Artissima jumps on NFTs: 8,000 artist grants to five artists who want to create them

Artissima, in collaboration with Fondazione per l'Arte CRT, Artshell and LCA Studio Legale, is launching the “Surfing NFT” project: five grants of 8,000 euros will be given to artists who want to produce a work through NFT.

At the 2021 edition of Artissima(here is all the information about the 28th edition) there will also be great space for NFTs, the Non Fungible Tokens that have become one of the topics of the year in the art world. In fact, from the new project dialogue Beyond Production between Artissima and Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT comes the project Surfing NFT, realized by Artissima in collaboration with Artshell and LCA Studio Legale. The idea behind Surfing NFT is to invite contemporary artists presented by Artissima’s galleries to experiment with the production of a work through Non Fungible Tokens and blockchain technology in a specialized context where the focus is on the quality of the work and not just its exchange value.

The goal of the project is to offer a new perspective to the contemporary conception of NFTs, their relationship to contemporary art, its supply chain, and its market. Emphasizing the role (considered fundamental) of curatorship in the production of the work, the selection of artists, and the accompaniment to the sale, Surfing NFT aims to actively involve art galleries, which are considered an indispensable mediating subject in order to work effectively with the protagonists of contemporary artistic experimentation. Thanks to the support of the Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT, Artissima will offer five artists and their respective galleries, selected by an international curatorial committee through a call, the opportunity to produce a digital work registered with NFT on blockchain, and to display it in a platform dedicated to the project elaborated ad hoc by Artshell, without the obligation to sell it through the traditional process of exchange in cryptocurrency. The five chosen artists will receive a production budget of 8,000 euros each made available to them by Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT. On the occasion of a dedicated event organized in February 2022 at OGR Turin, one of the most dynamic centers of cultural production and experimentation in Europe, the works will be presented on the dedicated platform and one of the five works will be selected as the winner of the OGR Award and will be acquired by Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT to increase its Collection.

For Surfing NFT, Artshell will develop a dedicated and customized platform concept for the promotion and sale of digital artworks, authenticated through NFT, with the aim of investigating and supporting the market in the use of these new technologies for contemporary art production. Given the great sensitivity of the art world to eco-sustainability issues (also because, moreover, NFTs have heavy environmental costs), the technology adopted by Artshell for the realization of the Surfing NFT project has as its main feature the use of new models for better energy sustainability and a strong reduction of environmental impact. LCA Studio Legale, in order to ensure the proper management of the works and the protection of artists and purchasing collectors, in addition to analogically authenticating the works according to the rules of the traditional art market, will draft specific contracts that will also regulate the rights for the enjoyment, exhibition and sharing of the works.

“For 20 years, Fondazione Arte CRT,” explains Anna Ferrino, president of Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT, “has put modern and contemporary art at the center of its mission, committing itself to the forefront in promoting experimental languages and creative projects, capable of impacting the art world, with important social and market repercussions. Surfing NFT is the new challenge signed Artissima that the Foundation intends to support, in order to investigate how digital technology influences globally every sphere of contemporary living, including art making.”

But what exactly are NFTs? The expression “Non Fungible Token” means a cryptographic digital asset that is “non-fungible,” that is, unique and non-interchangeable thus in contrast to, for example, bitcoins that are fungible and thus interchangeable. NFTs were created to address one of the critical issues in digital art, namely mass reproduction and unauthorized distribution on the Internet: NFTs provide evidence of authenticity and ownership of the work even when it is duplicated for the purpose of dissemination. They live and are enjoyed on the blockchain (a kind of digital big data ledger) employing the same technology as cryptocurrencies, but unlike cryptocurrencies they are non-interchangeable because they are unique. NFTs are also indivisible, unlike cryptocurrencies that can be split. This implies that the ownership of the NFT can be traced back to one person. The details of the person who owns the NFT and the sale that operated to secure it appear in the crypto code of each NFT. Each NFT is indestructible: blockchain technology and the “smart contracts” issued when an NFT is registered cannot be replicated or destroyed. Such safeguards are of paramount importance for a digital work, which, thanks to this environment, approaches the conception of the physical work and invites contemporary artists to approach it using new technologies, approaching new audiences and investigating new ways of encountering art through the digital tools we live in symbiosis with.

Pictured is a visitor to Artissima in the 2019 edition. Photo Perottino-Piva-Bottallo

Artissima jumps on NFTs: 8,000 artist grants to five artists who want to create them
Artissima jumps on NFTs: 8,000 artist grants to five artists who want to create them

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