NFTs are dead, long live crypto-art!

While the NFT market is down, crypto art players continue to believe in it and cut creative opportunities.

Between the drop in cryptocurrency prices, the drop in sales volume of platforms like OpenSea (which have lost more than 90% compared to the highs of a few months ago) and the countless thefts, frauds in all such as non-payment of secured loans. from NFTs or selling at a loss, owning NFTs is not good these days. Not surprisingly, in any financial market, what goes up must come down. We are in a bearish market after the speculative bubble of 2021. The market has slowed, but it is also less volatile, allowing artists and collectors to readjust their expectations in terms of price, speed of sale and resale.

To this bleak landscape, let’s add the latest debates heating up on Twitter about resale rights and intellectual property. Indeed, they reveal problems that the art market has long known and that many thought – wrongly – solved by smart contractscomputer protocols that execute the terms of sale of NFTs in blockchain. Thus, NFT authors are often promised royalties paid automatically with each resale. But the launch of two platforms, Sudoswap and x2y2, which allow buyers to bypass this fee, showed that the payment is made to the platforms and not the NFTs themselves. Similarly, licensing and intellectual property issues are in the spotlight, with artists like XCOPY and projects like Moonbirds recently changing their terms of use from strict copyright (the artist or project retains all reproduction rights) under a free license for commercial use (CC0). So back to Earth: NFTs aren’t magic and they don’t solve all of the art market’s problems.

SEgmENTATiON

But artists, collectors, and project startups who believe in technology and community are still out there. The former are enthusiastic about trying out new digital tools. The so-called collectors diamond hands (willing to take high risks for volatile investments, editor’s note) still support artists (compared to paper hands in crypto-financial jargon). Finally, as Jason Bailey, founder of ClubNFT and Right Click Save, recently pointed out, the most interesting NFT projects (CryptoPunks in 2017, SuperRare & KnownOrigin in 2019) were launched when cryptocurrency values ​​were down, a good time for innovation and creation in the absence of constant pressure from markets and speculators.

Another interesting phenomenon to note is the maturation of the NFT market through its segmentation. The large annual conference NFT.NYC, the last edition of which took place in June 2022 in New York, is proof of this. For the first time, the different applications of NFTs were clearly defined and physically separated: one space for games, another for art and a third for music. The hundreds of side events were even more revealing: more artistic events than parties bling bling. Note for references an exhibition at the Alliance française, organized with the help of New French Touch (a company promoting the French NFT scene, editor’s note), another at the Pace Gallery, in collaboration with Art Blocks, or the gathering of the community of cryptoartists dada.art about a surreal party.

Blank page

We are also starting to see the adoption of the NFT format by the traditional art market. More and more popular artists are entering the NFT. Marina Abramovic was launched on July 25 at blockchain Tezos his first NFT, The hero, a reimagining of one of his autobiographical videos. Frank Stella launched his first series of NFTs, Geometrieswith the Artists Rights Society on September 8 and MetaKovan, owner of Beeple’s work sold at Christie’s, commissioned a virtual reality work by Olafur Eliasson titled Your appearance matters, linked to a series of NFTs. Likewise, galleries are beginning to represent crypto artists. We can mention the artist Sarah Meyohas, who launched the conceptual project Where did you go (2015), and is now represented by New York gallery Marianne Boesky. Finally, partnerships between crypto and art market actors are proliferating, such as the one between Pace and the art-generating platform Art Blocks, the collaboration between blockchain the Tezos creator and the Basel Art fair or even the Sotheby’s Art Institute merger and Right Click Save for education.

Along with the anticipation of new announcements of strategic partnerships, autumn will undoubtedly be full of colour. Several trends are to be seen, starting with “The Ethereum Merge” announced for September 15th, which is the transition of blockchain Ethereum has a new type of operation that is more environmentally friendly called “Proof of Stake”. Beyond the technical challenge, preferences should be confirmed, such as photography or generative art. We should pay attention to poetry, for which TheVerse collective presents collaborations between poets, visual artists and artificial intelligence. Or the evolutionary architecture of the metaverse, started by Krista Kim and her House of Mars last year, and continuing with the solid generative buildings of 0xfar or The Meeting Place, a collaborative virtual cultural space imagined by Benny Ohr and the French artist Cyril Lancelin in the metaverse Space.io. Actor Anthony Hopkins also launched his series of NFTs, saying: “NFTs are a blank page for artistic creation”. Everything must be done.

NFT Conference NYC. 2022.
Courtesy NFT NYC.

of Marina Abramovic
Marina Abramovic’s “Hero 25 FPS” courtesy of the artist and CIRCA.
Courtesy of the artists and CIRCA.

Frank Stella.
Frank Stella.
Courtesy of Arsnl.

Frank Stella,
Frank Stella, “Geometry I”, 2022, NFT.
Courtesy of Arsnl.

Frank Stella,
Frank Stella, “Geometry XXII”, 2022, NFT.
Courtesy of Arsnl.

Sarah Meyohas,
Sarah Meyohas, “Liquid Speculation #23”, 2021, C-print, 152.4 x 101.6 cm.

Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen. © Sarah Meyohas.

Kalen Iwamoto,
Kalen Iwamoto, “Emerge” and “WAR Zone”, NFT.
Courtesy Kalen Iwamoto.

Kalen Iwamoto,
Kalen Iwamoto, “Emerge” and “WAR Zone”, NFT.
Courtesy Kalen Iwamoto.

gather
“Solids” Collection Generative Architecture Project NFT by FAR.
Courtesy FAR.

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