by Patricia Frischer
Gary Lang, NFT at Quint Gallery
NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” NFTs are a category of assets called digital. You may have heard of Bitcoin which is also a digital asset as a form of digital money. NFTs are digital collectibles assets. So, they can be purchased, sold and traded. The “fungible” part means it could be exchanged like money for anything equal to it. But the “non” part means it is one of a kind and has no equivalent. Like a great Picasso painting is non-fungible because it is unique. Each one is unique and so has a certificate of ownership and there in lies the value.
Now it gets tricky. The blockchain is just a database. It stores pieces of digital info in chronological order called blocks. The control of blockchains is spread out and not centralized in one authority. This allows for exchanges with no middle man but directly between owner and buyer. You use the blockchain to store and sell your NFTs.
Since we are talking about digital information, there is no physical asset. No canvas, no stone. The only exchange document is in a public blockchain ledger open to computers worldwide. This record is your proof of ownership and a record of the value. Because the value is public, that is what actually drives the price in a free economy. Uniqueness with scarcity can drive a price up if there is desire.
Artist can make a digital image or even variation of an image, that is unique, never produce a product and sell that specific digital information. Although the NFT art works can be viewed on a digital screen, what is really being traded is the value. Anything you can create digitally is included. The artist has no manufacturing, storage, or shipping costs. And no middleman although we have seen artist with NFTs use gallery to help promote these works.
Modern artists are leveraging the exclusivity factor of NFTs to build audience especially online. That means that they have to create or ride a trend. Commissions could be a perfect slot for visual art NFTs. The customer could have input and the work would be individualized just for them. Exclusivity is always appealing at the top of the market. Check out Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) (b. 1981) and his NFT art work Everydays: The First 5000 Days which was sold in 2021 at Christies Auction for $69,346,250.
But one of the most exciting aspects is how this might drive creativity in digital art. One-of-a-kind ideas of how to use this changing digital medium and being the first to introduce that technology could be a real advantage.
If you are an artist, you might want to try this out. OZY present Here’s how to Mint Your Own NFT