Zach Gage, 2021
THIS IS NOT THE ARTWORK
You might be able to view the artwork here: http://www.stfj.net/scarcity/93c08fdb6ed5b970ec989a2c957f0e4d
The artwork has no permanent URL. It may have already moved. Unless you've been tracking it or know someone who has, it may be gone.
Lately I have taken part in a number of conversations around the idea of minting NFTs to entice collection of digital art and the frankly shocking ecological impact of this process.
Talking with peers is nice but I remembered I have another manner of speaking that is more powerful than conversation: making work.
My mom has always said to me that the best artworks act as a lens, and this is a belief I have deeply internalized. I would go further even and say art's ability to be a lens is exactly what makes it so powerful.
To experience art you have to invite it in and briefly glimpse the world through it. It's so easy to disagree with a person on the internet, but it's very awkward to yell at a painting.
In all the conversations I've seen about cryptocurrency art ownership I've been surprised to not see anyone really talk about the idea of "art ownership". Why do we own paintings or sculptures? Is it really purely economic or is there something more to it?
The experience of owning art is something I am lucky enough to take part in. Owning a work means having it with you, being able to stare through that lens every day, to learn its ins and outs see it shift and change as you grow.
One of the things that has always frustrated me about digital art isn't the lack of physicality it has, but rather the lack of persistence in our lives. Digital art is frequently something we look at just one time, on some website, or some blog. It rarely lives with us, casually, as a painting does when hung on a wall.
I wanted to bring these ideas up in a way that both strongly referenced NFTs and yet was separated from them. These days there is an assumption that now all work can be minted, and yet, NFTs are built around ownership of a link to a work, and this work has no permanent link.
I wanted to make a work that presented scarcity, ownership, and investment, without the notions of uniqueness and financial gain.
And I wanted to make a work that operated as an experience, that internalized the process of owning art, and that gave reference to the complexity of the issue we're tackling when we consider NFT artwork.