NFT, Art, and the Value of Nothing
By: Nick Webb
The digital boom has seen a rise in the market for computer-based sales. No longer do we necessarily have to possess tangible objects for the things we buy, as digital downloads have overtaken physical sales in things ranging from music to books to computer software. The rise of NFTs in contemporary art and recent publicity from pieces being sold for $70m at auction has led to increased interest. However, in this subscribe-and-download world, what do we actually own? Do we, in fact, own nothing?
With the rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), having full ownership of something that has no presence in the physical space has become a reality. You can now, own nothing.
But what is “nothing”? People with overflowing wardrobes regularly bemoan of having “nothing to wear”, large proportions of the world are in a situation of being able to open a full refrigerator and claim there is “nothing to eat” …
In this space, Art stands to be able to imitate life. As the value of products rendered purely in binary code has increased, the focus has shifted away from physical pieces to be hung or displayed on a wall, to the 3D and digital realm, where it is slowly becoming more popular for artists to love, rendering modeling, animation and images in purely digital forms to be sold to the highest bidder. While reproductions are, if anything, more readily available in the online space than before, ownership of the original file in its’ entirety through blockchains has become big business. But as this is becoming the norm, what is the value of physical art?
Have we become binary