Future Potential of NFTs in Arts and Culture
Perception CEO Dr. Sirisilp Kongsilp explores the future potential of NFTs in the arts and culture industry and details the benefits for galleries, museums and artists.
Galleries and museums are an integral part of international culture, but as the world recovers from the pandemic and social distancing, the arts are suffering. Covid has forced galleries and museums to close their doors, bringing visitors and, more importantly, revenue to a standstill. In 2020, the market value of the global art industry decreased by 22%, from $64.4 billion in sales in 2019 to $50.1 billion. Technology, namely mixed reality, has the potential to change the way traditional arts and artifacts are perceived in the future and save the industry.
Irreplaceable Tokens (NFTs) and Augmented Reality (AR) products are rapidly gaining popularity and becoming more understood in the mass market, and virtual reality (VR) and AR are now buzzwords. Mobile technologies have firmly entered our lives, so it is only natural that the digital experience will take over the art industry as well.
Digital solutions such as desktop augmented reality and mixed reality can be the answer to the challenges that art faces. By making simple images of a physical object, one can form virtual representations of any artifact. People can view them as holographic images from the comfort of their homes and get a unique, personal perspective on art and history. Without the limitations of velvet ropes and glass tanks, those who choose to immerse themselves in culture can do so with a 360-degree view of the desired object.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind objects that function as a source of ownership of a virtual image. They are intended to prove a collector’s ownership of a particular digital item, and also give artists the opportunity to sell art for which there may not be a thriving physical market.
World-famous digital artist Biple recently highlighted how prevalent NFTs are becoming in the arts and culture by selling his unique collection called Everydays – The First 5000 Days as NFTs for $69 million. This landmark digital sale highlights the potential for financial success if the universes of art and augmented reality collide. Similarly, museums around the world have digitized 7,500 3D images of their collections but don’t know what to do with those images. However, some museums have begun to use augmented reality; The Smithsonian, for example, has developed software that brings objects from the Bone Room back to life, but many museums still can’t make the most of this technology move.
Mixed Reality Presents Financing Solutions for Struggling Galleries and Museums
Museums are generally state-owned and receive most of their funding from taxes and donations, but the recent economic downturn has left the arts and culture sector underfunded. A recent UN report noted that 43% of museums faced closure in the first quarter of this year. NFTs can be an extremely lucrative opportunity for these institutions to increase their revenue streams.
Museums and galleries currently facing financial troubles can take refuge in getting used to the digital collectibles market by selling NFTs. While it may be easy to pass off NFTs as just another passing technological fad, there are tangible economic benefits to adopting them in the long run.
These institutions are sitting on an abundance of artifacts, possibly collecting dust, that may just be waiting to be digitized and sold to generate additional income. Funding these objects as NFTs will, in turn, provide income to cover the operating costs of the museum as a whole, while saving them the insurance costs of moving the artifacts around the world as they exist digitally. Once a piece is tokenized and fixed on the blockchain, these NFTs can be traded, and as is often the case in the collectors community, they will be sold for substantial sums of money.
Not only institutions, but also artists will benefit financially from mixed reality projects. NFT trading is a transparent process and creators have the opportunity to earn interest on future resales of their work, which is not possible with the sale of physical art.
NFTs meet consumer demand for digital viewing
With attendance at museums and galleries at an all-time low, there is a growing global demand for virtual artefact viewing methods. If institutions choose to use augmented reality software, they have the opportunity to share their content internationally to witness it to a whole new and wider audience. NFTs also offer a form of saving for every valuable item.
Museums and galleries can use augmented reality, from in-home immersive experiences to home desktop AR tools, to give a whole new perspective on their historical works and meet the broader demand for digital cultural inputs they have to offer. This demand is also reflected by the artists themselves, who are desperate for revenue and looking to use NFTs and mixed reality to distribute their work to a wider audience.
From million dollar deals to desktop augmented reality bringing history and culture into people’s homes through their screens, a technological revolution is in full swing. Static art is being pulled into the mixed reality universe and it could save the industry.