A dialogue on art, philosophy and self irony

Feb. 20, 2023

What happened to NFT: a guide for those who woke up in 2023

Not a weird digital thingy for chosen ones anymore, but a community-based tool for the future

© 'Gaunt' by Jack Warne

Ten years ago Vitalik Buterin introduced Ethereum blockchain to the world. Six years ago the first NFT deal was processed on Ethereum. Three years ago the NFT-frenzy began. Since then, the non-fungible tokens became a crucial part of the huge digital industry, and for many people, NFT art is something common and casual. What is happening to NFT art now? What kind of art is most successful in the NFT-market? Have artists gained more sufficient income? We will cover this in our longread.

NFT has become a revolutionary way for the designers and artists to share their work and make some profit from it, if possible. Not only this, just a way of distribution wouldn’t be enough for the revolution. The innovation, the transparency, the directness, the independence, the community — all of these are the descriptions that come up when you think about the mere idea of NFT particularly and of the blockchain as a system to implement it on the whole. 

Like with any phenomenon which is new and quickly evolving, there are opponents and proponents. For some people, it’s a capitalistic mess, and for some of them, the most righteous thing that can happen in the world of Web3. 

Let’s take a look at NFT through the eyes of both categories of people and divide the text accordingly. Then we can try to figure out what to do with this technology from the beginning of 2023. We will also mention some prominent NFT artists, so if you don’t want to dive too deep, there still is something for you too. Please, enjoy.

Before we go there...

We decided not to waste time and symbols on extensively describing what NFT is as there are literally hundreds of well-built must-reads for everyone who is a freshman in this meta university. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about NFT can be found here or here. You might also want to check your knowledge on such topics as blockchain, web3, and metaverse. Maybe even give some extra attention to the Open Edition NFTs that are gaining momentum at the moment.

In addition, we highly recommend this Metaverse Glossary to look up some examples of the hilarious new language behind it. My personal favorite is ‘Boomerverse’, which is what Meta company is doing with NFT whatever it is although a stance against Zuckerberg’s influence on the future of the metaverse seems to be spreading wide among those who are in the subject, and ‘Probably nothing’ that actually means ‘probably something’.


by Boris Starodubtsev


© 'Quantum' by McKoy

From bragging to ‘phygital’

For those who are just entering the information bubble around NFTs the first shocks are the contents of the notion. Like when selling an NFT, you sell something unique, but at the same time this unique something is actually out there for everybody.

Dealing with such emotions/feelings/thoughts for the first time, I recalled an episode from Astrid Lindgren’s Karlsson-on-the-Roof, s Swedish book and cartoon for children. In that episode, the main character offered to sell his toes to his friend Lillebror. 

‘I will still have them, but they will be regarded as yours,' said Karlsson, a strange funny self-adoring man with a propeller on his back. ‘Just think, how wonderful it will be: any time you’ll see my toes, you will say to yourself, ‘those big nice toes are mine’’.

The token represents ownership, but not the work itself. That’s why anyone can read Jack Dorsey’s tweet, the very first tweet that ever was tweeted and that was sold for $2.9 million. And we can watch Grimes' video that was in a package of the digital art she sold as an NFT for $6 million. ‘If it’s mine, then why is it not mine?’, I would whimsically exclaim not getting the true essence of the NFT-minting. As the Verge author wittily noted, it’s like you buy not the work, but ‘bragging rights’.

However, all the points about the NFT being nothing more than ‘bragging rights’ might just crash against the Phygital, a mix of physical and digital. The simple examples are QR-code menus in restaurants and games like Pokemon-go.

With phygital, you are the owner of the real thing. And this can bloom in many different ways in the future. Now the phygital NFTs are implemented in projects where you can get the actual pair of shoes or a real watch after buying the NFT. 

There are also more and more Open Edition NFTs as we mentioned above. On the whole, those are not unique NFTs, but the NFTs that can be minted a precise amount of times according to some script (a source of happiness for generative artists). In this case, you can brag not about a unique piece minted once and for all, but about a unique shape, because scripts never create two 100% identical pieces.

Moving forward: Energy issues

One point frequently made among the opponents and critics of NFTs, and it is probably the one which didn’t really withstand the test of time.

The minting of NFTs, similar to mining Bitcoin, requires a lot of energy. Any new technology requires a lot of energy, and we are now on the brink of what we can handle, but that’s a huge topic for a separate article. In 2021, Wired wrote about Joanie Lemercier, a French artist, who at some point of his career decided to become more environmentally friendly and made a goal to reduce his energy use. Then he became an NFT-artist and in ten seconds sold some works for thousands of dollars. That deal consumed the amount of energy similar to what his studio consumed in two years. All the efforts appeared to be completely useless.

Since then it has changed a lot, as far as Ethereum is concerned and most NFTs are minted there. In September 2022, that sort of drastically changed when Ethereum experienced the Merge. Technically it doesn't seem that easy to understand, but the point is that it changed the protocol from a proof-of-work (PoW) to more energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS). The Merge reduced Ethereum's energy consumption by approximately 99.95%. 

Ethereum is the most frequently used cryptocurrency for minting NFT. Before that merge there were other ways to use the PoS protocol, and the term ‘Green NFTs’ was frequently used to describe the NFT-s minted through PoS blockchains.

After the September Merge, energy expenditure on minting NFTs soon won’t be an issue at all. 

Still there: Scam

Since the very beginning of NFT-sales, the problem of copyright has been serious.

Also, all sorts of scammers use blockchain to sell the NFTs of works that don’t belong to them. Ponzi Schemes, frauds, hucks — there were a lot of cases of everything. In March 2021, Devine Elle Kurtz, a 25-year-old artist and illustrator from the USA, found out that one of her old works had been stolen and was sold on the Marble Cards NFT website. ‘It seems like the NFT bots are pulling straight from urls too, not just from tweets, and turning them into tokenized cards that can be resold’, she tweeted. Devine contacted Marble Cards, and they removed her art from their website, but she was concerned anyway about the implications for artists in the future. 

The more independent you are, the more difficult it is to fight back. For example, artists like Clarfy (they draw cats and other funny characters) said that many creatives had to lock their accounts to prevent their art from being stolen. Like many other artists, Clarfy pointed out (in the end of 2021) that because of the lack of proper verification tools, anyone can download art and make an NFT out of it.

The scammers even made NFTs and sold the works of dead artists. That’s what happened in July 2021 with Qing “Qinni” Han, a deviant artstar from Canada, who passed away after a battle with cancer almost three years ago. 

The issue is bigger than that of course, because art is misused and exploited not only in blockchain. You’ve probably heard some big stories such as how Tiffany used Basquiat’s painting in its campaign, or how Guess used Banksy’s iconic work on their clothes. However, you probably didn’t hear about how Jean Paul Gaultier used one for a collection, a photo of two Moscow punks kissing. 

There are more and more articles and tutorials explaining how copyright works (or should work, at least) in the NFT universe, as well as advice for artists about how to protect their art and to copyright your art is one of the top. But it feels like we are still far from staging the reliable set of rules that would protect artists and their work.

In June 2022, The Verge wrote about the status of copyright in the blockchain with some legal advice. They recalled some situations in which people made the NFTs in order to get more control on some piece of information (both digital and phygital), but in the end they couldn’t because that was not how the copyright law was supposed to be implemented. For example, Spice DAO (DAO is an online community that uses Web3 tools to organize and spread group control among its members.) bought a copy of the pitch book made by Chilean-French avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for non-existest film version of Dune (some dub it as ‘the greatest sci-film never made’) and wanted to make some projects based on it, including an animated series. It was not clear whether they understood it or not, but by buying a copy of the story they didn’t get the right to adapt this story on the screen.

‘Our survey of some existing NFT projects and their licenses reveals that very few of them take all of the necessary steps needed to make NFT copyrights behave the way that people expect’, the Verge wrote, pointing out that you should think about legal issues before you mint the NFT, not after.

It also mentioned the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is a collection of NFTs made by the Yuga Labs company, one of the most successful NFT-collections ever made, Terms & Conditions which claim that ‘when you purchase an NFT you own the underlying Bored Ape, the Art, completely’, but actually this claim contradicts their license.

When you don’t really know what’s going on with the legal status of your work, sooner or later it will end with a lawsuit. And that’s what happened to the Bored Ape Yacht Club eventually. The irony is that they were the ones who issued a lawsuit against Ryder Ripps, an artist who mocked them with a conspiracy theory of the far-right dog whistling, and now they have to deal with the consequences of their own lawsuit. The most recent court documents revealed that Bored Ape Yacht Club doesn’t have ‘copyright registrations’ for the 10,000 images in their NFT collection.

It’s even more complicated when you consider NFTs not as intellectual property, but as financial assets. As Diana Stern, a general counsel at Palm NFT Studio, underlined in her column, this ‘will chill momentum of the intellectual property-driven NFTs’, and ‘the transferability of creative works would be severely limited and artists could inadvertently become investment companies’.

As for the classic scam and phishing attack, they are still here. Recently, the major NFT project Azuki became a victim of a Twitter hack that resulted in stealing dozens of NFTs and losing over $750,000 worth of USD Coin (USDC).

If the major NFT-actors still are not protected, what can we offer to less famous artists? Nothing is safe yet. 

Why so much money?


© Bored Ape Yacht Club

Probably the core reason of mistrust to the NFT-technology is closely related to the pricing. When the frenzy just began, the amounts of money circulating around non-fungible tokens were unbelievable. Later the sums decreased if we talk about separate transactions, not the whole market. According to a report, trading in NFTs hit $17.6 billion last year, an increase of 21,000% from 2020. There are no such yearly reports for 2022, but according to other sources, in October of 2022, sales on the NFT market were down by more than 90% in nearly every metric — including volume and price — compared to the year before.

As for the average price of NFTs, between April and September 2022 it has dropped by 87%.

In many cases, the big companies were the main clients of such transactions. For example, in March 2021 there was a big story around the New York Times. The author, Kevin Roose, wrote a column called ‘’Buy this column on the blockchain’, minted an NFT and set a start price for the auction —  about $150. Eventually he sold it for $56,000. He admitted that it was a shock: he knew that his articles were good, but not that good. ‘I like to think they just had good taste’, he joked. Roose’s NFT was bought by some music production company in Dubai.

For some, it may seem that the rich are still getting richer, and there is yet no difference between blockchain and more traditional ways in this case. Well, maybe there is: in the Web3 context it seems to be much easier to gain profit if you are already big. 

There are, of course, situations when average people are getting rich, like four thirty something males behind the previously mentioned Bored Ape NFTs, three of whom had office jobs before the hysteria around their project began and it gained the most profit in the NFT-market in 2022. But still the logic behind buying something useless and gimmicky is far from being perceived as simple. In their case it’s also important to mention that those four friends are not the artists. The main Bored Apes designer is All Seeing Seneka, who seems to get less credit than she deserves. 

NFT Artists: the most successful

What is success when we speak about NFT art? Which works become successful and why? And has anything changed since the time when the first pieces were sold?

The first piece of art sold as an NFT was minted in 2014 and was called Quantum. It was minted by the artist Kevin McCoy and was not noticed till the NFT boom of 2021, when it was sold for more than one million dollars.

In 2017, some milestone NFTs were minted on Ethereum blockchain: CryptoPunks (a collection of 8-bit avatars), CryptoKitties (cartoonish digital kittens, which gained so much attention that the gas prices for minting went incredibly high), Mooncats (8-bit collectible cats). All of these seemed more as a collection of digital items, like weapons or clothes in games. It is difficult to consider those iconic NFTs as art pieces.

In 2021, when the NFT hysteria unfolded, it had more to do with art, but what kind of art?

Let’s take a deeper look into their art. Maybe, that will help us to understand the reasons behind its popularity.

The top-selling NFT artists, according to the list published on January 3rd, 2023 are Beeple, who set the record with a collage of all his works for 13 years, PAK, who is unknown, but is said to have introduced Beeple to the world of NFT, and sold some NFTs to pay for the legal defence of Julian Assange, SNOWFRO, an artist starting the popularization of generative on blockchain, Dmitri Cherniak, another generative artist, XCOPY, another unknown who sells glitched dystopian pictures about death and apathy, FEWOCIOUS, a teenage queer crypto artist from Las Vegas, HACKATAO, an artist duo from Milano with Lao tze quotes in their Bio.

© Beeple; SNOWFRO

Beeple, a digital artist from the USA, earned $69 million for his art at Christie's auction in 2021. At least that was for something long-term and diligent. This NFT included artwork that he produced literally every day in the course of 14 years. That was not his first profitable NFT sale as he had earned about $3.5 mln selling his artwork this way.

As the Verge pointed out, there are several factors behind Beeple’s success. He already had a large fan base of around 2.5 million followers in social media. And the fact that he is so hard-working and disciplined — didn’t skip a day during such a long period — adds to his popularity. 

Also, he caught the train right on time: the beginning of 2021 was a time when hype was on the rise, and many collectors were ready to pay any price, because they saw the NFTs as the future of art in general.

Beeple’s most recent works including the 10,000 pieces NFT are dark satire about politics and pop-culture. For example, Beeple made a lot of pieces about Donald Trump penetrating the White House or Homer Simpson being painted as Homelander, the main antagonist of the ‘Boys’ series, lasering Bart Simpson. Before that, sci-fi pieces dominated Beeple’s art. The bright futuristic landscapes, destroyed civilizations, beautiful trees with beautiful sky in the background. You can examine all the works from the ‘Everydays’ series here.

© Pak, 'The Switch'

Pak, who’s gained even more profit from his tokens than Beeple, is more a programmer and, we could say, a blockchain performer than an artist. His works are geometric figures, cubes, hidden messages, not something you would hang on the wall if you had a printed version of it (OK, that’s not something I would hang on the wall; I know, some people like cubes), and still people buy it not caring about the persona behind the Pak pseudonym. ‘I create things that are hard to consume’, he once said. It’s important to mention that the highest sales Pak had, which became a hot story in the media, took place in December of 2021.

SNOWFRO, the third artist in our list, became famous for Chromie Squiggles. The actual squiggles of different colors and hues, which became a trademark of Art Block, a platform that he founded. He pioneered generative art on blockchain, and at this moment this kind of art is becoming more and more popular among NFT fans. It took SNOWFRO many years of coding and building models before he switched his 9-to-5 job to the career of an artist.

In 2017, he was inspired by CryptoPunks, one of the first big NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain, and began to work on what will eventually become Art Block. The art created on this platform is produced from script, and collection size is limited by the number of times the script can be implemented. As for Chromie Squiggles, it was ‘really interesting to see how people have embraced it as a symbol that represents generative art, he said in the Interview.’ They were minted in November 2020.


© Dmitri Cherniak, 'Ringers #109'

Dmitri Cherniak from Canada is one more generative art star, but his things are not squiggles, but ringers. He is a part of Art Blocks too, and the ringers, which one can describe as if those are the details of the mechanical constructor of different colours,  actually are the most successful Art Blocks projects.The highest ranking piece, Ringer #109, is a set of pegs surrounded by strings. In October 2021, it was sold for $7.1 million. Now the price has plummeted to $55,000. 

In November 2022, Cherniak announced a new collection, for which he decided to connect algorithmic art with the legacy of László Moholy-Nagy, a prominent Hungarian artist and photographer.

XCOPY is the pseudonym of a London based artist making glitchy and dystopian pieces, which look like the underbelly of the world. There are a lot of harsh contrasts in his works that somehow captures attention and pushes the viewer away at the same time.

In 2018, one of his works, A Coin for the Ferryman, was sold for $139. In November 2021, it was resold on Ethereum for $6.02 million, and it wasn’t even the most expensive art-work of XCOPY. The most expensive, Right-click and Save As Guy (right clickers are those who just download NFTs on their devices), was sold in December 2021 for $7 million. This piece appeared on BBC News and it was one of the first plunges of NFT into mainstream media.

FEWOCiOUS is 20-years old transgender artist who in June 2021, crashed the Christie's site as too many people wanted to buy his NFT-collection. He told Esquire about his unhappy and challenging childhood and adolescence, how art saved his life, how he sold his painting at the age of 17, and after turning 18, already had enough money to move into his own house.

His art is colourful, bright and surrealistic, with phrases that uncover the emotional vulnerability of the work. The site looks so friendly (both in emotional and usability aspects) that you immediately want to write FEWOCiOUS a thank you note and to add in the end ‘you deserve this’. FEWOCiOUS was not in the news recently. That probably means that like many other artists in our list the hype is over, but popularity is not: earning a base, he now can focus on any art.

‘In these long years in the crypto realm, I've always had the feeling of living in a parallel world. Do you feel it too?’, asks HACKATAO, which is actually an Italian duo, on their Twitter. Really, that’s how it feels to study crypto art when you are not in it for years, and that is how the heroes of HACKATAO art look: queen and king of the crypto realm. Many of their digital works are animated versions of their physical works. They write a lot about the inner sense of it, and for HACKATAO it’s important to manifest their characters ‘through the two faces of their souls’.

They have a lot of collaborations, including Bang & Olufsen, a Danish electronic company, and Blondie, a rock band. They issued a dynamic token, which is mutable in time and changes data, to start the discussion on copyright in the digital world. They issue a lot of pieces.

It’s not that obvious why these artists are more successful than the others. Their art is totally different.

In Pak's case, it’s not even art, and in Cherniak’s and SNOFRO’s cases, it is something that not everybody would consider art, but rather artistic programming. But all of them were there for quite some time, and it seems that they just seized a moment and were lucky enough. No doubt, it’s good that artists of different styles and mediums can be in such demand at the same time.

Personally, I’m especially happy for FEWOCiOUS, though. His walk was the shortest, but the most painful with the personal issues, and all his pieces are more or less about this pain, vulnerability and not feeling right with yourself. It’s good that people want and are ready to pay for this kind of art.

We can also add that after the situation around NFTs calmed down, more artists fit themselves into the NFT world. More actual artists, and not the avatar designers like it was in 2017. 

In general, it’s not easy to notice all the good artists that try to distribute their art through the crypto medium, because there are more and more of them. The site ‘NFT-now’ makes weekly digests about the upcoming drops. There are a lot of interesting things to find there.


© Rukmunal Hakim, 'Aimless Search'

For example, Rukmunal Hakim, the Indonesian illustrator, makes dynamic and detailed pictures covering the themes of nature and mythology. They seem like a more classic artistic approach, and it’s good that such artists are represented on the blockchain too.

Hossein Goshtasbi, the Iranian photographer, is selling his poetic pieces about solitude. He sells them for about a thousand dollars each, which is not that much money, but much more than most of the artists and photographers could get for their pieces before blockchain.

Nadiia Forkosh, a Ukrainian-born artist makes conceptual works on different topics including the shapes of human emotions. She speaks a lot about the suffering of the artist, which is not noticeable by the others, about the complications of the inner world, but sometimes just about beautiful landscapes and fairy tales.

Clemént Morin, a French motion designer who tries to ‘recreate half-remembered dreams’ in his works that look like futuristic fairy tales or the scenes of a game you would most definitely want to play. His average prices are about $50-60.

There are many more. New drops are coming every week, and you can follow them here.

You can also check the UnicornDAO collection — the one that was created by Nadya Tolokonnikova to collect and showcase art created by women, non-binary and LGBTQ+ (I will give you more details about this project later in the chapter ‘Crypto Philanthropy’). There you can find generative artists like Alida Sun who is claimed to be the first artist in history to consolidate generative art, large-scale installation, blockchain technology, and live performances and Anna Carreras who combines engineering and fine arts education to create works without boundaries. Also, the AI artist Claire Silver. She uses a mixture of AI tools combined with hand painting and digital collaging, or a monochromatic ‘dark and sensitive’ artist like Glam Beckett. Check her ‘Sad girls bar’ collection and many more. Everything on this site is worth checking.


When I heard about NFT for the first time, which was way later than when NFT hype descended on Earth, I felt just like I always feel around something I don’t know anything about: missing out and lonely. But after some consideration and reading I understood that when you try to become a part of NFT you also become a part of a sincere and supportive community or even a chain of communities. Many artists probably came into the NFT sphere for money, but most of them stayed because of the people and comradery. 

NFT NOW, a popular website about the NFT culture, gives an example, which is heartbreaking and life-affirming at the same time, about a popular French NFT artist Alotta Money, who died about a year ago.

After that happened, the whole NFT community mourned him. People remembered his supportiveness, his readiness to help and to collaborate. And he was a great artist, of course. 

If you look more closely, you see that actually the NFT community is close to punk or emo community in the best way it can be described. 

It’s like a net of connections among those who are really interested in something they can do plus the talent, supportiveness, and some money for something you are an expert on.

Rolling Stone Magazine took a deeper look at this phenomena and found some really touching stories such as a young violinist who did lots of random gigs to make a living and then he recorded an NFT album, earned enough money to focus on music and now develops his own community.

That’s just how it works when you get a decent chance to sell your art and to get enough money for it to be able to focus on it. Even those who sell pieces for a couple hundred dollars get more opportunities.

When you focus on it, you also focus on those who are together there with you. Maybe, because you are inspired to encourage the others, maybe because you have more time to help others, maybe, because blockchain looks like a perfect future for art on the whole. Or all this at the same time.

As the RS author noted in January 2022, in the case of the NFT, he is exploring the power of community, which potentially can give birth to the future architects of a more fair and equitable system for businesses, collectors and creators.

The musicians rely on this thing too. The most enthusiastic of them see a future where artists are paid fairly, the merch sold as NFTs always gets them some royalty (when you resell the NFT, the original seller gets his part), and tickets are sold smarter.

Parrott.eth, the NFT artist and musician, once wrote on Twitter, how blessed he is to live and thrive from his art now. ‘NFTs changed my life, this community changed my life’, he added, and many fellow artists would (and did) agree.

A year ago, NFTs looked like some haphazard tool for artists and some occasional opportunists to earn more money than they usually coud. Now it looks like a whole new system of looking into things, and the future seems to be even more promising.

Though it’s still important to mention that, like in the real art world and not on the blockchain, the unfair distribution of income is still there. The reason some works sell for $7 million and others for $100 varies and may not seem fair or just.

Ask the artist

We have assembled two sides of the NFT discourse, and now all we have to do is to directly ask someone who is really involved in the game. We wrote to Jack Warne, an artist from London, whom we have the pleasure to know and who is working with different media, from sound design to AI. ’I’m not sure I want to define it’, he said about his art. 

We have assembled two sides of the NFT discourse, and now all we have to do is to directly ask someone who is really involved in the game. We wrote to Jack Warne, an artist from London, whom we have the pleasure to know and who is working with different media, from sound design to AI. ’I’m not sure I want to define it’, he said about his art. 

‘My practice is Phygital and currently I'm focused more on the traditional art market, as we've seen with the recent FTX scandal, the market is incredibly volatile. With that being said, not having to spend money on physical materials is attractive, however, it brings a whole dynamic of the animation as a flat LED based experience, which informs the work in a whole new way. Fundamentally, I care about how the work communicates and makes people / myself feel, the monetary gain from an NFT isn't something I want to lead my practice’, he told us.

He admitted that it’s clear that the purest intentions of a direct channel between creator and collector can be easily manipulated by organizations and select groups: ‘I think it's a great technology with great people behind it, but like all of society, there are bad actors, individuals and organizations.’

‘I definitely see a future for NFT's and Blockchain technology becoming more integrated within the daily experience of our societies. In my experience being someone that uses Augmented Reality heavily, there are a multitude of processes that web 3.0 can introduce, mainly with how my work can interact / mutate with my audience and its context, whether it's a museum using NFC chips within an exhibition, I think it's an exciting time to collaborate’, he added.

Crypto Philanthropy

When the community is so well built and supportive, it’s a good opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause. In addition to the task of developing your brand there, you can also develop social business at the same time.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, the prominent Russian activist protesting the government and struggling for women and LGBT-rights, one of the founding members of Pussy Riot, uses NFTs and blockchain to help people and to find a better tool for activism. In March 2022, she and several partners created UnicornDAO, a fund-raising and investment project with the goal to commission and buy NFTs made by women, nonbinary people and members of the LGBTQ community. They purchased works of such artists as Sofia Crespo, Olive Allen, and Claire Silver. Grimes donated an NFT to the project, Sia is among the active members.

Tolokonnikova also helped to create UkraineDao, an NFT of the Ukrainian Flag, that raised $7 million dollars.

Before that there were other philanthropic initiatives to support through NFTs. For example, David Bianchi, who is known by some people as an actor, sells socially conscious spoken word cinema projects using blockchain to raise money for non-profit organizations. There were also projects to support black artists, to fight climate change, to create health literacy programs and many more

There are statistics that one of three crypto-investors actually donated crypto-money to charity. Maybe it’s not that different from the non-meta-universe, where rich people fund charity too, but the opportunities that the NFT world will provide for this look almost limitless. 


I was rather astonished to find out that Marina Abramovich, one of the most important and influential artists living now, joined the hype and made an NFT. But in the interview with Frieze, she explained her motives and also gave a rather encouraging opinion on why NFTs might work as something positively significant.

She said that back in the 1970s when performance art was new to the world, people didn’t understand what she was doing. And in the late 80s she was asked about the future of art. She saw it in the way that the artist’s energy would be transmitted to the audience, focusing on the immaterial exchange of energy. With NFTs, she thinks that her prediction is coming true.

The form and meaning of art and design are flexible, things change all the time, we ride the different waves and cultivate different fields all the time. That works the same way for the processes around art: the distribution, contact with the audience, the way the art is sold. Maybe we don’t yet understand the bright future that Web3 can present us. At least as the people who grew up at the times of Web2.

As one of my friends, a photographer who sells some NFTs from time to time, it’s not fair to put all the blame onto NFTs, because they are actually a small amount of NFT operations in comparison to the rest that is happening on the blockchain (cryptocurrency is still there, remember?). 

Maybe, we don’t have enough information yet. Maybe, we will manage to protect artists from scammers, maybe the good art will find their collection, and the gifs with cats won’t be bought for millions. Maybe we will manage to find ways to use blockchain for something other than making money, and maybe there will be more initiatives like Nadya Tolokonnikova’s. Maybe we won’t need fundraisers, you know: one successful transaction —  and all the expenses for opening an integrative camp for children with special needs will be covered. As well as for the other purposes.

After all, any technology, any idea, any initiative can be used and can be abused. The question is what people who have the power to use it would choose. What do they usually choose?

Edited and idea by Sima Piterskaia