The contemporary art world is well known for pushing boundaries and getting people to ask, “What is Art?”. Now, in this world where the rules are never set in stone, a special kind of NFT is getting artists and art aficionados to ask questions in a realm that sits between the traditional and contemporary.
NFTs in the Art Space
Despite NFTs only gaining popularity in the last few years, using NFTs for art is not a novel idea. Of course, one of the most famous art-focused NFTs is from the artist Beeple, who sold an NFT of his collage, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, at Christie’s for $69 million. But NFTs are not confined to just digital paintings.
The beauty of NFTs is that it can represent any kind of digital file: JPG, GIF, MP3, FLAC, MP4, AVI, or PDF (to name a few). So musicians, animators, videographers, or even 3D modellers can mint an NFT from their creations.
Artists can use the NFT’s blockchain technology to mint tokens to help follow and monetise their creations. The blockchain can keep track of ownership records, dates of transfer, and can make sure the artist is correctly and always credited with their artwork. It also can have royalties automatically sent to the original artist every time it sells.
So, What are These Special Holo-NFTs?
They’re called Holo-NFTs and they share many of the same characteristics as most NFTs. What sets them apart, though, is that they present the artwork in both a digital and physical space. (Yes, even audio files!)
These NFTs aren’t made from a digital canvas. They’re transforming a finished, physical piece into a digital augmented version of itself, both the same and different from the original. A Holo-NFT can take the Mona Lisa, digitise it into a 3D model, and then gives you the option to project it from your screen, free for you to move and interact with, almost like it was really there in front of you.
Holo-NFTs use a kind of augmented reality technology called Desktop AR. The most basic version just needs those red and blue glasses to view the NFT but if you have a special 3D display, you can view the NFT in full colour.
Holo-NFTs as a Tool for Preservation for All Art
Holo-NFTs have the ability to be monetised, like all NFTs, but these tokens also provide museums and historians a tool for preservation. Because Holo-NFTs use 3D models, anything that can be 3D scanned can become an NFT. This includes traditional artwork like paintings and sculptures, but it also means that places of cultural importance like UNESCO World Heritage Sites can become part of a museum’s collection as easily as an elusive Bansky mural.
\n Digitisation isn’t new to the art world, nor as a tool for conservation. But the physical limitations on conserving art that can’t sit nicely on a stand or pedestal are gone. It won’t matter if the mural is in a convent in Italy or if the installation covered 23 miles in New York’s Central Park, the museum can preserve it for the next generation, outside of time and weather, but still have it available to physically experience. Combined with the benefits of the blockchain as mentioned above, a Holo-NFT can become a very beneficial asset to any museum or gallery.
\n Like much of contemporary art, using NFTs leads to many questions about art and the experience of it.
How much does the act of digital preservation change the intended concept of the artwork?
Can digital preservation expand or create a new perspective of the artwork?
Can these NFTs be passed down like traditional art?
Will the artwork be understood the same way in the future when viewed digitally?
\n The future of art is always changing and now with NFTs, it has the potential to go in so many more directions never before considered. Why not experiment and see where it takes you?