The fast-moving NFT phenomenon has erupted into everyday awareness with eye-popping sales and community-rending arguments online. We are obliged to familiarize ourselves with it, and come to a provisional understanding of it, through immersion, reading, and direct experience.
This set of Deliverables is due Monday, March 22. Note that the writing assignments (two one-page assessments) are slightly larger than previous writing assignments in this class. This set of Deliverables has three parts:
(Above is the helpful 5-minute overview we watched in class.)
Spend a half-hour (yes, an actual half-hour, please) browsing NFTs at the following sites:
Optionally — if you really like this stuff — here are some additional marketplaces you can look at. There is also an extremely helpful survey of NFT marketplaces in this article, which includes detailed descriptions of all the major marketplaces (and how they differ). These differences can be very important, in terms of how these marketplaces incorporate curation, how they treat artists, how they treat the environment, what kind of work they feature, and more.
- Identify four (4) NFTs that you feel strongly about. Try to find at least one that you find captivating, and at least one that you absolutely detest. Note: you will be sharing and discussing these with your classmates. So if you just lazily select whatever from the first half-dozen results, ahem, everyone will know, and you will look foolish. Use this opportunity to both strengthen and show off your amazingly discerning taste.
- In a blog post, document the NFTs. Include the artist name (if any), title of the work (if any), an embedded screenshot, as well as (crucially) a URL link to the NFT. Test the link to make sure it’s working. Feel free to add brief commentary if you wish.
- ESSAY: Write a one-page assessment of the overall landscape of artworks you’ve seen, answering the following: With respect to the artworks, What do you make of what you saw? What’s common? What is missing? (Note: ~300 words, or about 3 paragraphs.) Note: Your essay should focus on describing the stuff people are making, who’s making it, why (you think) they’re making it, who’s consuming it, and why.
- Title your blog post nickname-NFTImmersion.
- Categorize your blog post 06-NFTImmersion.
Please read the following:
Introductory / Optional texts:
- Generative Art and NFTs
- NFTs: A Legal Guide for Creators and Collectors
- NFTs are Creating the Opposite of Everything They’re Meant to Fix
- What does it mean to buy a GIF?
- Hic Et Nunc Brings True Spirit Of Web Art To The Here And Now
- HERE IS THE ARTICLE YOU CAN SEND TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY SAY “BUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WITH CRYPTOART WILL BE SOLVED SOON, RIGHT?”
- Episode V. Toward a New Ecology of Crypto Art: A Hybrid Manifesto.
- NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This
- Artists Have Been Attempting to Secure Royalties on Their Work for More Than a Century
- In a blog post, informed by the articles above and your immersion in the NFT marketplaces, write a one-page assessment of the NFT phenomenon. What’s your position about participating in this? What are some of the pros and cons you see? (Note: ~300 words, or about 3 paragraphs.)
- Title your blog post nickname-NFTReading.
- Categorize your blog post 06-NFTReading.
3. Direct Experience
In this assignment, you will publish an NFT on the cryptoart marketplace Hic et Nunc. This marketplace uses the ecologically-friendly Tezos blockchain, which is based on Proof-of-Stake (PoS), not Proof-of-Work (PoW). Transactions on this blockchain consume ~1/1000000 of the energy as Etherium transactions, and have a carbon footprint roughly equivalent to sending a tweet or making a purchase with a Visa credit card. For information supporting this assertion, please see:
- Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake: the Ecological Footprint (published 3/15/2021)
- A guide to ecofriendly CryptoArt (NFTs)
- Clean NFTs on Tezos
Note: The purpose of this exercise is to have well-informed conversation about a rapidly-evolving, important, and controversial topic in new media arts — and to obtain direct experience so that we can speak knowledgeably about it. However, if you have a conscientious objection to conducting this exercise, for any reason, please contact the Professor (e.g. by private message on Discord or email) to negotiate an alternative assignment.
- By Monday 3/22, Install the Temple Tezos Chrome Plugin, and complete steps 2-4 just below.
- Using this Chrome plugin, create a Tezos wallet. Write down your password (which you set) and your “seed phrase” (provided to you by the wallet; it looks like a dozen random words) in a really secure location. If you lose this information, there is no recovery!
- Send the Professor a direct message in Discord containing the “address” of your Tezos wallet. It looks something like tz1GobbledegookNumbersBlaBlaBla. Do NOT send me your password or seed phrase! I will transfer 1.0 ꜩ to your Tezos wallet (worth about $5 USD). Minting fees on Hic et Nunc are 0.08 ꜩ, or approximately 40 cents.
- Select two (2) artworks of your own that you would be willing/interested in selling at a low price. (I recommend you select a file under 10MB which is a GIF, jpeg, png, mp4, quicktime, or mp3). Your two artworks can be anything that you have made, with the following restrictions (for the purposes of this class): No hate speech, symbols, or insignia; No defamation or slander; No porn or gore. Thank you for respecting this request.
On Monday 3/22, we will do the following in class:
- Mint the artworks and put them up for sale. I will ask you to set the price for one of your artworks at 0.1 ꜩ (about $0.40) in an edition of 20 (be sure to retain one Artist Proof!). Don’t worry, I’ll show you how. Consider that your classmates may wish to purchase your great artwork with their limited funds.
- Configure the edition and price for your second artwork at any price you wish (I recommend something in the range of 1-10 ꜩ).
- In a blog post, publish a link to your NFTs. Embed images of your works. Write a paragraph about how you chose which artworks to mint.
- Title your blog post nickname-NFTMinting.
- Categorize your blog post 06-NFTMinting.
Thank you for your trust and goodwill.
Tutorials of possible interest: