A New Art Format – Hybrid Edition on Blockchain(NFT) & PhysicalWorld

*Update – I’m currently suspending this sale. I cannot professionally and ethically tolerate the structural flaws of the NFT as an art piece.

Goh, an artist working in the field of Art&Technology, just released a new hybrid edition artwork, ‘SUPER GREEN’.

SUPER GREEN — #1, Digital Edition

SUPER GREEN is an ‘Ever Ever Green’ that is not allowed to die, and is digital data created by 3D scanning real plants in the physical world.

The hybrid edition is a new art format that outputs one data to different formats/media.
In the case of this work, it consists of Digital Edition and Physical Edition.

Digital Edition

– This is 4K jpeg data, and its tokenized ownership as NFT on Ethereum Blockchain, based on the standard ERC721.
– Limited Edition Number is ‘2’

You can purchase this digital asset on this online market and collect it in your wallet just like crypto-coins.

Physical Edition

– This is an A0 size print made of museum-grade materials.
– Limited Edition Number is ‘2’ (and AP is 1

This is a traditional artwork format often seen in museums and galleries. You can easily purchase it at my online shop.

About NFT for Art

Since everyone knows about printing, I will explain simply about NFT.

NFT, ‘Non-Fungible Token’, is a type of assets issued on blockchain. I am using Ethereum blockchain this time.

Token is a more abstract concept of Coin and can represent various things such as loyalty points, tickets, securities, ownership, etc. And like coins of cryptocurrency, it can be managed with crypto-wallets on smartphones, browsers, and dedicated devices. (e.g. trustwalletmetamaskhardware-wallets).

In the case of this work, we regard an owner of NFT as an owner of digital artwork and connect its ownership of the one edition with one token.
The digital art collectible system is constructed by combining multiple mechanisms such as trading NFT, distributing artwork data(e.g. hi-resolution image data), and systems for collecting, viewing and managing them.

The advantage of NFT in art is that you can publicly verify the edition numbers and the provenances and can easily and fairly trade online with strangers, by managing the ownership and its access key(means ECDSA authentication ecosystem) through the blockchain.

Managing NFT is very easy. Like handling Bitcoin, you can store it safely and send it to your friend. And secondary market services on the web are available already, so you can freely sell NFT to someone else.

NFT, which is based on open standards on public blockchain, can reduce the vendor lock-in that is a serious problem of the conventional digital art platforms, and can realize the freedom of assets that can be managed even after the bankruptcy of the operating companies.

However, there are serious concerns about the lifespan and sustainable supply of art assets on the blockchain, Ethereum.

First, the assets depend on the lifespan and practicality of Ethereum. Ethereum has some structural problems such as scalability, and it is still unknown whether solutions like ETH2.0 will succeed.
Second, in the general NFT standard, data of the artwork itself and its metadata are not written to the blockchain. The data is uploaded to other servers that are not blockchain, and only its URL is bound to the token. In other words, it is easy to falsify the data, and to supply it correctly and sustainably, the NFT issuers must keep their computer running or continue to pay the server cost. Currently, no system can supply the data eternity, even if it includes distributed web storage.
Also, in the actual operation, the administrator authority functions are implemented in the NFT contract. (*The contract is a computer program, which mints NFT, running on the blockchain.) Although the power varies depending on the implementation, if the secret key of the contract owner is stolen or the owner is malicious, various attacks such as illegal NFT minting, burning, and suspending transfers may occur.
Naturally, the issuers can also sell the works fraudulently outside the contract or the blockchain system.

So collectors need to trust the NFT issuers. To be precise, it is mainly the administrators of the contracts.

In the near future, it is expected that changes in major application design and the blockchain itself will/may be required. At that time, perhaps many existing issuers will not be able to maintain the system, and most artwork data will disappear. As an art asset, the current NTF should be very short-lived.

Incidentally, the art services connected to physical works to manage ownership and provenances with blockchain have similar serious problems.

I wrote and deployed the contract myself to be responsible for my works. If something goes wrong, I will migrate to another safety mechanism. The collectors do not have to worry about this matter.

Digital Edition, 50inch LCD
Physical Edition, A0-size print

Why Hybrid

At first, I intended to sell only the digital edition, but that doesn’t seem good.
Currently, we are in the transition stage. Until the environment surrounding digital artworks has matured to some extent, artists should not renounce the sale right of physical media.

Although artworks are already sold as NFT on OpenSea etc., most of the ‘prices that were actually sold’ are not enough. This is because NFT cannot create a satisfying experience as art compared to the conventional artwork formats, there are very few collectors who pay high prices for digital data, the environment has not yet reached the level where professionals can actively participate.

If artists cannot recover production costs, they will not be able to maintain professional activities, including the NFT maintenance.
I concluded that it still take some time to recover the costs of concept making, research, and establishment of techniques and styles for own art by selling only digital works.

To be honest, I don’t think the concept of ‘selling rare digital data’ is smart. I believe that digital work ecosystem different from now will be able to provide new sustainability and freedom for art in the future, but artists need to earn now. In that sense, NFT should be valuable as a starting point.

Also, it seems that art distributors and service providers in the blockchain field hide the inconvenient truth, such as the problems about maintaining the supply of works mentioned above and the lack of profit for most artists. I think most participants who include artists don’t understand the real risk of long-term binding of the rights of works to an unstable system.
If you are an art lover, I want you to know that it is the artists, not the intermediaries, who ultimately bear those risks.

However, dynamic works such as the video and the generative require sales in digital markets, so we should explore this new field.
I have been working in art & technology field for over a decade but struggling with the lack of market for new art forms. Many people misunderstand that art & technology is a new field, but it has strong histories of more than half a century. Even though there are already various excellent artists, art centers, universities, awards and festivals around the world, there is still no standard market. This problem is due to structural defects in modern art systems.
The technological open standards in the economic domain that the distributed ledger including blockchain brings to art should enable us to acquire freedom of solidarity and development without depending on the traditional authority.

I hope that the digital asset ecosystem like NFT will mature in the future. So I take risks myself and commit, and I believe I should tell art people the real risks and possibilities, not the hype.

Artists need financial strength to experiment with new things. The hybrid edition is a current solution for that. You purchase will be an investment in my commitment to this field.
Starting with easy-to-handle visual artwork, I will continue to develop general-purpose methods that can support more advanced new art forms and enhance the digital art experience from the artist’s perspective.

…Oh, I forgot to write about the physical edition.
Needless to say, this work is very high quality and will surely satisfy you. There are no digital media such as LCD that can reproduce the resolution of A0 size physical print so far, so you will easily find value in the details of this edition.
However, please note that the liquidity of physical artworks is lower than the data.

How to Buy

The digital edition is for sale on OpenSea.

You can handle the NFT with the wallets below and use OpneSea to connect with it.

  • For PC, install MetaMask-Addon in your browser, and access it.
  • For smartphone, install TrustWallet or CoinbaseWallet, and access it from the in-app browser.
  • *After installing the wallet, be sure to back up your 12-word~ recovery phrase. It is the master key of the wallet. If you lose it, your assets are lost forever.

Payment — Ether(=ETH, one of cryptocurrencies) or Credit-cards is available on OpenSea. (but the credit cards require a 5% surcharge, so if possible, I recommend that you get Ether at the crypto-exchanges. )

A beginner’s guide:
How to Use OpenSea to Buy and Sell Crypto Collectibles

The physical edition is for sale on my online shop.

All works in this shop have my signature and certificate.
Credit cards and the following cryptocurrencies are available.

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero, ZCash, Obyte, Beam, BNB Coin, TrueUSD, USDC, Stellar, ERC20-tokens such as DAI, BAT, BNT, ZRX, KNC, etc.

An artist who works in the field of Art & Technology.
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