I have “minted” two NFTs—non-fungible tokens. To break this down a little further, to mint an asset such as a digital file means to place it on the blockchain. Placing the asset—the NFT—on the blockchain also generally means in the case of digital art to associate it with ability to buy and sell it using cryptocurrency, most often with digital art, Ethereum.
Just saying, you can make NFTs out of things that have nothing to do with art. Just saying, a JPEG file minted into an NFT recently sold for $69 Million via the Christie’s Auction House. Just saying, what can you do with this thing besides buying and selling it (you can’t hang it on your wall)?
My first NFT is Petal Pushing, a GIF file. The description reads “This is a hand-created artisinal GIF file forged in Photoshop from a series of LAB L-channel inversion light box petal images by free-range artist and photographer Harold Davis.” The “Buy It Now” price is 0.5 Ethereum (or about $850 at today’s exchange rate). You can check it out here on Rarible, and here on OpenSea.
My second NFT is Harold Davis—Petal Circles.gif, another GIF file. The description reads “This is a hand-created artisinal GIF file forged in Photoshop from a series of light box petal images by artist and photographer Harold Davis.” The “Buy It Now” price is one Ethereum (or about $1700 at today’s exchange rate). You can check it out here on Rarible, and here on OpenSea.
They are such a bargain, compared to $69 Million at least. Just saying. And just to be clear, what are you buying? You can’t put it on the wall. You are buying the one minted copy, but it can still be digitally copied and displayed. And, you are not buying my copyright in the image or its components. So, this is literally a trading vehicle—which can be said for some art editions, and some original art, as well!
More thoughtfully, I did have a few minutes back in the 2000 aughts when I was just starting as a digital artist and photographer when I considered whether there really was a reason to make a physical manifestation of an image. Then I fell in love with physical printmaking, making books, and all the old-fashioned stuff.
Phyllis came over to my work station as I was going through the software gyrations to load up my digital wallet with Ethereum and pay for the “minting.” She said, and I quote, “Just what do you think you are doing?”
She has a point. But I’m going to stick with it a bit, and so far have enjoyed my first venture on the blockchain, with cybercurrency, and with minting NFTs.