The art world is opaque, exclusionary bullshit.

The art world is a closed club that benefits a few insiders at the expense of everyone else. Ordinary people are shut out of the market for art, without access to good information, and with few opportunities to buy art at a fair price. It is difficult to know who owns what, and it can be hard to get your work seen or sold.

This is not just true for the advanced contemporary art that gets shown in galleries; it’s also true of historic works of art that are sold through auction houses or can be found in museum stores around the world.

NFTs are an imperfect solution, but they do offer a new way to trade and share art. These tokens are built on the principles of financial transparency, royalties, and easy access for all. They make the art world more open and inclusive so that everyone can participate in this important cultural exchange.

NFTs are already being used by artists to sell their creations online, where the traditional world of galleries and art dealers refuses to welcome them. We are exploring the intersections of emerging technologies, digital art, and neo-capitalism in a way that redefines relational value through trustless transactions and cultural value that translates across cultural divides.

Art is often used as a symbol of luxury and expense. However, we believe that art should be accessible to everyone, everywhere. As an ecosystem, we are working on open-source solutions for the problems in the art world. The objective for many of us is to help artists connect with their audiences in new ways, with one another, and with the evolving future of creativity.

NFTs can be used to verify ownership and authenticity of art; for proof of attribution; as a digital copyright system; or they can simply be collected like trading cards. They are an organic attempt at creating an open standard that can assign value to digital goods and works.

The transparency and cultural accessibility of NFTs as a medium and as a means of monetization are frightening to the cultural elite, precisely because it dismantles the traditional notions of how value is assigned to creative works, and it leaves the cultural tastemakers somewhat toothless in the face of a market they can neither predict, gatekeep or control.

Without intermediaries or established curators, NFTs are a democratic way to engage with art. Some of the most expensive paintings in the world are traded on open-market exchanges where anyone can buy them now — and at prices that suggest, there is still room for growth.

NFTs have arrived at an important time in our society when people are questioning the value of art and how it gets assigned. The current economic model has proven unsustainable for both artists and their buyers while NFTs offer a new way forward.

What is “expensive” and what is not? In the world of NFTs, this question has no meaningful answer. There will always be a new art token on the horizon that challenges our assumptions about where value comes from in the market for art.

Artwork now moves beyond traditional means of valuation and now moves toward a model of selling and trading that is not based on a central controlling authority, or on an over-intellectualized world of a white, wealthy creative aristocracy, but on the basis of open exchange between market participants.



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Joan Westenberg

Joan Westenberg


Chaotic good. Award winning creative director & writer, ft. in Wired, Inc, SF Chronicle, TNW. Founder