Everything You Wanted To Know About NFTs But Were (Maybe) Afraid To Ask
NFTs have been all over the news lately, so chances are you’ve heard of them in some capacity. But what exactly are they, and why do they matter?
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are cryptographic assets on blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency, but can be used to represent artwork, people’s identities, real-estate and more. “It is essentially impossible to duplicate,” said The New York Times in a recent profile. This has made NFTs enticing to collectors across various mediums, but the art world in particular has seen a huge boom in interest.
In March, TIME reported that “collectors and speculators have spent more than $200 million on an array of NFT-based artwork, memes and GIFs in the past month alone, according to market tracker NonFungible.com, compared with $250 million throughout all of 2020. And that was before the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold a piece for a record-setting $69 million at famed auction house Christie’s on March 11—the third highest price ever fetched by any currently living artist, after Jeff Koons and David Hockney.”
That same TIME article went on to note that NFTs offer the potential for more equitable futures, stating, “Some digital-art collectors say they’re paying not just for pixels but also for digital artists’ labor–in part, the movement is an effort to economically legitimize an emerging art form.” They also quoted digital artist Jazmine Boykins, who said, “Artists put so much of their time—and themselves—into their work. To see them compensated on an appropriate scale, it’s really comforting.”
For those reasons in particular, this is a hugely exciting moment, and it only made sense for us to join it; ARTECHOUSE recently announced the launch of our first ever collectible experience NFTs (slated to happen on June 4th, 2021 at 6:30pm ET) in partnership with Nifty Gateway.
We’re pleased to put our own unique spin on the movement with these inaugural pieces, which have been created from the immersive digital art exhibition Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies (on view at ARTECHOUSE Miami now through November 7th, 2021) produced in collaboration with London-based, Afro-surrealist visual artist Vince Fraser.
This also marks a new chapter in our story by finally giving our ARTECHOUSE fans the opportunity to become ARTECHOUSE collectors. In the case of “traditional” museums, visitors have always been able to take home tangible pieces of exhibition memorabilia via the gift shop.
For institutions like ours, which display more immersive, experiential artworks, it’s been tricky to bottle the magic up until now. But with the help of NFTs, we’re able to offer guests a chance to permanently preserve their experiences of exploring our exhibitions. It’s an incredible feeling, and we can’t wait to share it with you soon.