Dumb NFT bullshit: Andy Warhol stuff sold by Christie’s

Also in June, NFT art market Unique.One opened an auction for an NFT tied to a Picasso print, Fumeur V, which in April had sold at Christie’s for 15,000 pounds. The print - one of 50 of the same work - was first displayed at a gallery in Denver before being burned to create the NFT “The Burned Picasso”.

And here it is

Fumeur V (Pablo Picasso, 1964) purchased from Christie’s Auction House in London has been eternally preserved through this NFT. The original work was burned on June 29th, 2021 and is now being auctioned off as an NFT. The winner of the auction will also receive the burned work in its frame.

This is so dumb.

The art market is inherently stupid in a lot of ways. This is just peak stupidity though.

NFTs are super weird.

Generative artists, for years, have used Processing to make their work (among other tools). This year happens to be the 20th anniversary of the release of Processing 1.0, so the Processing Foundation created a #sketch4processing hashtag (individual art projects are called “sketches”) for their Processing Community Day anniversary celebration.

Long story short: a bunch of digital artists are donating NFTs to the Processing Foundation via Hic et Nunc, which is an NFT trading house that uses the Tezos cryptocurrency. Tezos (XTZ) is proof-of-stake based instead of proof-of-work based, so doesn’t consume the massive amounts of energy that Bitcoin and Etherium currently do.

Processing has a Hic et Nunc page. They’ve made a lot of money over the past few days, on direct donations, XTZ donations, and through the donation of NFTs that they then have resold (swapped, in Hic et Nunc parlance).

I’ve dabbled in generative art for 15 years and am almost completely crypto-ignorant. So, I thought it would be interesting to see what it’s all about and “mint” an NFT of some generative work that I did 7-8 yrs ago and then to donate that to Processing. Will they make money off of it? No. I’ll make a $ donation, too, directly to the foundation. However, it was pretty interesting to go through the process of setting up the digital wallet, buying the crypto, registering, etc.

This is the OBJKT (NFT) that I donated. It’s interesting that you can track everything on the blockchain ledger. For instance, this is the ledger for everything Tezos related to the Processing Org. Looks like they’ve made about $16k doing this. This is my account ledger, where you can see how I transferred some XTZ from Coinbase, moved around some Tokens (NFTs) related to the transaction, etc. Here is where you can explore the entire Tezos blockchain.

Getting this all set up is very complicated, or at least it was to my old man brain. However, it was interesting. I probably won’t do it again.

My friend was big into demoscene and processing for a while. Thanks for this info.

I’ve been having fun playing around with this, actually. I have no hopes of making a million dollars, but for people who make interactive generative art, NFTs really represent the first way to monetize that skill outside of working for a museum or something. Anyhow, I created a series of 10 interactive artificial-life creature NFTs and put them up for sale. Maybe I’ll make $20 lol.

Here’s one of them, for example. If you click through and maximize the canvas/image, you can play with the creature (without buying anything or registering or whatever).

After looking at what you made (which is cool), I’m more confused than ever as to how this scheme works. Animated interactive art? Why not sell it en masse?

Scarcity. Tell someone that something is only available in limited numbers and its perceived value is higher so people (collectors) will pay orders of magnitude more. NFT can be used to track scarcity, or at least confirm a given pieces is authentic and not a copy. In theory. In practice, it’s the wild west and more often than not the technology is not implemented in such a way as to support that.

There are a few angles to this. In the past, if you made interactive computer-based art – you either sold it through game channels or you really didn’t have a way to sell it. The tech behind these things isn’t much different from game engines. There were a lot of people making generative art and then selling prints. It’s challenging and expensive to get the prints made and to ship them, etc. The NFT ecosystem is just a way for people to monetize computer-based and/or digital art in a decentralized way. From the perspective of people who have been involved with interactive art and who enjoy working on it, there finally are platforms that allow them to monetize their work.

In the generative/interactive art community, this is exciting for reasons that go far beyond scarcity. @sharaleo is correct that scarcity can drive up prices, but if you do not have followers and/or are not recognized in the community, then scarcity doesn’t help you at all. You have to build a presence, publish good work, be recognized as a competent artist in the field, and then scarcity helps. Add to that the fact that there are a lot of people who made massive amounts of money on cryptocurrency and you have an entirely new breed of “collectors” of art. These are where the crazy high prices come in.

For some peon like me, I can make a generative piece, put it on sale for $2, and a lot of other generative artists who are excited about having this as a platform will buy it. I’ll buy their work, etc. It’s a way for the community to support each other. Keep in mind, it is the VERY early days of all of this. It’s going to change radically and fast.

So when you say “Why no sell it en masse?” Well, that’s one option. Generative/interactive artists can list their work for free, make a million copies, let everybody collect it. Or sell a million copies for $0.10 each. What does come with the NFT ecosystem is that creators of pieces get a percentage cut of secondary sales. If I set that at 10% and then give away something for free… if the buyer turns around and sells it for $100, I get $10. That type of secondary market income never has existed before. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

I don’t really expect this to make sense because it doesn’t all make sense to me, either. It’s new and complex and surfing on the back of the bizarro world of cryptocurrency at the moment. However, it does open a new market for people with some interesting skills as artists, so it will be interesting to see where it goes.

Also known as the Tulip and Beanie Baby Theory.

There’s nothing inherently of value with these as they’re just …links to something which can and do disappear all the time for technical or other reasons.

That’s interesting to me. If your HDD with the NFT goes DOA. What do you own? Is there proof elsewhere?

NFT thoughts and prayers.

The artwork, which he expected to be on the page, had disappeared entirely. “There was no history of my ever purchasing it, or ever owning it,” he said. “Now there’s nothing. My money’s gone.”

Dude, your money was gone from day one.

Yep, NFT tots and pears.

Well, it’s not so much gone, and in someone else’s (digital) pocket. You spent it on something ethereal, and, as ethereal things sometimes do, it went away.

The NFT thing really reminds me of the issues I had with Steam when it was first released. Steam purchases aren’t even copies of the game, but licenses to play the copies of the game that are authenticated and distributed through Steam. If Steam went belly up, well, you could lose access to all those games.

And while this seems like a silly concern at this point with Steam, the dozen or so games I owned on Direct2Drive and can’t access any longer show that this isn’t such a ridiculous concern. I’m sure there are plenty of other platforms that have gone belly up, too.

Of course, now that my Steam backlog is at a ridiculous level, Steam going belly up and me having to start over could be considered a positive in at least some respects…

Think of it like an autographed baseball. It does the exact same thing as a regular baseball, but some people would pay a lot more for it than a regular baseball.

An NFT is basically the same thing, except without the baseball.

In this case, digitally, you get more “ownership” and in higher fidelity most cases by making 1:1 copies, screenshots, of existing digital formats. The NFT is a semantic fast one intended to fleece people with its shifting “standards” platforms and blockchains.

For example, this Spider-man NFT is pretty crappy:

"I use the analogy of OpenSea and similar platforms acting like windows into a gallery where your NFT is hanging,” he said. “The platform can close the window whenever they want, but the NFT still exists and it is up to each platform to decide whether or not they want to close their window.”


I feel the same about my Amazon Prime music. I have literally hundreds of albums. I listen to them all the time. But if I stop paying for Prime, they are all gone. That would be a problem for me.

I mean… that describes the entire internet.