Opinion from Ryan Kassir, Co-Founder of Digital Art Publisher from Belgium Wittlove – Digital art from a surreal country.
Art, as Ernst Bloch said, is a ‘laboratory’ within which, starting with a few fragments of reality, the imagining and shaping of the features of what he called ‘there is not yet’ takes place.
At the dawn of the 21st century, these pieces were digital. They infiltrate, regulate, amuse, and sometimes monopolize and disfigure our lives if we abandon ourselves to them and carry the germs that will undoubtedly accompany our lives and the lives of our grandchildren.
It was therefore inevitable that the digital revolution would lead to the decomposition of art, and one of the first controversial expressions could be summed up by a three-letter acronym: NFT (for the non-fungible symbol).
As a reminder, an NFT is a digital file stored on the blockchain, which is attached to a digital certificate of authentication. Traditionally, the ownership and authenticity of many assets (artworks, valuables, land titles, etc.) were often controlled through ineffective digital or paper based systems with imperfect transmission and control.
Today, although our topic relates to the art market, it is important to point out that NFTs can have uses in a wide variety of fields, ranging from art to digital IDs and titles.
The invention of NFTs can indeed be applied to a wide range of fields because by using a blockchain digital signature scheme, it becomes easy to verify the authenticity of an asset, by tracing and identifying its history. Fraud risks when transferring assets to new owners.
Silent ideological struggle
Art, in its essence, requires the constant invention of new techniques, the emergence of new forms, and the dedication of new movements, all of which are, in their infancy, opposed, belittled and ridiculed. In this perpetual search for expansion, art is an instrument of liberation and revolution, and its most successful form is one that is able to best represent the outside world (Aristotle).
Thus, NFT represents a new disruptive social space that flips codes and forces innovation. As in any movement, change is frightening and leaves room for many questions for those struggling to discover opportunities and innovations.
Thus, the emergence of the artistic world of NFTs embodies a silent ideological struggle, continually stifled by years of protectionism and cultural relativism, and thus oddly resembles the birth of the Surrealist movement.
For artists, one of the major changes the NFTs have brought to their advantage is properly reselling. How many works were sold and exchanged without the artists benefiting at all from the economic benefits due to the appreciation of the value of this innovation and such? NFTs provide a solution to this problem by allowing the artist to be compensated sequentially with each resale.
In a time of decentralized Web 3.0, NFTs offer exceptional legal and technical advantages since all transactions are secured by the blockchain and its smart contracts.
In 2021, the NFT market size totaled $44 billion.
This impressive ability to democratize art, by giving it a new vision with planetary dimensions, broadens its horizons and multiplies its scope by reaching a new audience that discovers its symbols, designs and consumes it according to different principles.
Millions of people are now within a stone’s throw of unfettered access to the art and works that affect them. To the delight of our artists.
Above all, NFTs are an opportunity, not a mirage.