should NFT-art sales be considered art or NFT sales?

a group of editors on wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, has voted against categorizing nonfungible tokens (NFT) as a form of art. it all started on the platform the past december. the wikipidia editors were questioning if sales that reached up to 60 million dollars — like pak’s $ 91 million collections and beeple $ 69 million NFT — should be on the list. following a public debate, five wikipedia editors have voted not to classify NFTs as art and just one was opposed.

‘wikipedia really can’t be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot simpler. there’s a separate issue of artificial price inflation of NFTs, though that’s something that would need to be decided in the NFT list and not here,’ said a wikipedia editor on a talk.

‘how can we have a consensus when, from the start, i have argued in support of including nfts on this list. the overwhelming evidence from secondary sources places nft art as art and thus worthy of inclusion on this list. if we agree beeple and pak are artists, why would their sales not count on this list? i don’t understand the logic here,’ mentioned the lone objector among the wikipedia editors.

wikipedia votes against classifying NFTs as art
park’s merge NFT work

image by nifty gateway 

full header image by christie’s (beeple (b. 1981) everydays: the first 5000 days)

the news has stirred some backlash from the crypto community

not to mention, this news has caused disarray within the crypto community, given wikipedia’s reach worldwide. ‘duncan cock foster’, an intern at cryptocurrency app gemini has commented on this topic in a series of tweets. ‘NFTs have taken the world by storm these past few years’. ‘for the first time, digital artists are getting the recognition they deserve. galleries and the legacy art world never recognized that digital art was a true artistic medium, but the NFT world did!’

‘wikipedia works off of precedent. If NFTs are classified as ‘not art’ on this page, then they will be classified as ‘not art’ on the rest of wikipedia. wikipedia is the global source of truth for many around the world. the stakes couldn’t be higher!’

he ends with this comment, ‘to be crystal clear, I am not saying all NFTs are art – just saying that art NFTs are art and should be treated as such’.

foster’s twin brother and co-founder of nifty gateway platform, was also involved, posting a tweet with the label ‘art emergency’.

christina petridou I designboom

jan 14, 2022