My point being we don’t need NFTs for that, they’re just a parasitic form of ownership added on top that makes the false pretence of being “the form of attachement” itself. What I meant by “emotional bond” was something factual not just psychological, the emotional bond isn’t born out of a virtual “reciept”, it’s made by the fact you physically have to deal with the artpiece. Which means the artpiece can get damaged, bent, improved on (in your opinion), tempered, destroyed : you can do things with it. I think we could totally try to find ways to add more of that flavor to digital art, but NFT is not in any case the way, it even removes the digital art itself even further away from the buyer since it locks him/her out of its code, of its original asset file, of its very nature, to only connect him/her through… ugh the worse thing in the world actually : the moment he payed for it.
You can’t do anything with an NFT except contemplate your receipt, you can do things with the jpg/gif/mpg it’s claiming you own, but then once you’ve tempered/modified/transformed it and actually even before that (if like, you simply want to simply “download it” !) well you’re in this weird situation where you won’t own what you’ve downloaded, because crypto has this nag for turning things upside down and calling them “complex” when they’re just meaningless. To really “have” what you own, you need to pirate it.
Personally, long before that I already had a strong emotional bond with the digital art I buy, I buy a lot of small itch.io games, I buy physical and digital records on bandcamp, I buy small runs of prints from all the visual artists I enjoy, some on their own setup shops to bypass “middlemen costs” (fun fact, I bypass middlemen there much more than on any NFT platform right now), and I support those who only do things online with Patreon subs so that I can still support them. The thing is, there is an emotional bond there and it’s rich and experience and fluctuating and based on human interraction, it’s rich by essence, not because of a stamp that says so. I find extremely scary of a political proposition that somehow the money I’ve spent on those things should be considered “less of a comitment” just because there isn’t a “tempered proof” ledger saying I bought them somewhere. The fact is there is a ledger saying I bought these, sure it’s not cryptolocked, it’s not stored in magic amber so that someone in 2239 can see how I bought this album in 2018, I’ve only got normal receipts of all my purchases, the system through which I paid has normal informations relative to the transactions etc. These are not the problems that needs to be solved.
NFT solves the problem of making transactions scarce (which is more generally a cryptomoney advocates obsession anyway), which is the opposite of what I want.
The only net positive of NFT is it raises the question of “what do we value?”. And this is, indeed, a fundamental questions. (actually about that, I think you should read the looong discussions I had with @Sam_Martyn in the The Riddle of Streaming for Jazz and Classical topic, since it’s also a question that we can’t avoid about Resonate)
I agree that anything that foster pathways for expressing love and dedication to artists is great. Let’s imagine for a second what would be the specific of an “ethical” NFT alternative :
- No scarcity (anyone can buy a digital thing because that’s the greatest thing about all things digital).
- No speculation (because speculation itself is inherently bad, and the art world should wnat none of that) but not only no speculation > a structure that specifically and structurally inforce the impossibility for speculative behavior to, instead, foster at its root redistribution. Otherwise it’s just trickle down economics applied to the artists (“if a few make a lot, eventually for some reason surely, all will benefit!” said the capitalist with no proof of that ever happening anywhere).
- Contracts that take into account the laws of the real world that define precisely what you own (is it the jpg? is it a right of access to a download link where you can donwload the jpg forever? is it the right to alter a jpg to make your own jpg with it? etc.). Possibly, you could even have an interface that lets the artists specify what exactly they sell. This contrat costs the same price to anyone who buys the art.
- “pay what you want” system, except anything above the asking price is strictly considered a donation and doesn’t grant any special rights to the patron.
Etc. that’s just a few on the top of my head. You quickly start to notice that it doesn’t look anything at all like NFT, which is because NFT is a bad idea to start with.
The only good idea is “digital art is work and craftsmanship and should be paid for”. It sounds so boring to capitalist press to say things with those weird words, they like much better “magic wands make moneyz !”, but it’s the only truth we know : it’s an awful lot of work and craftsmanship, and we should be made aware of it and pay for it in a fair way.
Also notice how this ideal NFT website looks an awful lot like Bandcamp “but for visuals and digital art”, that’s because in essence, NFT websites are just exactly that, Bandcamp “but for visuals” except you only sell your thing once to the highest bidder because some people decided if anything exists in more than 5 exemplary, it’s not worth spending a lot of money on it, and also (that’s always my favorite aspect) contrary to bandcamp, you do not even own the actual art you bought, you just own a super-mega-hyper secure reciept saying you own a hyperlink directing to some place where it’s showcased. At least with Bandcamp the transaction is simple, you buy permanent access to a link that lets you download the art you bought easily, in any desired format, and illimited acess to streaming anywhere you want from the app.
And then (like all the tech-savy bros of the cryptoworld with their super expensive profile page) on Bandcamp, anyone can show off his love for musicians, and display his collection, it’s even kinda funny that the “collection” interface of Bandcamp looks extremely similar to the ones you find on withfundation, Super Rare, Nifty etc. Actually it also works the same on itch.io, but it makes sense it’s kind of the bandcamp for indie games.
There, you have it, all done with fungible tokens.
The thing is though, there are things we could improve about Bandcamp, and that’s in part why Resonate has room to grow, and also there would need to be specifics to figure out for Digital Art for sure, would it only be to make the experience of buying it a little more exciting to the buyers than having a dedicated “scarce” instagram feed, and be able to brag “I’m rich enough that I spent a lot on this and you can check exactly how much because that’s not at all disgusting to look at if you’re struggling for food this month !”
Anyhow, thank you both for your kind words and taking the time to read everything I had to say.
This all matters a lot to me, not even that we succeed, that would be beautiful for sure, but more importantly, that we don’t fail to really pinpoint and establish what we want to be succesful at. Because if we manage that the best we can, I’m sure not only we’ll get a following, but we’ll get a lineage of ideas of our own, and that’s even better.