Sooo British artist Damien Hirst is going to join the NFT (non-fungible token) hype train … and I suppose that many others will also follow soon. Digital art seems to be the next ‘new’ trend for a desperate (art) world, that is sinking deeper into a massive identity crisis, which is fueled by shameless greed and selfishness.
Make more money
Since the arrival of the Internet I see a struggling art world that tries to find its place into our digital and hyper capitalist society with only one goal in mind: make more money! The last 40 years we have been seeing massively increasing amounts of money being paid for artworks, and the 69.3 million USD paid last week for a digital file by Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) is another obnoxious chapter in this ongoing story.
I started to create digital artworks 15 years ago, so it sounds like a great opportunity to jump on this bandwagon myself as soon as possible, don’t you think? Well … if I would have the same values and goals as the current mainstream art world (Damien Hirst and other ‘big’ names) the answer would be a loud and clear yes.
But there are some major problems in this story here. This whole NFT, crypto currency, blockchain system is designed in a way that it uses massive amounts of energy, and by this I mean MASSIVE AMOUNTS! Just 30 of the biggest NFT artists drops in February released more than 2,100 tons of carbon dioxide. You can compare this with the same amount as using a laptop for 30,000 years straight 24/7! But nowadays they are pumping out thousands of NFT drops on a daily base, so you can imagine that these numbers are going to increase like crazy. Especially after all the hype articles about the millions of profit you can make by selling digital files lately.
Another thing that surprises me is the mediocre quality of most works that are offered on the fast growing number of websites where you can buy NFT drops. In that regard Damien Hirst would be a perfect fit in this soulless and quick cash grabbing NFT art world (which has the structure of another pyramid scheme).
This whole NFT story is another gross attempt to act progressive, but in fact going back 100 years in time, to when burning coal was as normal as burning money is these days.