State of SEEN — Deep Dive #2
Our deep dive series aims to provide in-depth analysis on important trends happening in the NFT space.
This week’s article was written by community contributor @laserbach
Privatization of Arts and Public Interests
Individuals are what make up the society or a culture. We often look to invent, create and build, where we are constantly striving to move forward. Art helps to bring order to our lives where it inspires new ideas through creativity and innovation. In the context of art, it transcends borders and languages which can mean something different to every individual that observes it. It enhances our perception of relations to individuals in society, where it is a form of collective expression.
Social wealth has privatized art as a form of status that adds prestige to an elite social class through expressed ownership and form of control of culture itself. From an economic perspective, art has been considered a priceless commodity where some have deemed it as the currency of exchange for the wealthy. This concept has distorted the essential communicative purpose of art being sacrificed to private ownership and economic value where art is for the enjoyment and appreciation of everyone, not just reserved for the elite social class.
With the increasing demand for art, the question of what happens to these art pieces after it is sold is raised, as it disappears from public view some argue that its subversive nature is being lost. This is reflected through some of the worlds’ most valuable treasures and famous artworks, paintings, prints, and sculptures lie hidden from view and are locked away in storage vaults and safes.
Public Art and Culture
In the context of an economic perspective, drawing comparisons upon private art which can be subjected to being locked away and stored, street art is notably one of the most famous forms of public art where it is displayed publicly and viewable for everyone. An example of a well-known street artist is ‘Banksy’ who is famous for his graffiti art since the 1990s, where he displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls. Banksy uses subversive and tactical imagery to tackle subjects such as war, capitalism, hypocrisy, and greed.
A major element that concerns street art is the nature of illegality, of preparing and posting art on private or public property. Because of street art’s growing appeal, forms of street art have found their place in today’s culture and it has become widely accepted with many landlords even now inviting artists to paint their walls. The beauty of street art is the thought of moving what was once private, to be free and public.
In reference to past Rome and Greek civilizations, artworks such as paintings and sculptures were a symbol of expression and representation of their culture. Artworks would be created and displayed publically which reflected the beauty and identity of a society. These treasures were not about monetary value, but rather they stored cultural value. Art belongs to us all, art isn’t just for the wealthy, the enjoyment, the appreciation, and the commentary of art are not and should not be reserved for individuals.
A Digital Disruption
With the rise of the digital age, we can now connect virtually to anyone, anywhere in the world. This new form of connectivity and communication is driving some of the most exciting social, cultural, and political transformations in history and revolutionizes every aspect of our everyday lives. With art itself being a form of expression, it comes as no surprise that also the artworld undergoes its digital renaissance.
There is a new generation of artists using tablets and digital programs such as photoshop, creating an entirely new form of art on a digital canvas. As soon as this art reaches the internet, it becomes fully public and permanent, copies of the artworks are spreading all across multiple servers, stored in the form of digital bits and becoming immortal.
Digital art is a new form of public art that is made accessible to everyone with an internet connection, from the computer at home or from the smartphone on the go. Artists are able to form global audiences, while fans and collectors are able to connect and communicate with their favorite artists, making digital art the most publicly accessible form of art.
The digital space, often also referred to as the Metaverse, offers a unique user experience by leveraging technologies like virtual reality and platforms such as CryptoVoxels, where entire virtual museums of digital art are waiting to be explored. With a simple click of a web address, users can directly submerge into this new realm of creativity through exploring and purchasing some of the most exquisite and stunning digital art pieces. These platforms often promote and encourage users to participate in hosted events in which artists and their audiences connect on a global scale.
Every piece of art has a story to tell. Art has established a foundation of knowledge and wisdom in our cultural history preserving cultural and social values for future generations to come. With many valuable masterpieces being stored outside of public view, critics argue that the purpose of these works of art being created is to be viewed and enjoyed by everyone, rather than stored away behind vaulted doors. While street art has become one of the first forms of publicly available art, the emergence of digital art has allowed for art to be displayed to the entire world, which allows for artists to be recognized, giving them a voice to be heard and to be seen.