One thing that I’ve seen [in the bear market] is people being a little more thoughtful about how they collect and how they choose to create, release, and mint their works.
Just because people are newly excited about something, it doesn’t mean that they’re morons.
In the early days, if you were drawn to NFTs, you were someone who was drawn to things that weren’t necessarily popular and you weren’t expecting to get rich off them.
Look at the brands that are surviving and thriving right now in Web3. We lost Async and Versum and JPG, but Sotheby’s and Christie’s — centuries-old auction houses — are closing million-dollar deals. That tells me that the idealism of Web3 or crypto art in a lot of ways has died.
I don’t want this space to be a duplicated online version of the traditional art world because I worked in that world for many years and there are many things that are wrong with it.
It feels like a lot of the artists and a lot of what is going on in the space has become businessified or corporatified. Artists who I used to talk to directly now have staff.
Shows like these are introducing people to digital, generative, and AI-powered art, which is wonderful when it’s done by a museum whose mission is education rather than an auction house whose mission is profit-driven.
Back then, if you were going to do a museum exhibition of computer-oriented art, you would be tackling a niche topic. But now, we live primarily through digital media, so to ignore digital art is pretty much to ignore the dominant culture in which we live.
If I’m honest about my own upbringing, the bulk of my childhood in the 1980s and ’90s was spent playing Nintendo in sweatpants with a bag of Doritos and a Mountain Dew. Those early games have a borderline religious meaning for me and RusticDigitalArt brings in a lot of early video-game iconography.
By bringing in bodies and doing things that were less geometric from an aesthetic perspective, and then bringing in choreography and really thinking through why they’re showing what they’re showing, I see Human Unreadable as almost a critique of long-form generative art.
One thing that has always bugged me in Web3 is that people place a premium on the chain over the art itself.
I think that one consequence of easier access to AI tools is that concept-driven work will become more highly valued. At a moment when anyone can create a cool or beautiful or shocking image, hopefully the ideas behind things are going to start to matter more to people.
Danielle King is an artist, collector, writer, and curator based in Western Massachusetts. Her recent work uses AI technologies to explore alternative art histories and timelines, experiment with memory and the duality of self, and investigate capitalist and art historical ideals of beauty and femininity. After receiving her MBA from the Yale School of Management, she spent eight years managing the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is currently the CFO & COO of ClubNFT and Right Click Save.
Alex Estorick is Editor-in-Chief at Right Click Save.