What are NFTs?
If you’re reading this, you probably already have a vague idea of what NFTs are. Feel free to skip ahead if that’s you, but I’ve got to find SOMEONE to explain them to after my hours of labored research (and personal experience of having sold a couple myself 😎)
For the uninitiated, NFT stands for Non Fungible Token. And no - it has nothing to do with mushrooms.
Non Fungible basically means unique. Dollar, Euro, Bitcoin - they’re all fungible because you can exchange them with similarly-valued stuff. But you can’t exchange an NFT for anything else because it’s a unique piece of work. It’s non fungible. Get it? Not quite? Okay, stick with me.
Have you ever bought an outfit or a sword (or any item) for your character in a video game? Congrats, you’ve bought an NFT. It’s a unique digital asset which you can buy or sell in your favorite digital world.
So why has the digital art world gone mad about NFTs?
Because their introduction means that artists can finally sell their original digital artworks. Before NFTs came around, you could only sell the prints of your work. Now you can sell the original digital work itself. Sure, there may be a trillion copies of it on the internet, but thanks to NFTs, it’s now perfectly provable who the real owner is. A quick google will show you whose account it’s in & who can now sell it.
How NFTs and crypto art are already transforming art galleries
With the NFT market emerging, some forward-thinking art galleries have started to transform into physical NFT galleries. Basically, instead of featuring physical artworks, they display NFTs on screens.
Meet the first of them - Superchief Gallery. In March they opened the world’s first NFT exhibition space in NYC, featuring 300 digital artists in the ‘1st season’ of the grand opening.
“Since we opened our doors back in 2012, Superchief has held the belief that digital-native artwork was essential to our generation’s larger art movement. This is a watershed moment for the art world at large because NFTs created a system of royalties for digital artists,” says Superchief co-founder Ed Zipco.
“It’s the beginning of a sustainable model in which creators can profit when their investors profit. NFT’s are a brand new concept for 99% of the world right now, but basically, they allow collectors to invest in digital art and know that there is provenance, which has forever been the missing element to establish value for digital art.”
When ABV Gallery founder Greg Mike first opened the doors of the private exhibition of Chain Reaction in March, visitors stepped into a dark space where the only source of light was the high-quality digital screens displaying crypto art (or NFTs, whichever you prefer.)
And it’s not just galleries getting in on the game - a new breed of crypto art collectors are already making names for themselves in this space too.
For screen nerds and digital signage companies like Fugo, we recognize the exciting potential to help artists and curators get their works out there to in-person audiences.
Crypto art on screen - how NFTs can come to life in physical spaces with digital signage
Bringing NFTs into the physical realm isn’t without its challenges. Vulture writer Rebecca Alter noted the laggy, freezing screens in Superchief’s exhibition, though she mused that the hiccups gave the artworks themselves a dose of ‘cyber grit’ realness (we’ll agree to disagree there, Rebecca.)
Hidden away from the audience's eyes (ideally) is the fact that it takes an impressive, reliable software component to orchestrate a network of multiple video art displays. The ground is fertile for the display tech world to help the art world do this seamlessly & inexpensively.
The NFT market is emerging with the speed of light and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in the near future. Everyone from billionaire entrepreneurs to tech moguls and celebrities are investing big-time into NFTs - Mark Cuban, GaryVee, Elon Musk, Snoop Dog, and Jack Dorsey, just to name a few.
Superchief and ABV may be the first, but they won’t be the only galleries adapting their spaces with crypto art. Eventually, if you’re an NFT collector or physical NFT gallery, you’ll need a smart and simple way to display art collections to your audience. That’s where good content management software comes in.
The right digital signage software can keep screens from lagging and freezing, and can manage multiple displays simultaneously with ease. You may even be able to use the technology to monetize the artworks with QR codes and connect viewers with the artists on social media.
NFTs have provided an invaluable way for artists to own and share their work. They’re deserving of an equally amazing way to showcase to a physical audience.
Psst- Fugo can help!
If you’ve got a video display exhibition project queued up, Fugo is happy to figure out the software end of things for you. We’ve helped screen owners everywhere from mom-and-pop shops to big name retailers get their projects up and running. Contact our team to see how we can help you too 😎