Bringing context and critique to the cultural moment. Deep dives, reviews, and debate encouraged.
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© 2020 Relevant Protocols Inc.
Bringing context and critique to the cultural moment. Deep dives, reviews, and debate encouraged.
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© 2020 Relevant Protocols Inc.
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Why the Artworld Loves to Hate NFT Art J.J. Charlesworth. "The artworld is torn by the spectacle of these pop-cultural baubles suddenly transforming what had until now been considered aesthetically thin air into millions. The commercial artworld, battered by a year of COVID-19 disruptions and preoccupied with how to monetise art objects that are hard to show and sell (more so in an era of shuttered galleries and art fairs), has found itself forced to turn to the digital world to maintain the visibility of its wares. Yet countless video programmes, online art-fairs and viewing rooms have not really cracked the serious problems facing a global artworld that is grounded until further notice. And the flaring up of NFTs presents a seductive solution to two key art-market issues: it offers the promised land of a secure, yet very liquid medium of financial exchange, coupled with an inviolable guarantee of uniqueness and scarcity for the objects traded through it." "Some of the immediate critical responses to the NFT and Beeple craze are illuminating, because they suggest something of the doubt that now racks contemporary art’s understanding of its own cultural values and social role. As Martin Herbert perceptively notes, ‘such cultural moments are worth dwelling on, in part because they illuminate whether you have a gatekeeper mentality or not’. ‘The hard thing to determine’, Herbert goes on, ‘is whether you’re trying to maintain some perceived standard, or if you’ve become traditionalist, or if, more simply, you’re a snob.’" "Artnet’s Tim Schneider finds fault over issues of diversity and inequality; the ‘crypto-wealthy’ are ‘predominantly white and male’, chides Schneider, quoting one female artist who suggests that NFTs show ‘us in real time what disaffected white bros trafficking in meme culture looks like’; for good measure, Schneider scolds the ecological impacts of blockchain, since ‘the vast majority of existing [NFT] platforms run on the Ethereum blockchain, which by some estimates now matches the annual energy burn of Ecuador’"
Why the Artworld Loves to Hate NFT Art J.J. Charlesworth. "The artworld is torn by the spectacle of these pop-cultural baubles suddenly transforming what had until now been considered aesthetically thin air into millions. The commercial artworld, battered by a year of COVID-19 disruptions and preoccupied with how to monetise art objects that are hard to show and sell (more so in an era of shuttered galleries and art fairs), has found itself forced to turn to the digital world to maintain the visibility of its wares. Yet countless video programmes, online art-fairs and viewing rooms have not really cracked the serious problems facing a global artworld that is grounded until further notice. And the flaring up of NFTs presents a seductive solution to two key art-market issues: it offers the promised land of a secure, yet very liquid medium of financial exchange, coupled with an inviolable guarantee of uniqueness and scarcity for the objects traded through it." "Some of the immediate critical responses to the NFT and Beeple craze are illuminating, because they suggest something of the doubt that now racks contemporary art’s understanding of its own cultural values and social role. As Martin Herbert perceptively notes, ‘such cultural moments are worth dwelling on, in part because they illuminate whether you have a gatekeeper mentality or not’. ‘The hard thing to determine’, Herbert goes on, ‘is whether you’re trying to maintain some perceived standard, or if you’ve become traditionalist, or if, more simply, you’re a snob.’" "Artnet’s Tim Schneider finds fault over issues of diversity and inequality; the ‘crypto-wealthy’ are ‘predominantly white and male’, chides Schneider, quoting one female artist who suggests that NFTs show ‘us in real time what disaffected white bros trafficking in meme culture looks like’; for good measure, Schneider scolds the ecological impacts of blockchain, since ‘the vast majority of existing [NFT] platforms run on the Ethereum blockchain, which by some estimates now matches the annual energy burn of Ecuador’"
The emergence of NFTs is a tale of late capitalism. A moment in which material prosperity and security for most people has dissolved, in a system that, unable to meet people’s needs, has dematerialised value.
The emergence of NFTs is a tale of late capitalism. A moment in which material prosperity and security for most people has dissolved, in a system that, unable to meet people’s needs, has dematerialised value.
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