art sold for “unreadable” high prices. But advocates believe that NFT landed in the art field, is the best attempt to virtual currency to the real purchase.

Why NFT can land in the art market? How exactly does the technology work with art? Is its staggeringly high price the power of hype, or is there a real value ahead of its time? A-Z Lightyear” combines the views of many parties and draws the following conclusions from three levels: technology, art and business.

NFT’s technical characteristics can solve the real pain points of the current digital art market. nft not only protects the rights and interests of digital art creators, but also becomes a new medium for artists to express themselves in the new era.

the cryptocurrency and blockchain practitioners are more able to identify with the values of NFT art, while more people will only consider NFT as an investment.

NFT has formed a certain impact on the centralized structure of the traditional art market, but may not overturn the existing “centralized” pattern in its entirety.

NFT art market is undoubtedly a big bubble, in terms of technology, commercialization, market regulation are to be improved.

  1. NFT, the emergence of a new darling of capital

This is not the first time NFT “out of the loop”, at the end of 2017, a kitten called CryptoKitties came out of nowhere, these kittens similar to electronic pets even once paralyzed the Ethernet. In less than two weeks, CrypotoKitties generated more than $11 million in revenue for its publisher, Dapper Labs, and one of the crypto kittens, number #896775, named Dragon, was auctioned off for $270,000 and was jokingly called “the most expensive cat on the planet. “.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

No. #896775, Dragon

In the second half of 2020, Dapper Labs released another NFT project – NBA Top Shots, which sells NBA star video highlights as NFTs. According to the Crypto Slam website, as of early May this year, there were more than 260,000 buyers of NBA Top Shot, with a transaction value of more than $560 million.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

LeBron James’ tribute to Kobe Bryant’s dunk moment sells for $179,000

With the investment market fever being set off again and again, NFT gradually entered the public eye and the market sentiment was quickly ignited. According to Nonfungible.com, NFT’s data tracking site, the total amount of NFT artwork sold between the end of February and March 2021 climbed rapidly and “could change hands six times in five minutes.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

Total usd spent on completed sales

It was also in the first quarter of 2021 that the value of bitcoin soared and hit a high of $65,000 in April. “NFT could be the bridge between the traditional industry and the crypto industry,” said Shi Luhang, a blockchain investor. Blockchain investor Shi Luhang said. the emergence of NFT has created new demand for an otherwise deflationary virtual currency economic system, and in addition to artwork, multiple branches of NFT such as games, cards, and virtual universes have created a real incentive to buy that leads from the virtual to the real.

The $69 million price tag for Beeple’s work was the “spark” that ignited the interest. The people behind the deal began to market it as early as 2020.

In October 2020, Metapurse, the NFT fund run by NFT collectors Metakovan and Twobadour, bought 20 pieces from Beeple’s Every Day collection for over $2.2 million.
On January 23, 2021, Metapurse announced that it would issue the token B.20 on Ether, backed by the value of these 20 NFTs, virtual properties, and VR galleries.
In March 2021, Beeple sold at Christie’s for $69 million, according to an investigation by American journalist Amy Castor, the buyer of this work was Twitter user @Metakovan, while B.20 skyrocketed 89% in 30 minutes, with the public offering price rising from $0.36 to $25 at one point.
Metakovan later said in a public interview that his motivation was not to make money, but to support the artist and showcase the technology, and emphasized the huge risks involved in making money with NFT. was Metakovan’s action hype, illegal fundraising? This is not something anyone in the cryptocurrency world has looked deeply into, and it is the short-term explosion of NFT’s investment properties that is the most attractive part of the story.

The detonation of the NFT market itself is also closely related to the veteran auction house Christie’s, which chose to up-sell Robert Alice’s blockchain work “Portraits of a Mind” in October 2020. Prior to the auction, the work was exhibited at Christie’s New York gallery, along with works by Monet, Picasso, and Warhol.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

Portraits of a Mind

Sun Bo Han, the founder and curator of BCA, the NFT trading platform, was involved in the bidding of this work, and he shared with “Koshi Lightyear” that “Christie’s, as a hallowed auction house in the traditional art market, chose works reflecting blockchain culture for auction, which is a landmark event in the development of NFT art.”

After this, celebrities and various capital institutions have entered, and NFT has gradually become a market hotspot. According to the data of Enterprise Business Card Pro, in the field related to NFT, a total of more than 70 financing events have occurred at home and abroad since November 2020. Among them, the trading platform Boson Protocol not only received $10 million in institutional financing in March this year, overraising 40 times.

On May 22, an auction will be held on OpenSea, in which more than 10 artists from China will auction their works after being chained, including traditional art such as ink paintings and ink drawings.

A huge bubble has sprung up in the NFT space as a result, and many suspect that this is another speculative frenzy in the cryptocurrency world. The reason was also very good: the original pricing system was broken, and the same works were suddenly sold at sky-high prices under the shell of “pure art”, telling a story of “uniqueness”. This in turn quickly attracted a lot of shoddy works.

  1. The noise makers, the skeptics and the isolated

“The money is here, and it naturally attracts a lot of attention.” Angela, a freelance practitioner in the advertising industry who is trying to enter the on-chain world, also told “Koshi Lightyear”, “NFT may be a possibility to the future, but because the overall system is now under-constructed, it is not certain how far it can go.” Like her, many people are wandering on the edge of the giant wave with the mentality of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Although they are attracted by its huge commercial value, they cannot convince themselves to fully commit to it because they cannot see the market shape after the bubble recedes at this stage.

“You need to get your heart and brain into this world,” Cao Yin, partner of Digital Renaissance Foundation, once said in an open class, “Only when you fully identify with it can you maximize its value.” Cao Yin was one of the first NFT collectors in China, and he believes that the core methodology of NFT art appreciation and collection is the consensus of the community.

The “world” is the world on the chain formed by blockchain technology as the cornerstone. As the digital economy has developed, a wealthy class of crypto inventors, engineers, foundations and project founders has emerged, and they are also the main investors and collectors of NFT.

This group insists that investment and collecting behavior is based on the recognition of the aesthetic point of view and value concept of the work. “The value of an NFT artwork will eventually return to the work itself, the sky-high prices that appear now will not be the norm, and the artistic value of NFT will be more clearly shown after the bubble has passed.” Sun Bohan says he still values the artists themselves the most, caring about their experiences and perceptions, as well as the works that are based on those experiences.

Robbie Barrat, 21, is an AI researcher at Stanford University and an AI algorithm engineer at Nvidia. He is also an NFT artist who created the AI work Saint Nazaire. He has said in interviews that he uses AI to create art in order to explore the “confrontational” nature of collaboration between the world of technology and the world of art.

Why a string of code can make huge waves in the art world?

Saint Nazaire

The AI that Robbie introduces into his work will interpret the instructions on its own, based on the “intelligence” it has acquired. The human control over the work is relatively weakened, and the AI takes over part of the creative creation. This method of creation not only creates new forms of art, but also creates objects that can think for themselves and create on their own. The combination of new technological tools and art further broadens the boundaries of artistic innovation.

A group of representatives of crypto-productivity is emerging who need a medium space for self-expression, proof of identity, and the presence of a spiritual community. Crypto art has become their ideal cultural totem, and owning NFT and identifying with this new art form becomes a symbol of the buyers’ own identity. The Russian writer Viktor Pelevin described in The Pepsi Generation a kind of “monetary minimalism” in which the seller proves the value of the work by exhibiting a list of collectors who have owned it.

The repeated emphasis on the characteristics of “certainty” and “class attributes” also reveals the current phenomenon of the solidified circle of the NFT market. “Class” is an important label for NFT artworks.

Maggie, a junior student at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, shared with “A.Z. Lightyear” that she wanted to learn about NFT, but was unable to join the discussion through the community, which is currently her biggest difficulty. “I can’t find a channel to enter their community.” With no channel for newcomers to enter the cryptocurrency world and no way to understand the culture of the community, coupled with the technical barriers that NFT comes with, “decentralization” and decentralization of the discourse seem to be just a beautiful vision.

Even in the art world, the barriers to crypto art are getting higher and higher. There are currently over 1.4 million artworks in the Art section of OpenSea, the largest NFT trading platform, and most of them are untouched. Even in the art world circles, NFT is only the power of a small group of people.

While countless people are rushing to enter the NFT market, there are also those who choose to rush back. Beeple, an artist who jumped up in value with NFT, has “fled” the cryptocurrency world after exchanging all his Ether. He also commented that NFT was a bubble, and that Beeple didn’t care about the community and identity that was valued in the community, because he didn’t know any digital artists before that.

Beeple’s behavior caused a shock in the NFT market, and the contradictory sense of his back-and-forth behavior also reflects the fragmentation of the NFT market at this stage. Several interviewees of “Koshi Lightyear” believe that NFT artwork will remain limited to people in the cryptocurrency world for a long time, and that what can generate a relationship with the public is its investment value.

  1. Under the bubble, the existence of NFT is reasonable

There is a bubble in the NFT market, no one denies this matter. However, the interviewees of “Koshi Lightyear”, including NFT practitioners, blockchain investors, art practitioners, etc., all believe that the attention and capital fever brought by the current bubble has more advantages than disadvantages.

For creator Ellwood, the most intuitive feeling from NFT is that “I can earn money now”. “NFT gives ownership to the digital art we create, and that’s a big reason why I chose NFT to create.”

Holding art for investment purposes is not new, however, due to the slow rise in art, high instability and opaque market operations, traditional art investments have been underrepresented in asset ratios. Imitation, rampant piracy of art market chaos, relying on the Internet for the dissemination of digital art is piracy “hardest hit”.

When a painting or piece of music is posted online, the creator has no effective say in who or how it will be used. And once the watermark on a work is erased at some point in its distribution, the creator cannot even prove the original copyright of the work. Even if the work is widely circulated, the author himself may still not earn either money or fame.

The uniqueness and scarcity of NFT largely solve the problem of “anti-counterfeiting” for digital artworks.

The code presented by NFT actually constitutes a certificate that points to a unique and specific asset, which can be a pair of artworks or a house in reality. At the same time, through blockchain technology, NFT “timestamps” the work, proving that the creator first issued it, and even if the work is copied and redistributed, the “timestamp” can guarantee the “original” of the work. “The ownership certification of digital works is solved, and the exhibition right, ownership right and copyright of the works are thus separated.

No matter how an NFT work changes hands or who buys it, the copyright ownership of the work is still fully retained by the original author because of the “confirmed digital certificate”, and the creator can continue to profit from each transaction. Take the trading platform Super Rare as an example, when a primary transaction is made, the artist receives 85% and the platform receives 15%; when another transaction is made, the seller receives 90% and the artist receives 10%.

At the same time, every transaction on the public chain is recorded and traceable, so that everyone can see who has owned or is owning the work, and no third-party guarantee is required for the transfer of rights and monetary transactions of the work, and its uniqueness and immutability can be ensured.

In the other direction, how to truly connect the virtual world with the real world is a common concern for all industries. Since the blockchain technology has been proposed so far, the actual application of the scene has always been limited to the financial and banking industries, NFT landed on the art market, is seen as the most likely to completely open up the two worlds of a channel.

“NFT is not content, it is a carrier,” said Wang Xiang, partner of Zonff Partners, in a public sharing, “I will not rely only on an IP for investment, but will pay more attention to its mechanism play, that is, based on this NFT Token, will There are more blockchain scenarios being created, which will be a longer-term value than the blockchainization of e-commerce transactions.”

The demand is the ultimate driving force, and the hotness of NFT is also attributed to the fact that it “belongs to the new consumer field and meets the consumer outlook of the younger generation.” According to Sun Bo Han, the entire art market is currently shifting from collection to consumption, with young people being the main consumer. Christie’s post-war and contemporary art expert Noah Davis has also said that the structure and preferences of the collector population are now undergoing a shift, with young collectors more excited about emerging things, and this shift is exactly what Christie’s wants to grasp.

Shi Luhang, on the other hand, believes that the market bubble will bring gains to the industry and will push the good platforms to further improve themselves, so that companies that really want to do something for the industry and promote the positive development of the industry will be left behind, while speculators will eventually dissipate along with the bubble. At present, most of the mainstream NFT trading platforms are operated by foreign companies, and the differentiation strategy between platforms mainly lies in product categories. For example, OpenSea focuses on “comprehensive trading platform”, in addition to art, there are cards, domain names and other sectors; Nifty Gateway focuses on exclusive co-branding cooperation with artists, the platform to implement the invitation system or application system, the overall control of the creator and the quality of the work.

  1. NFT art, but also to solve these pain points

NFT’s impact on the real world, in fact, has long gone beyond the investment field, and NFT itself is still experiencing “growing pains”.

First, although it has solved the pain points of theft and copyright ownership for digital art, but new copyright issues have arisen. At present, there have been many cases of using other people’s artwork on the market and selling the NFT for profit. In the face of such infringement, the original owner is likely to have no way to sue because there is no clear definition of who owns the NFT.

Second, the emergence of competing blockchain services makes it possible for multiple NFTs to appear for the same “original work”, and each NFT is guaranteed to be unique on a particular chain. Due to the decentralized and borderless nature of blockchain, in the face of such rogue Tokens, it is difficult for the original authors to find the infringers, and there are no mature legal provisions as a basis for filing lawsuits.

Qin Wen, the head of Web3 Foundation Chinese community, has said that the infringement of crypto art no longer stays at the surface layer of images, but deeper knowledge infringement of the source code, and the counterfeiting of such behavior needs to be done with the help of technologies such as artificial intelligence, while the practical application layer of the technology has yet to be further developed.

Third, the “ontology” of NFT stored on different websites will disappear with the cancellation of the website. Although the problem can be solved by putting the body on the chain as well, the “chain” of a work can be compared to “mining” to obtain bitcoins, which requires too much energy, and there is no better technology to solve this problem. In other words, if the author himself does not protect his digital artwork, the purchaser may get the “key” to a NFT, but the house itself disappears.

But the physical artwork created out of the virtual space is not actually recognized in the cryptocurrency world. “Works born in the digital world are in line with the true concept of NFT, and the author’s choice of technical means to create is itself part of the expression, and the original intention is more pure.” Sun Bohan said.

Fourth, how to preserve the artistry of the artwork itself? It is also a major challenge for NFT. The medium itself is an important part of the work, the traditional art uplink “divided into two”, although it is a pioneering attempt, but there are voices in the art market that the artistry of the work itself has been destroyed. In the wave of technology and commerce, whether the space for traditional art itself will be squeezed is the concern of many art practitioners.

“Technology is technology, up-chaining is up-chaining, and trading is trading.” Chen Yuanyuan, who is currently focusing on the NFT art economy, explained to “Koshi Lightyear” that what technology is used to create a work, whether or not one chooses to chain it after it is completed, and in what form the transaction is ultimately completed are three things.

Fifth, should NFT transactions be platform-dependent or “decentralized”? Again, this is still under debate, and there is no clear answer yet.

It seems that relying on a trading platform for the circulation of artwork is inconsistent with the “decentralization” that NFT itself preaches. However, it is also believed that the academic system and market structure of NFT art are still under construction at this stage. In addition, different artworks will have different positioning, there is a platform, there are guidelines is reasonable. Regarding the final shape of the NFT art market, Sun Bohan put forward this vision: it must be the decentralization of the main body and the centralization of certain special links in conjunction, so as to achieve a balanced order.

Now it seems that the traditional centralized structure of the art market will continue to exist for a long time. The game of “centralization” and “decentralization” is always going on, and neither extreme is the optimal solution. -The creator retains a greater voice in the work itself, the buyer gains a more transparent and diversified source of information, and the centralized institution connects the two sides with different differentiated strategies to form a community platform.

The traditional art market has not rejected NFT either, as evidenced by the fact that Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and other established auction houses have partnered with NFT trading platforms and are actively bidding on NFT works.

At present, Christie’s has set up an online course for NFT education. Liu Gang, director of the International Academy of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, also believes that the bridging of the traditional art and crypto fields will accelerate, and as more professional artists emerge, more serious collectors and quality artists will follow.

Compared to “reinventing” or “replacing”, it is more likely to develop together after integrating new technical means. There are inherent differences between the “traditional market” and the “new trading platform”, and the trading models for different types of works and genres of art will not be completely unified in the end, and there is still great room for both the old and the new to develop.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-a-string-of-code-can-make-huge-waves-in-the-art-world/
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