written by Maurice Cardinal … Part 2 …
Contemporary art galleries have been seriously struggling and closing for a long time. Lockdown was the last nail and exacerbated the fall off to a point where some are now asking if it’s worth saving.
Granted, for years we’ve known about the manipulation of artists and buyers, but most of us think corruption can be fixed.
What art needs today, is to be REINVENTED so it can fix itself.
Fortuitously, that’s exactly what’s happening at NFT hyper-speed.
Analog artists saw the recent NFT action, and when they went in for a closer look they immediately became disillusioned with the complexity. As they struggled to figure out crypto art, they felt pushed even further outside the tech loop, and it made them even more fearful, some, even irrational.
It’s great that they speak with the conviction of environmental protectors about electricity issues related to mining some NFTs, but I wonder how many actually contribute to helping the earth–like these artists, or are anti-NFT artists simply opportunists looking for a soapbox?
In my parallel world, I’m also an experienced oceans activist, and I can think of several ways that crypto art can make the world more conscious of what we do to the environment. The cryptoblock community is not only decentralized and immutable (it can’t be covertly changed by anyone including governments), it’s also considerably more transparent at all levels than anything in the past, which is a big deal for artists and their autonomy.
Anecdotally, based on watching and contributing to several social media threads, it seems that it’s mostly struggling part-time amateur artists who are swimming against the crypto flow, although a few established and successful artists are also leveraging the controversy. Many spread emotional half-truths and leave the less informed to find their own evidence to support false allegations. Speculation and rumours are powerful propaganda tools often used when someone can’t back up wild claims. Artists always need to be cognoscente of their brand, because although their public anxiety attracts attention, it’s not necessarily the type of noise that will illustrate an artist’s credibility. You need to be trusted as an artist, and gaslighting is not a way to build a rapport.
Some claims made by galleries and analog artists about crypto art and the environment are misleading, and hurtful to other artists. There are also trolls and bots seeding the conversation, both for and against. It’s a bit polarizing, but ironically, the “for side” is too busy making, minting, selling, and buying NFT CryptoArt art to pay much attention.
Everyone who has been in the blockchain cryptocurrency arena, even for a short time, knows of the energy issues. Artists aren’t springing anything new on anyone. We built FinTech projects years ago that reinvented the banking and investment industries, and we know from collecting in-situ data that the upside far outweighs the downside regarding energy issues. It’s critical to have a holistic view and to not cherry pick whatever serves only your perspective.
We also know from working blockchain and crypto projects globally, that when a new blockchain cryptocurrency idea starts to go mainstream, which crypto art is doing now, investors will look hard to find ways to improve energy efficiency because it directly impacts investor profit. They have huge incentive to reduce energy and minting costs. Quite often tech companies quickly buy solutions and don’t waste time building in house. It means that now that we know that crypto art works for art collectors, and that it passed proof of concept, infrastructure will now improve rapidly and energy issues will be addressed.
Artists who undermine the success of their colleagues by playing the environment card, had better be out there doing their part to save oceans and air. If not, their arguments are nothing more than red herrings to confuse art buyers, who, so far, seem to love crypto art. Serious art collectors have been watching and anticipating crypto for a while. Lockdown compressed the adoption curve, and put into play a ball that had been rolling around just waiting to drop.
My suggestion to frustrated artists, learn to leverage the momentum and help us all reinvent the art world so that artists and art lovers can be treated fairly and with more respect. Fulltime artists should be able to make enough money to pay rent and eat. Ok, maybe not eat, but you need a place to do art.
So, are there other Beeples out there? Of course.
Is there a solution to the heavy energy use? Of course.
Check out crypto artist @WARHODL … and no, it’s not spelled incorrectly. It’s a clever amalgamation of Andy Warhol and a common crypto term, HODL – a simple misspelling of HOLD, that loosely means, don’t dump your crypto, at least not too quickly and all at once. WARHODL, Taylor Good – @taylorgood, is an artist with vision for both art and the crypto market. He has a plan and process, and is developing it in real time. WARHODL’s cool sense of crypto community would serve anyone well. His art, is also right in the pocket.
Regarding energy use, “hic et nunc” (Latin for; the satisfaction of desire) on Tezos blockchain is one company among others that have already dealt effectively with the carbon footprint associated with mining crypto art.
Tezzieland built and is refining a clean NFT system that radically reduces electricity use, and makes baseless the complaints from misinformed detractors.
It’s important to understand too that art plays a very small role in the overall cryptoblock network, something like two percent, which means that electricity consumption for crypto art is tiny in comparison to other industries on blockchain.
NFT CryptoArt criticism is little more than Chicken Little posturing and distraction.
Are CryptoArt and NFTs Perfect?
Not yet, but the cryptoblock process is already better overall for artists, art buyers, and collectors, than anything in the past. No one promised NFT for everyone, but anyone can join if they like.
Over the long run, when you take it all into account, including the manipulative old school elitist environment that oppresses and shuts out most artists, NFT CryptoArt delivers on two important levels.
The first is that CRYPTO ART is ABSOLUTELY FRESH and incredible to look at … and secondly, if you’re smart and informed, it can be a good investment. If you do your homework, and get a little trusted advice, you don’t need a lot of money to get involved as an artist or buyer. It’s a bit tricky in the beginning, but once you have the ball in play it’s self perpetuating, plus, it will soon get easier.
Keep in mind too that you don’t need to know everything, and especially all of it all at once. Plus, everyone is learning at the same time. You’re not late to the party because CryptoArt isn’t going away after this initial excitement subsides.
Think of this CryptoArt storm like a wave of NFT washing over an analog sand castle at the beach.
If the sand castle is molded around a solid rock of traditional fine art, as successive NFT waves wash over it, more sand disappears until only the rock is left.
If analog artists value their heritage, it is this rock they should focus on to perpetuate. If you don’t do it, no one will. Criticizing the success of colleagues wastes your energy and resources, and because a rising tide lifts all vessels, it’s up to you to position yourself strategically to leverage the momentum and float your boat.
Newspapers, back in the day, aggressively criticized the internet when it first came on the scene. Consider where newspapers are today and how Craigslist and Google washed away and changed their industry.
Today’s NFT CryptoArt is like a doodle hopped-up on gym candy with a juice chaser. If it works with cute cartoon and pixel cats (NYAN CAT recently sold for $600,000), when you inject sophisticated art into the matrix–you get a BEEPLE, which is just the beginning. CryptoArt has already moved well beyond the fine art curve into an intellectual art genre that amalgamates creative and unique combinations of analog, AI, machine learning, and more. It’s a place collectors have never been, or seen, and they too are making history by snapping up single editions of anything that is FIRST, hence $69.3 million and counting.
Smart artists flourish when they connect directly with their audience and patrons.
Art buyers love personal connections too.