Yahoo is helping black artists enter the NFT digital art world
Words from Lauren Dei
Art has been a platform for storytelling since the beginning of time. The creative possibilities are limitless – commercially, however, the closed network in which traditional visual art is produced, evaluated and bought limits how far those outside the network can go.
Until now. At a time when the concept of property is less brick and mortar than narrative, a compelling story can be told through art, sold at sky-high prices, leaving the seller free of class, location, or means. As? With NFTs.
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Imagine a long line of people, longer than the Great Wall of China, standing shoulder to shoulder and playing an epic game by handing over the package. Everyone gives a package to the next person while receiving one from the previous person. Now imagine that every packet increases in value every time it hits the next pair of hands until someone drops it, which means the value goes down too. That human line is blockchain and the packages are cryptocurrency.
Do you have that part Okay, now imagine this human chain moving away from that long line of the Great Wall of China, forming shapes – a house, a car, the pyramids of Egypt – as they constantly pass those packages. Imagine how they stand in the shape of the Mona Lisa, with frame and all. Do you see it? Now, check out an NFT, a breakthrough digital art format that uses blockchain as a proof of origin and gives collectors an item with real Ethereum coin value and artists outside the elite world to trade at the top – shelf levels.
NFT stands for non-fungible (or immutable) tokens. Its uniqueness makes it attractive and its fixed status guarantees that a) no one can change it and b) the artist can be identified as the creator and owner.
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Like crypto coins, NFTs are operated by blockchain and valued in Ethereum. The selling prices of some of these digital works of art are stratospheric. The best-selling NFT to date, ‘Every day – the first 5000 daysâBy Beeple, sold for $ 69 million at Christie’s Auctioneers. Previously, Beeple had only sold one physical print for $ 100 – he is now among the top three most valuable living artists, with the second and third highest NFTs in his catalog.
These digital entities create a culture change within the industry by creating new stories from a new wave of artists. The tools to develop NFTs are placed in the hands of creatives whose voices add something new and necessary to the fine arts canon.
Enter Team Yahoo. Yahoo Creative Studios is a multidisciplinary team of filmmakers, editors, designers and strategists. It passes on its Extended Reality (XR) innovation baton to train those who can develop their physical art practice into a digital legacy. Eight selected artists, signed to Disrupt Space, a black art gallery and artist agency based in Brixton Market, south London, will create works with NFT technology for the first time under the guidance of Yahoo’s specialists.
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In step-by-step meetings and deliberations, the Yahoo Creative Studio LA team will digitize the works using the visual characteristics of each artist’s choice – there is the option to cut layers in their work, embed hidden doors leading to others “Spaces” and dimensions lead, integrate soundtracks and narration – this is how the work of art becomes an expedition of the changed reality, which the viewer can explore beyond the surface. This truly disruptive experience transforms the usual methods of consuming art.
Disrupt Space is a perfect partner for such a world changing project. Their list features artists with a range of practices in painting, sculpture, film, photography, and more. Located at the heart of a changing community, the opportunity to develop a lasting legacy is a great driver for their involvement in the project.
“Our position at the heart of a gentrified market is inherently disruptive,” says Paul Reid, the agency’s founder. âOur aim is to introduce sustainable culture into spaces where it is normally not found. The NFT room is an exciting opportunity to develop the work of the artists and we look forward to showing the world what they can come up with. “
So what are the social implications that NFT art brings with it?
“We record our truths as seen with our eyes,” says Lady Phoenix, XR and NFT consultant, founder of Yes Universe and mentor to the artists throughout the project. âIt’s a dynamic that is rewriting history. Now your memories can be linked to an eternal thing. The narrative behind the most famous classical works of art is a legacy, a myth – now we can create our own. These artists are inviting people to sign up for a story now. “
Did new legacies consider whether the gatekeepers embrace these changes or maintain the same hierarchies by being rich enough to own these works? Well, the distribution of property does not always lie with a sole owner or collector. Platforms like PartyBids allow communities or “parties” to benefit from the collective ownership that gives multiple people a part of the work of art, much like fractional ownership of Bitcoin is possible. And even those with the fortune have an investment in growing the scene.
“Network and community are the foundation of the NFT room,” Lady Phoenix. âArtists tend not to ask for money, what they need. Some people are crypto-rich, have the tools and are ready to help you because they live for it. “
Selling original art for massive figures is nothing new. However, the reality of who is selling this work of art is getting newer by the day. And with the potential to turn everything digital into an NFT, the story is just beginning.
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