The Italian magazine Civiltà delle macchine, published by Fondazione Leonardo, asked me to write an essay about NFT aesthetics. I accepted the challenge. The piece is now available in Italian and English on the paper version of the magazine, which is also available as a free download pdf (pdf download). With some minor changes, the English version of the article has been also minted on my Mirror blog.
Domenico Quaranta, ”L’estetica dei Non-Fungible Token”, in Civiltà delle macchine, n. 4, Dicembre 2021, pp. 66 – 71. Versione inglese “The Aesthetics of Non-Fungible Tokens”, pp. 89 – 91.
After publishing Surfing con Satoshi. Arte, blockchain e NFT (Postmedia Books, Milan 2021), my new Italian book discussing the NFTs (non fungible tokens) phenomenon and its impact on contemporary media art, I started writing shorter pieces in English, and thinking about how to bring it to a more international audience. Thanks to a friendly advice, I discovered Mirror.xyz, a nice web3 platform focused on writing, that allows you to set-up a blog, mint your pieces of writing as collectively owned collectibles, and run crowdfunding campaigns in order to fund larger projects. In their own description: “Mirror is a community-owned and operated protocol and economy. The value of Mirror is the aggregate value of the community’s body of work, meaning existing members have both cultural and economic stakes in who’s contributing.” To join Mirror, you need to be voted in by the community. When it happened, I set up surfingwithsatoshi.mirror.xyz, which is now live and offers a few pieces of critical writing on art and blockchain. The first is a draft for an upcoming paper on the ambiguities of the “Crypto Art” definition, based in part on Chapter 4 of Surfing con Satoshi and open to comments and suggestions.
The second, titled “Code as Law. Contemporary Art and NFTs”, has been originally commissioned by the Künstlerinnenpreis website blog, an editorial platform connected to a prize for female artists. Instead of writing about women’s art, I set out to offer a critical, non-promotional introduction to what it means to put one’s art on the blockchain, as much of the NFT marketplaces propaganda insists on how friendy and open this space can be for groups and categories that are usually marginalized in the art world. The text is illustrated with works by some of my favorite female artists on the blockchain (Image above: LORNA MILLS, Door #7, 2020. Animated GIF, courtesy the artist and Roehrs & Boetsch, Zurich).