Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Making Art, Making Value Online: NFTs, Blockchains and Online Art Economies  
Heidi Cooke (Oxford University)

Paper short abstract:

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have emerged in recent years as tokens which can be tied to digital assets in order to trace, authenticate and sell online media. This paper presents a review of these tokens from an art and economic perspective in anthropology.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years, cryptocurrencies have emerged as alternatives to traditional money. Cryptocurrency technologies have more recently been adapted to produce unique Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) which can trace the provenance and ownership of digital media. These tokens sell in huge volumes online. The digital communities which support NFTs are similarly vast and exist in both art and economic spheres.

This paper explores some of the communities which support NFTs from various angles. While these tokens have generated storms of media attention in recent years, it aims to show that there are many aspects to both the technologies and beliefs behind NFTs which are grounded in precedent social movements, cryptographic techniques, and attitudes in art and economics.

The history of blockchain is set within the context of 1990s punk-cryptography groups. The digitisation of many themes found in the study of physical-world phenomena, such as the notion of an object biography, is recognised. In providing a restricted presence for art to exist on a blockchain, NFTs also recall Benjamin’s concept of the aura.

Moving to the online communities which support NFTs, it is argued that NFTs possess an affective force among these groups, allowing them to endure as enchanted digital sites of future promises, despite risks of deception and scams which pose a constant threat.

This paper draws on a range of ethnographic methods including digital fieldwork, semi-structured interviewing, and web-scraping, as well as making an NFT out of the study's "Participant Information Sheet", to consider the value and values behind NFTs.

Panel P28b
Blockchain Imaginaries: Techno-utopianism, dystopias, and the future-imagining of Web 3.0
  Session 1 Monday 6 June, 2022, -