The Venice Biennale Is Getting Its First NFT Art Exhibition Courtesy of Cameroon’s First-Ever Pavilion

The presentation of international and Cameroonian artists is organized in part by a new crypto art-focused DAO.

NFTs will officially have a presence at the Venice Biennale this year. A crypto-art exhibition featuring a range of international names will take up a part of Cameroon’s debut national pavilion.

The pavilion encompasses two shows across two locations: the Liceo Artistico Statale Michelangelo Guggenheim and Palazzo Ca’ Bernardo. The former will display IRL art by four Cameroonian artists (Francis Nathan Abiamba, Angéle Etoundi Essamba, Justine Gaga, and Salifou Lindou) and four international artists (Shay Frisch, Umberto Mariani, Matteo Mezzadri, Jorge R. Pombo).

The latter, meanwhile, will host an NFT show organized by Global Crypto Art DAO, a new collective that seeks to raise money to support artists entering the crypto world. That segment features more than 20 artists from countries including China, Germany, and the United States—though, notably, not Cameroon.

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 by Vivienne Chow

February 18, 2022

Behind the Scenes at Art Basel Miami: The Biggest IRL Metaverse Party Yet

Given that the rise of NFTs happened over the pandemic, there have been very few in-person gatherings of this community. Last weekend however, thousands of NFT and crypto enthusiasts descended on Miami for the annual Art Basel festival, which has become a major sandbox for NFT art. They attended gallery shows, interactive experiences, concerts, panel events, parties and more. One of those attendees was TIME’s own Raisa Bruner, who has been covering NFT art and culture over the last year, and also attended NFT.NYC last month. On Wednesday, she published a dispatch about the collectors at Art Basel.

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DECEMBER 9, 2021 4:27 AM EST

Beyond Pong: why digital art matters

From the GPS that give us directions to the drones that drop bombs, the digital shapes our culture at every level. So why is digital art still a sideshow? As a groundbreaking new exhibition opens, James Bridle looks at pioneering works from the first arcade games to films made fully in CGI – and argues that it’s high time we took it seriously

The first electronic general-purpose computer, the ENIAC(Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), was built at the University of Pennsylvania between 1941 and 1946. It was designed to calculate the range of heavy artillery for the US army. The size of a couple of rooms, it had thousands of components and millions of hand-soldered connections. The computer scientist Harry Reed, who worked on it, recalled that the ENIAC was “strangely, a very personal computer. Now we think of a personal computer as one which you carry around with you. The ENIAC was actually one that you kind of lived inside. So instead of you holding a computer, the computer held you.

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James Bridle is a writer and artist. 

Wed 18 Jun 2014 17.28 BST

Why NFT Profile Pics Appeal to Collectors and Artists Alike

On February 23rd, auction house Sotheby’s was due to offer a lot of 104 CryptoPunks, estimated to result in a “landmark” sale of $20 million to $30 million. The sale did not, in the end, fetch that astronomical sum: The lot was withdrawn as it was set to be sold. The owner wrote on Twitter: “nvm, decided to hodl.” Later in the day they posted a well-known Drake meme, suggesting that the withdrawal was a deliberate “rug-pull”—crypto slang for ducking out on a project once investment has been raised. For many, this seemed to confirm the misgivings of crypto skeptics, who have come to regard NFTs as a dubious investment vehicle, a kind of cruel joke about what the world needs now from art, capital, and technology.

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William Fowler

Feb 24, 2022 2:13pm

Why Collectors Buy NFTs and How to Get Started

Last year saw the meteoric rise of NFTs (non-fungible tokens)—so much so, Collins Dictionary named NFT its word of the year for 2021. The growth of cryptocurrencies, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, paved the way for a surge in digital collecting.

Christie’s record sale of Beeple’s digital artwork Everydays — The First 5000 Days (2021) for $69.3 million in February 2021 put NFTs on the front page of newspapers worldwide. And more headlines emerged with the sale of a set of nine of Larva Labs’s Cryptopunks for $17 million and a selection of works by 18-year-old Seattle-based artist FEWOCiOUS for $2.2 million

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Jillian Billard

Jan 25, 2022 3:04pm

Why Collectors Buy NFTs and How toNFTs explained: Why people spends millions of dollars on JPEGs Get Started

Take a quick look at the image above. What, if anything, could convince you that image is worth $9 million?

What you’re looking at is an NFT, one of the first ever created. It’s part of the CryptoPunks collection, a set of 10,000 NFTs released in 2017, a time when much of the world was still finding out what bitcoin is.

Most likely you’ve already rolled your eyes, either at the $9 million figure or at the very idea of NFTs themselves. The response to nonfungible tokens hasn’t changed much since March when they first started exploding. The public at large has reflexively dismissed them as environmentally harmful scams. The bigger the sale, the more brazen the injustice. 

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Daniel Van Boom

Jan. 13, 2022 2:33 p.m. PT