Community, Exchange and Simulacra in the Informational Space: On NFT (Crypto) Art
This paper outlines an efflorescent category of contemporary art referred to as NFT (crypto) art, discussing its many links to the societal shifts interfacing art and urban spaces that have taken place in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular those bound to physical presence. Emphasising the notion of exchange, informational space, in which NFT (crypto) artworks are disseminated, is defined as one different from traditional digital and virtual spaces in being inclusive of both yet potentially including other contingent spaces, as per those engendered by offline activities that are only materialised and/or exchanged through networks. It is argued that the informational space in which NFTs are materialised, namely that which is bound to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, is both one that enables crypto artworks to be recognised as such in the first and moreover sold to collectors, thus operating exclusive of physical space. Lastly, by drawing on Pierre Klossowski’s classic treatise on the reciprocity between art and economy, Living Currency (1970/2017), this paper puts forward both an anthropological perspective on the meaning of exchange as it pertains to the notion of things representing other things, referred to from hereon as simulacra, and employing the author’s expansion of the aforesaid treatise apropos physical space (Bagheri Pour Fallah 2020), so as to provide an ontology of the aforesaid artworks.
Crypto art, NFTs, Informational space, Exchange, Community, Ontology of art
SPACES - DEVICES
Author and artist, Arian Bagheri Pour Fallah works at the confluence of computer music, conceptual art, literature and anthropology. Currently Artist-in-Residence at the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, Arian's research revolves around the growing influence of Web 3.0 and what he calls 'the informational space' in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.