Some time ago, I was experimenting with animating my photographs using video editing software. I recently learned how to turn them in GIFs. And since then, I’e been looking at my body of work from a new perspective. I’m excited. Photo animation opens up new possibilities for how my photography can be presented as an artwork. The pandemic has been hard on my photography, as we are all being stuck at home all the time. For me as an artist, I am inspired by being in different places.
With all the hype in the news about Bitcoin and crypto currencies, I have learned something exciting. It felt as though I had just woken up from a coma. Everyone is now talking about Bitcoin, but they’re also talking about Ethereum, which I had never heard of before. Ethereum came about years after Bitcoin, and it was designed differently in that Smart Contracts can be built into the blockchain. This means when a piece of the blockchain has transferred ownership, there can be additional actions built in, such as commissions. What does this all mean, and why does it matter? For the first time in history, blockchain technology has offered a means to register an asset onto a decentralized public ledger. This protocol could be used for commercial applications like verifying authenticity, or to execute automated contracts like commissions on sales.
In the art world, authenticity of an artwork by a master has always been in question, as works can turn out to be counterfeits. And after an artwork is sold, it is generally the case that it is the collectors and auction houses that take all the profits in its future sale, not the artist. Blockchain technology offers an innovative solution to this age old problem. Artists can “tokenize” their works on a blockchain, like Ethereum, and program a Smart Contract to receive commissions if the token is sold in the future. A token is that piece of the blockchain that the artwork is registered to, and it acts like a public receipt that proves ownership. It is kind of like the deeds to a piece of land, though it is not the land itself, it is a legal representation of it, and when you sell it, the deeds have to be transferred to the new owner. The deeds is the proof of ownership registered in the government’s land registry.
This also solves an issue for digital artworks that tend to live on the internet, like animation and video. It could even apply to music. I can very much see this as being something major i the future of art, and I am excited to learn and participate in it as an early adopter. I have just added a new page on my website to explain a bit more about Crypto Art, the term being used to describe artworks that are tokenized. I have some of my animated photos there and will be posting more as I create them. The crypto art scene seems to like hanging out on Twitter, so if you want to join me there, come follow me at @AndreaMaiArt
©2021 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.