The truth is that if you look at most publications including Forbes, Washington Post, and even Time, they don’t get the details of this blooming industry right. Journalists try to act like authorities in a space that they know little about and create blanket statements about entire industries that don’t help people understand what NFTs are really about or the technology behind them.
All these publications hope to explain is how something that is mainly a digital certificate could generate so much interest and buzz. To be fair, it’s a hard concept to get right, layered with nuance, changing technology and open to many interpretations.
A Look Back To Go Forward
This reminds me of a 1995 video clip of Bill Gates trying to explain the importance of the internet to David Letterman who just didn’t get it. Letterman wonders why anybody would want to listen to a baseball game on the internet when the radio was working fine for generations.
“What do I get that I’m not already getting now?” Letterman asks Gates. Letterman seems genuinely perplexed by this new technology. He wasn’t alone. Almost nobody knew what the internet would be used for, what its purpose was, or how it was any better than what we already had.
It’s easy to simplify the NFT narrative to fit a particular point of view. There is no question that NFTs have disrupted the entire art world, its effects going far beyond just the digital landscape. To understand what goes on behind the scenes and what creating a generative NFT collection we had a conversation with the team behind Crypto Pharaohs, a generative NFT art collection inspired by the ancient Egyptian Civilization.
Many people remain misinformed and associate NFTs with cartoonish, pixelated garish drawings. Although there are many collections like that out there, the reality is that there are also many serious artists. Melissa Morgan, Lead Designer of Crypto Pharaohs said: “Creating a generative NFT collection requires planning and it requires a deconstruction of the artwork even before its constructed.
As I was creating the artwork for Crypto Pharaohs, I had to build up layers that when combined together in a certain order gave me a beautiful final image. These layers were programmatically generated resulting in multiple characters, each unique and each with its own set of characteristics, from head pieces, jewellery and accessories to skin tone, hairstyle, eye shapes and make up. The result is that every owner has a one of a kind piece.”
When looking at NFTs it’s not so much the technology that is good or bad, but the people behind it that matter and what they do with it. A lot of the online social content is about what NFTs are currently, not what they will become. We look at the value of NFTs and how they are skyrocketing and we think that is the story because it’s something that is easy to quantify. An NFT used to be worth $10 and now it’s worth $20. Simple, right? It doesn’t take any leaps of imagination or creativity.
That is not the case though. NFTs are much more than the price tag attached to them, they are a way to truly democratize art; allowing someone in Sub-Saharan Africa to view a Monet or Picasso for example; or discovering talent from rural towns and villages created by artists that may be unknown to us and showcasing their work on the international art scene.
This technology is changing the way we create, view and interact with art. It is a way for people to experience culture and be part of a narrative. Growing up in Damascus, I didn’t have access to the works of world famous artists, today I can change that. Using blockchain technology we can create platforms, such as momentable.ai that are dedicated to museums, galleries and artists.
We can truly democratize art while protecting the ownership and intellectual property and copyright to that art through the NFT smart contracts. When we created Crypto Pharaohs, we were able to take the Egyptian civilization that has inspired the world and make it relevant and accessible to those who love it in a new way
It is very important to educate ourselves on NFTs and Blockchain technology because it’s a technology that has many applications, only one of which is digital art. Taking the time to research and learn is vital because of what is coming next.
An Evolving Platform
NFTs can be seen as a test case for a much larger and rapidly evolving blockchain space. That space, known as Web3 is yet to be realized but is the next evolution of the internet, one that is centralized with fewer huge tech players and more peer-to-peer technologies. What this will eventually look like, nobody knows. But whatever it is, Web3 is coming and we are all trying to figure out what it means and how it will play out. The tough part is that we all get to embrace the role of a futurist because its evolution will be less around a few power players and more collaboration.
For a while now, artists have been able to express themselves digitally but NFTs give artists a way to make a profit from their labour and spend more time creating possibilities that are only limited by their imagination. While this new space, the true NFT artists have likely not risen to prominence yet – in fact, they might not even have been born. Who is to say? But there will be the Leonardo Di Vinci of NFTs – work so beautiful and profound that when we view it, the art piece will take our breath away.
Their potential, however, is much wider and could be used in all types of contracts, ticket sales, and even the buying and selling of land. But what’s really exciting isn’t any of those applications. It’s that NFTs will be used in ways we cannot even comprehend.