PROOF OF ART. NFTs on show at the Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz

    News from the digital and NFT world – 11 JUNE 2021

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    PROOF OF ART. NFTs on show at the Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz 

    It’s time to put Crypto Art and NFTs on display inside museums. The first to do so is the Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz, Austria, with the exhibition “PROOF OF ART” curated by Jesse Damiani and opened on June 10.

    The exhibition presents the history of NFTs, from the origins of Digital Art to the birth of the Metaverse, which can be viewed through September 15, 2021 offline in the museum and online in Cryptovoxels, a blockchain-based virtual world. 

    Inside the museum’s metaverse are works by 25 artists including Kevin Abosch, Mario Klingemann, Krista Kim, Marjan Moghaddam, Nam June Paik, Sarah Meyohas just to name a few. 

    Using projection media, software, video, installations, and digital files, the works explore systems of meaning and value, examine the role of artists in a high-tech environment, and discuss the impact of virtual spaces on our everyday reality. 

    PROOF OF ART traces the origins of NFTs and their development, from early formative experiments with digital technologies and early experiments with blockchain to today’s cryptographic art.

    As the Press Release states:

    Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson explored questions of cyborg identity and examined how a personality can be constructed through technical means, while Nam June Paik’s experimental use of technology offers insight into the birth of mass connectivity.

    With the publication of a white paper on Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, blockchain technology was introduced as a decentralized trading platform. Soon after, early artists began conducting thematic and media experiments with the technology, while between 2009 and 2013, a growing number of artists came to recognize the potential of decentralization.

    Kevin Abosch picks up on this theme in his work “Bank,” questioning the role of banks as repositories of digital and analog values by combining public and private Bitcoin keys and presenting them as a printed book. 

    Artists reflected on the possibilities of tokens representing themselves and their art and the implications of including anonymous and autonomous stakeholders. 

    Sarah Meyohas introduced “BitchCoin,” a cryptocurrency in which she sells her art. 

    At the time of its launch, a BitchCoin purchased for 100 USD was equivalent to 161 square centimeters of one of its works. It was only with the introduction of Ethereum‘s blockchain that NFTs could be created and standardized, meaning that these projects no longer had to be hypothetical or bespoke. Rare Pepes (2016), CryptoPunks (2017) and Crypto Kitties (2017) soon revealed the appetite for collectible cryptocurrencies.

    0693_-_d5Bo0o3 Rare Pepe

    Con l’ascesa dei mercati NFT come Nifty Gateway e SuperRare, che hanno ricentralizzato la comunità degli artisti utilizzando blockchain, questo sviluppo sta ora prendendo una nuova direzione. Questi spazi sono luoghi di incontro globali che hanno notevolmente semplificato il processo di conio di opere d’arte su blockchain. In questi marketplace online, artisti e collezionisti entrano in contatto diretto tra loro. Le possibilità economiche offerte da questo nuovo sistema sono attualmente attraenti per molti artisti e hanno innescato un passaggio da posizioni concettuali a posizioni più estetiche. Tra gli artisti di maggior successo in questi mercati ci sono quelli che affrontano temi di fantascienza e cyberpunk, come Blake Kathryn, Marjan Moghaddam e Mark Sabb, che creano realtà speculative e lavorano con la materialità del metaverso, uno spazio virtuale infinito che interagisce con il fisico mondo tramite internet, smartphone e auricolari.

    Gli NFT dimostrano che il digitale può essere prezioso. Sebbene la tecnologia sottostante esista da anni, questo cambiamento è stato determinato dagli artisti. 

    PROOF OF ART racconta la storia delle NFT e solleva interrogativi sulla valutazione dell’arte e su come il digitale influenzi il regno fisico.


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