The revolution is probably already underway, and we are too caught up in the turmoil to know that it is right.
With that caveat, here are two notes from the first line.
NFT is an advanced digital art and not.
Some say the non-displayable token (NFT), which allows ownership of a piece of digital art solely by the buyer, dates back to the creation of Color Coins in 2012 – or CryptoPunks in 2017 – although this market has only recently exploded.
page by Jules Antoine LissajouStudy on the optical representation of sound vibrations, 1957.
But digital art (DA) himself has an older pedigree.
As early as 1857, the Frenchman Jules Antoine Lissajous (1822-1880) published images of mathematically constructed Lissajous figures, capturing lines created by sound harmony with a camera. These figures had been identified 42 years earlier by the American Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838) – only Bowditch didn’t portray them.
The first work of art to be fully recognized as a computer and therefore digital is the Oscilloscope 1, created in 1950 by the American computer scientist Ben Laposky (1914-2000). He called these pieces Oscillons or Electric compositions. They were Lissajous figures of a complex type. At an exhibition in Cherokee, Iowa in 1953, he called them electronic abstractions.
Ben Laposky, Oscillon 45, 1952
Laposki inspired other digital artists, and in 1965 he organized the first major exhibition of the medium in Stuttgart led by Frieder Neuk (born 1938) and three years later the first museum exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity at the Institute of Modern Art in London.
DA’s emphasis on geometric abstraction benefited from the global craze for Pollock and the slew of abstract expressionists who blurred the cultural lines of the time. The art of optical play and the pure reproduction of DA design also gave rise to Op Art in the early 1960s.
On Art : Frank-Stella, Untitled, 1966.
The DA input with clear linearity, geometry and images divided by digits has been maintained to date.
Major digital art collections exist at the Whitney, the MOMA, the Walker Art Center, and other giants of the art world; and there are now more than a dozen museums devoted to digital art, from the MuDa Museum in Zurich to the Mori Museum of Digital Art in Tokyo to the Digital Art Center in Los Angeles.
NFT images: Easy on the eyes, but not on the museum – Prepare.
Beeple (Mike Winkelman at beeple-crap.com – the man who created the $69 million Everydays) has said that we are currently witnessing the next chapter in art history.
New chapters in art history are being written by artists who are making new art.
But this is a chapter written by artists (and their advocates) exploring new financial avenues.
This is a new chapter in financial history.
Piero Manzoni, artist shit, 1961
Certainly, Damien Hirst and others have committed both financial and aesthetic acts. Artists have sold air, shit and invisibility as conceptual performances, but that’s not what’s happening this month.
If this art is linked to NFT and sold for piles of crypto, it will not be presented as an artistic achievement.
The new market is growing, but there are no new aesthetic concepts shaping the scene.
Right now, the vast majority of images that end up in the NFT collections for Ethereum’s heaps look more like paperback covers from the 1950s than digital artworks that have migrated to prestigious museums and galleries over the years.
Bipple, Infinity and beyond, 2015
Although anime, video games and comics are the main sources of inspiration, this NFT blob will undoubtedly exist in the realm of cultural references for decades to come. It is true that there is an art historical development here, but I don’t think that is what Bipple has in mind.
This moment is an A-bomb explosion in the splintering and recombination of kitsch and high art that has been going on for one long bloody day since Andy Warhol’s first exhibition in 1962.
Toulouse Lautrec (1864-1901), Stuart Davis (1892-1964) and Handy Andy (1928-1987) can be named as the first to strike, but the master bomber in today’s rugged landscape is surely Brian Donnelly (1974), better known as the cartoon character KAWS (…with apologies to Takashi Murakami).
KAWS, Little Lies, 2020
Granted, it could be a new flare-up of lowbrow taste (as has been said about KAW and Warhol’s performance), but I don’t think that’s the case.
There’s a whole school of tuna millionaires scattered around the planet who are used to Neuromancer looks – and they buy what they want.
This is not an artistic revolution.
The taste has not changed.
It’s simply the emergence of several new delectable opportunities for enormous disposable income.
Still, I’m sure there will soon be a cultural counterpoint to historical artists like Kenny Scharf on the NFT market.
As for the speed of things, I’ll bet my last bitcoin that in these wild, explosive and strangely historic weeks closing out the month, blockchain money will be going after high quality art assets the way it is now going after CryptoKitties, video snippets and original tweets.
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