Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) – digitally protected originals – are at the top of this year’s global art ranking “Power 100”. The list, published annually by the British magazine “ArtReview”, includes the 100 most influential personalities and movements in contemporary art, according to an anonymous jury. An NFT, or Non-Fungible Token (in German for “non-exchangeable token”), is a protected file based on blockchain technology.
This means that the unique token is linked to the plant and secured by the blockchain. As a buyer of this art one has a certificate of authenticity of a file and thus the original. As an example of NFT works of art, the jury named the CryptoPunks project, which was created a few years ago and in which interested parties could purchase unique, digitally generated two-dimensional portraits.
While it is still unclear whether the NFT is a short-term hype or whether it will establish itself in the art world, a number of museums, artists and galleries have dealt with the topic in the past twelve months, according to the jury. Considerable prices have been achieved for works like those of the digital artist Beeple. In addition, the protection of digital originals represents an alternative to conventional marketing channels for artists.
Second place went to the American anthropologist Anna L. Tsing, who was honored for her work at the interface between art and science in the face of the ecological catastrophe. With her representations – including from the point of view of a mushroom – she creates space for new perspectives.
The criterion for the jury is that the movements and personalities in the past twelve months have actively influenced how contemporary art is created. Artists who deal with the issues of climate change and racism or discrimination were represented several times in the list. Last year the Black Lives Matter movement was number one on the list.