Digital Media

My Quest to Understand NFT Art (And Why I Bought One) – Video

Speaker 1: This might take several seconds purchase complete. I now own NFT art. I don’t know how to get to it. How do I access the thing I just bought? I bought digital art with my own money, and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with it, but I really wanted to understand NFTs. Lots of people call it a scam. There were reports about [00:00:30] NFTs getting stolen, and then you have celebrities trying to bring it to the mainstream. Can you explain what an NFT is? Oh,

Speaker 2: What a non fungible token.

Speaker 1: So should we think of NFTs as hot to find out? I had to immerse myself. What have you done for me? Am I a NFT? Now I ran around an NFT convention. I toured physical NFT art galleries. Yes. Physical spaces with digital art. I know it’s weird. Stick with me. I spoke to artists and businesses that are building up this new world [00:01:00] of digital property and all of which finds our way into the physical realm in many different forms. A lot of it is pretty weird. Some of it I think is just dumb. And of course I knew I’d come across technical issues. I’m Bridget Carey. And I’m trying to understand an Ft. Art.

Speaker 1: If you don’t know what an NFT is, here is a super basic lesson. An NFT is an online certificate that proves you own [00:01:30] a digital good that’s it. Sometimes it’s art or a song and it could be a ticket. The technology that verifies it all is a blockchain. Yes, that’s the same as cryptocurrency. If you want to verify what NFT someone owns, you just look up their digital wallet on the blockchain and you’ll see the proof right there. Even if you know art, the world of NFT art is a whole other animal. Well, actually it’s a lot of animals and it brings up so many questions. Like, do you need special crypto wallet to buy it? And where do you buy it? And then when you own [00:02:00] it, what do you do with it? And these collections are so weird, like pixelated, blobs and LAAS and strange animals. And it feels to me like a scheme to get rich, but maybe not. All of it is weird. I got invited to go check out an art gallery opening at the Samsung store and I get to talk to the artist. So let’s go check it out and see what it’s like.

Speaker 3: Let’s go.

Speaker 1: This was not at all what I was expecting. Okay. This is more than just like an animated gift. I’m liking it so far [00:02:30] here on these top of the line television displays, it looks like a painting with brush strokes that had come to life. So if I buy this piece, I better have a top of the line. 4k smart TV, gotta add that to the total cost. You know, you gotta get your frame, right? You don’t wanna have your NFT oriented wrong. And your frame. Now, even with these little presentation, quirks, these pieces had feeling it was cool. It was the kind of [00:03:00] thing you wanna show off on your wall. And some were paired with background music. Now, NFTs are making a little more sense to me, not that board ape stuff. This makes more sense to me. This one is called soul trails, two souls float through an abstract substrate, their trails melting, infusing with the surrounding environment. As they traverse an ever shifting chromatic world. This piece sold for $2,800 artist. Ben Heim [00:03:30] explained the tech behind his process.

Speaker 4: It’s a bit different to your normal NF team, which might be like a one of one artwork that, uh, a 3d artist maybe has designed and then created. Um, but what I do is I create these systems that generate art endlessly.

Speaker 1: There are digital art curators like Jessica Santiago, who work with artists to get all of this made into NFTs on the blockchain. But why does this have to be through the blockchain? Why not just sell me digital art as a file?

Speaker 5: [00:04:00] So it’d be the difference in just having something that you can stream on your house, a movie that you can watch and actually owning

Speaker 1: It. So this could be an asset that makes you money in time, or it could just be a really expensive screen saver. Hopefully the convention in town can help me figure out what else you can do with NFT art.

Speaker 1: There certainly was a lot of energy from folks who were coming up with different methods to show off NFT collections. [00:04:30] You could put your NFT image on shoes or make it a chess set, or put it on an apple watch or make it into an epic $20,000 high end sculpture that takes a team of artists two months to make a lot of folks who jump into NFTs, buy it as a luxury flex with some concepts, just seem fun, like turning NFTs into a video game. The nifty league wants to be the Nintendo of the NFT world, where every little pixelated cartoon character [00:05:00] is a unique NFT and owned by someone, the value of each character fluctuates. And I’m told most members paid around $300 to get a character when it launched how

Speaker 6: Many characters in

Speaker 7: Total, 10,000 total,

Speaker 6: 10,000 possible characters.

Speaker 7: Oh yeah. 10. Yeah. 10,000 meant to by the community.

Speaker 1: And if you wanna play, but you don’t have an NFT character. Well, you can pay a fee to rent out someone else’s character.

Speaker 7: Um, it’s, it’s also a play to earn sell games. So like you earn a little bit [00:05:30] of revenue from, from your win.

Speaker 6: Do you worry about this every day, too complicated to take off

Speaker 7: That is, I mean, yeah. Onboarding people into, into crypto is probably one of the biggest hurdles you have to do through face.

Speaker 1: So lots of folks are here to make money from their NFT, but everyone also said owning NFTs. We’re about more than just making money.

Speaker 7: It’s about community, community,

Speaker 1: Community powered

Speaker 7: Community, community members, community first,

Speaker 1: Okay. NFTs are kind of like being part of a club. And I think it’s time [00:06:00] to get out of here and see some NFTs in the real world. I head out to an event space called at ease 6 0 5. It has on display, the work of artist, Kenneth Alexander. He has been creating digital art since 2005, but the NFT movement is helping give his work more attention and more legitimacy.

Speaker 8: This is the uh, avenue that I was talking about for all these years, for like to have like emotional artwork or this is the artwork being valued and shown in [00:06:30] real way. As we do paintings. And I saw the blockchain as you having your signature on a painting,

Speaker 1: These high end television screens make for a great canvas. But I also learned that these displays now have software that connect directly to NFTs in crypto wallets. So what’s being shown is the real deal.

Speaker 8: People are getting more of an understanding of what it means to have a gives the R piece, instead of just seeing like a JPEG over image that you can like get [00:07:00] screenshot somewhere, you know? And that was the big disconnect for a lot of people. Like what, what does it mean to have something with authenticities that’s on it screen.

Speaker 1: And there are more places popping up where you can browse an NFT and buy it right off the wall. On fifth avenue in New York city is the web three gallery. This is a permanent retail store for NFT art and other metaverse stuff.

Speaker 9: <laugh> what have you done to me? [00:07:30] Am I a NFT now? What is this?

Speaker 10: You’re not an Ft. This is just metaverse you let’s unplug a little bit. So yeah, if you

Speaker 1: Gallery co-founder Nick Rato explained how this store can help you buy NFT art, but also you can display and sell the NFTs you own.

Speaker 10: If you buy the NFT, you get the frame. So the frame and the NFT are connected forever. So if you sell the NFT, you lose the frame.

Speaker 9: Oh, that’s different. Yes. Cause it’s digital. But with the

Speaker 10: Physical, it is with a physical,

Speaker 1: The staff will hold [00:08:00] your hand through all the steps.

Speaker 10: So you would buy it on, um, on our website. You would mint it. I

Speaker 9: Oh,

Speaker 1: I would. You had a lot of patience with me as I imagine he’ll need with a lot of customers.

Speaker 10: So here’s the first step you walk in. We’re saying, Hey, don’t stress, Bridget.

Speaker 1: This place was like having a personal shopper, take you through the metaverse.

Speaker 10: So this is, we believe one of the, one of the coolest games of the future.

Speaker 9: Lovely. <laugh> lovely, lovely, lovely. Feel.

Speaker 1: The value may not always be the art itself. Sometimes it’s just the [00:08:30] idea.

Speaker 10: The elephant in the room is this industry is tiny, tiny, tiny. So people are hoping that if they get in early, they pick the right project. It could be like betting on Amazon in 98 or Google and oh four.

Speaker 1: So obviously we should say there is a lot of risk here. And the folks at the gallery try to steer you away from trouble with guidance. But crypto is unstable in value from day to day. And investing in NFTs is making a bet unless you’re just in it for [00:09:00] the love of the art time for me to visit one of the biggest names in the NFT art world, the name, um, I’ll let him introduce himself. How can I refer to you, Mr. Mr. Render?

Speaker 11: I mean, my artist name is renderer. Yeah.

Speaker 1: A self-taught 3d artist from Montreal. He got in the NFT space early and became quite popular. His press team says his latest project generated over 36 million in revenue. Do you think you’re an NFT expert at

Speaker 11: This point? [00:09:30] I don’t think anybody’s an NFT expert at all. Like it’s so new. Everybody’s learning every day

Speaker 1: While getting a tour around his immersive exhibit, I learned he also has his own virtual world that he’s building it’s called Luidia. So I would call him an expert and I wanted to know what guidance he could give someone buying NFT art for the first time.

Speaker 11: So a lot of people know the associate NFTs with a financial value, which is very destructive to me, really killed the art in general. So just [00:10:00] by something that you, you like, don’t, it shouldn’t be based on if the artist is popular or anything. If they, if you like the art, that’s all that matters.

Speaker 1: I thought NFTs were just individual pieces, but that’s not always the case for his show. He made this piece called independence. Anyone could buy it during the exhibit for $69. Even if you do not have any cryptocurrency or a wallet set up,

Speaker 11: You can pay with credit card. So it’s your first interaction with the blockchain without having to buy crypto. [00:10:30] So it makes it very easy to, for newcomers just to get in and understand this is a very good gateway to become a NFT collector without the, without distress.

Speaker 1: This was the first time someone showed me a way to buy NFTs without setting up some special account to make a wallet. And yes, I absolutely did it. The whole transaction was done on a website called nifty gateway, and it was no different than buying a pair of shoes online. I needed to wait a couple of days for it to appear in my account, [00:11:00] but I’m not the only one who has this. There were 251 of these independence, NFTs, minted that many people also bought one at the show. I did not think I was gonna end my journey buying an NFT. I went in thinking NFT art was a bit foolish, but I ended this experience really thinking differently about it. I like some of the aspects of what NFTs can do for art and giving artists respect for their digital work. Still much of this does feel like folks are collecting and [00:11:30] trading the digital equivalent of poking Pokemon cards.

Speaker 1: Some hoping they’re collection gains and value, but I like buying art because of how it looks. And I liked how some blended in music and animation, but figuring out how to show off the art is still very messy, new territory. And frankly, we need software to make it easier. We may see more places like the web three gallery popping up to teach us how to navigate it all. I can easily see how NFTs can be part of our everyday lives in a few years, but we [00:12:00] have a long ways to go to make it smoother for folks to show off their NFTs, both in the digital and physical worlds. All right, there, you have it. Bridget Carey NFT owner. <laugh> thanks for watching me on this journey until next time. Thank you for watching. And uh, let’s see, uh, what I can do with this thing.

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