What NFTs Mean for Contemporary Art
Artist Seth Price talks with curator Michelle Kuo about Beeple, collage, finance risk culture, and where immaterial art is taking us in a material world.
Seth Price, Michelle Kuo
Apr 29, 2021
The NFT is the triumph of a kind of hedge-fund thinking.
Seth Price. Essay with Knots (detail). 2008
In the context of art, it’s tempting to say, well, NFTs are just the logical conclusion of Conceptual art.
SP: Do you know Balaji Srinivasan? He’s this big investor, big crypto guy. He said that the Internet represented “programmable information,” but crypto represents “programmable scarcity.”
MK: It’s perverse, because they’ve figured out how to program scarcity and, therefore, scarcity is suddenly invented via a system that is supposed to eliminate scarcity. And then on the flip side, ubiquity is also encoded into the value of an NFT. Everyone can have exactly the same experience of an NFT, but there is only one owner. And that can lead to an arrangement that is very different from, say, a limited edition.
SP: Yeah, but that’s been the case with video art for years now: the edition’s for sale, but it’s online, too. Or fashion: does the collector with the Gucci bag give a shit about the knockoff bags on Canal Street? No.
Eve Sussman. 89 Seconds Atomized. 2018. 2,304 NFTs
I think the essential thing with NFTs is, nobody really understands what the hell is going on.
LIA. dada data. 2021. NFT made with custom software
Screenshot of the B.20 Museum in CryptoVoxels, April 24, 2021
Watch Price's related talk, "What Is Capitalist Technomancy?", from MoMA's 10th Anniversary Forum on Contemporary Photography, September 2020.
Top of page: Seth Price. Copper Pipes. 2020. mixed media on board. Courtesy the artist
Rodney McMillian and Seth Price discuss how and why they use the material in their work.
Rodney McMillian, Seth Price
Jun 5, 2019
New to MoMA
Ian Cheng’s Emissaries
What do the Real Housewives, Ponyo, and The Sims have in common? They all inspired this work, newly added to MoMA’s collection.
Stuart Comer, Ian Cheng
Mar 6, 2019