In 2014, after watching Satoshi Nakamoto turn bitcoin (BTC) into a unique digital currency, Brooklyn, NY-based artist Kevin McCoy became “obsessive” about finding a way to do the same with artwork. ‘art.
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As a digital artist, McCoy has felt sidelined by galleries and museums, in part because of the difficulties of physically exhibiting works native to a virtual space.
“So the strategy that a lot of digital artists took at the time, myself included, was to try to make a physical release of your digital work,” he said. “You would make a sculpture out of it, you would do some sort of print, or you would find a robot or whatever. You do something with it in the hope of being able to participate in the art market.
Eight years later, McCoy recalls this story as he stood in front of nine translucent LG OLED screens displaying his non-fungible token (NFT) art, “Quantum Leap: Dark Star”, made in collaboration with his wife, Jennifer McCoy.
“Quantum Leap” is a generative NFT series based on an eight-token code that represents the life cycle of stars, changing shape and color over a three-year period. The series was inspired by his 2014 work “Quantum”, the first artwork tokenized on a blockchain.
Read more: How the Metaverse Could Be a Game Changer for NFT Games
“Nobody really understood the idea of a tokenized digital artwork [and] using blockchain as a record of ownership and provenance at the time,” McCoy said. “It was a real fight”
Sotheby’s (BID) touted “Quantum” as “universally regarded as the first NFT ever created” and sold it at auction last June for $1.47 million. The McCoys installed it at the center of their presentation at the Frieze Art Fair in New York.
“NFTs invented this new form of owned digital property, and this idea is just too big to go away,” he said.
NFTs as a ramp to the metaverse
Having seen his original vision of symbolic art ownership morph into what are today non-fungible tokens, McCoy sees NFTs as the on-ramp to a new way of life.
“As the world continues to become more and more digitized and more and more virtualized, the role of single digital property is just going to increase, exponentially. So we will live in this world,” he said. declared.
Read more: How to do it in the metaverse
McCoy envisions a world in five to 10 years where software interaction with tokens will be more robust and dynamic than ever.
“The Metaverse is going to be powered by game engines,” he said. “And connecting your wallet and your tokens to a game engine environment is what this ground-level technology will be.”
McCoy likens this point in metaverse development to the game revolution.
“The metaverse of today will be the original Nintendo 10 years from now,” said McCoy, describing the watershed moment when Nintendo launched Mario Bros in 1985. The game about two plumbers navigating the labyrinthine underground pipes of New York eventually spawned “Super Mario Bros.” “, a feature film and a series of cartoons.
“The original Mario Bros… It’s like people’s cultural touchstones.”
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