Artists

Commentary


A screenshot of code from the Bitcoin genesis block
Commentary

Bitcoin Graffiti

Messages and ASCII art inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain highlight the human impulse to leave a lasting mark—and to adapt technology for creative purposes.

Bitcoin Graffiti
A photograph of a room whose shelves are piled with heavy old ledgers from the eighteenth century
Commentary

Dressing for Venice

Fashion signals social affiliation at the Venice Biennale preview week for curators and NFT collectors alike, but Christoph Büchel’s project at Fondazione Prada dresses everyone down.

Dressing for Venice
Commentary

Performing Lectures

When public speaking becomes art, the digital and physical apparatus of the performance are made visible.

Performing Lectures
A glowing white silhouette of a young woman in a fancy form-fitting dress against a black background, with the words "i'm better off as a concept"
Commentary

The Artist is Online

The history of digital performance shows how the obligation to maintain a personal brand online can offer space for experimentation.

The Artist is Online
A photograph of three plastic statuettes representing fantasy characters: a tall female orc rogue, a magic user holding a spellbook, and an armored man with a thick blue moustache.
Commentary

Tactical Homebrewing

The movement to queer and decolonize fantasy roleplaying games has found inspiration in familiar methods of vernacular game design.

Tactical Homebrewing
A screenshot of a video game showing an animation of woman with long silver hair and a gun in her hand
Commentary

Artists on Games

Mitchell F. Chan interviews artists to understand how games have influenced their work.

Artists on Games
A woman contemplates abstract works recalling the contours of computer chips in a dark room where the walls are covered with lines of computer code
Commentary

Almost Normal

The latest edition of Art Dubai Digital looks more like a regular art fair than its predecessors, but still has subversive and experimental work.

Almost Normal
Games in the Expanded Field
Commentary

Games in the Expanded Field

What exactly is a game? For Sarah Friend, leaving this question unanswered may yield more insights than a clear set of criteria

Games in the Expanded Field
A screenshot from the game showing customers and waiters in a restaurant
Commentary

Life in the Ludic Century

In 2013, Eric Zimmerman predicted that the systemic logic of games would transform contemporary society. He was right—even if the effects were more nefarious than he’d imagined.

Life in the Ludic Century
A digital image of an action figure in a package. It seems that one of the accessories has been torn from the packaging, leaving some raw cardboard.
Commentary

The Shape of the Market

In 2023 the NFT space moved toward assimilation into the art world. But some projects highlight the NFT market’s special properties, suggesting alternative directions for development.

The Shape of the Market
A shot of a black DOS screen where pale figures accumulate at the bottom in an incoherent jumble
Commentary

Glitch, Body, Anti-Body

Legacy Russell’s feminist theory of the glitch yields insights into how social and technological systems of control can be disrupted by the art and lives of queer and trans people of color.

Glitch, Body, Anti-Body
In a 3D virtual space, columns rise from the middle of a calm pool, and spectral white platforms form a spiral staircase around the perimeter. A forest and the sky are visible in the background
Commentary

Metaverse as Dark Forest

The prototypes of the CripTech Metaverse Lab suggest that virtual worlds can appeal to users by offering multiple ways of being online.

Metaverse as Dark Forest
A digital image showing lots of glitchy pixels in shades of pink and orange
Commentary

Re-wilding the Algorithm

The hacker folk art of esoteric programming languages yields insights into glitch as a practice that hijacks existing algorithms to emphasize plurality and freedom.

Re-wilding the Algorithm
An AI-generated image of a child looking directly at the viewer with big, unevenly shaped and colored eyes. Her hands flank her face, and each one has three fingers.
Commentary

How to Glitch AI

Prompt-based image generators seem unhackable. But a committed glitch artist can still instigate interventions.

How to Glitch AI
A painting of a shiny, digital-looking female figure posing on stage
Commentary

A New Realism

Increasingly, painters are using digital tools and computer-generated images to capture the tone and texture of reality.  

A New Realism
An AI-generated image of a handsome man in a camel coat standing in front of a view of the Toronto skyline at sunset
Commentary

The Treachery of Images

Images have always tempted people to produce more of them. Generative AI ushers in the ultimate freedom of the image from human agency.

The Treachery of Images
An AI-generated, abstracted human figure is posed in a similarly abstracted art studio
Commentary

Prompt Response

Is prompt engineering with generative AI a valid artistic practice? Mark Amerika’s Artificial Creative Intelligence debates critic Kevin Buist.

Prompt Response
A digital image of a faded piece of paper with pale gray square patches, overlaid with lines of inky black asemic text
Commentary

Deconstruction to the Rescue

Critiques of large language models like ChatGPT rely on a logocentric metaphysics of presence—a worldview already debunked by poststructuralist theories of language.

Deconstruction to the Rescue
A photograph of a camera that produces texts describing the pictures it takes as it prints the output
Commentary

Fictional Devices

Science fiction has been anticipating (and imagining) the death of the author for quite some time.

Fictional Devices
Illuminated with a projected animation, a building explodes with colorful fluid shapes
Commentary

The Digital NonMonument

Unobstrusive, ephemeral, embedded in rhythms of everyday life—digital art is finding felicitous ways to migrate from personal screens to public space that bypass the museum.

The Digital NonMonument
A diagram comparing eras of the internet, from early web forums to social media to web3 media collectives
Commentary

Holographic Media

Media is no longer linear. Legacy outlets fade into noise, and communities have become filters through which all platforms are accessed.

Holographic Media
A book cover with the image of a globe and lines connecting nodes on it
Commentary

Fork Your Society, I want Out

Silicon Valley thought leader Balaji Srinivasan has proposed a revolutionary new form of statecraft, but it’s limited by metaphors of software development.

Fork Your Society, I want Out
A person stands with arms outstretched in an arid desert landscape, appearing to wear a dress made from red and pink balloons
Commentary

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Digital garments have been heralded as a revolution for sustainability in the fashion industry. But are they mainly just a cash grab for big-name brands?

The Emperor’s New Clothes
A booth at an art fair with backlit monitors on black walls showing colorful and striking abstract digital art.
Commentary

The Marketplace of Ideas

With startups and foundations exhibiting alongside galleries, Art Dubai Digital proposes another model for the art fair, and myriad possibilities for digital art’s place in culture.

The Marketplace of Ideas
A digital rendering of a circular hall with a central column adorned by the Liberland flag
Commentary

Land of the Free Market

Zaha Hadid Architects is building a libertarian metaverse whose vision of the future looks remarkably similar to our current reality.

Land of the Free Market
A trade fair-style booth advertising a blockchain company
Commentary

For The Record

Arcual is the latest venture to promise that its blockchain technology will transform the art world, but thorny questions remain.

For The Record
An abstract digital image of a mass of colorful threads against a grayscale background
Commentary

Artist-Centered Cybersecurity

NFT artists have to be constantly alert to the threat of scams and hacks. How can cybersecurity approaches be adjusted to protect the most vulnerable?

Artist-Centered Cybersecurity
What used to be a photo of a woman, distorted beyond recognition
Commentary

What’s in a Name?

Given the importance of privacy to the culture of crypto, pseudonyms abound on the NFT market. But value and identity are still inextricably tied together.   

What’s in a Name?
A five-by-five grid of colorful triangles, squares, and rhombuses, each assembled from smaller leaflike shapes, against a black background
Commentary

Blockchain Vitalism

Artistic experiments with blockchain that treat code outputs as living things suggest a radical recalibration of agency, pointing the way toward alternative systems of social organization.

Blockchain Vitalism
A conference poster with the title OXBAT and subtitle BLOCKCHAIN ART & NFTS: SPREADING THE WINGS OF ENCOUNTER against a black background with pixels in different colours forming wave shapes
Commentary

NFTs in the Ivory Tower

A conference at Oxford brought together experts from art, business, and technology, attempting to define the field of NFTs in broad strokes.

NFTs in the Ivory Tower
A digital collage of a cartoon frog with Mickey Mouse shorts sadly gazing at a pretty, scantily clad model on a screen
Commentary

From Dark Matter

The emergence of crypto art demonstrates what an art world without institutions can look like—even if it’s not the utopia some hoped for.

From Dark Matter
A digital rendering of a shiny silver Benin Bronze head sculpture against a gray background
Commentary

Meaningful Returns

For activists frustrated with the pace of change in the physical world, NFTs are opening up new ways of thinking about the digital repatriation of looted African artifacts.

Meaningful Returns
A digital rendering of a three-tiered birthday cake, frosted red and green and circled with candles
Commentary

Bake Sale

When artists enter the NFT market from the world of museums and galleries, they often pledge big chunks of their proceeds to charity. Why?

Bake Sale
Commentary

One Small Step Backward for Man

Pace’s Discord gives eager crypto speculators a taste of the art world's harsh realities: they go to the moon, you stay here on Earth.

One Small Step Backward for Man
Digital Provenance and the Wallet Problem
Commentary

Digital Provenance and the Wallet Problem

The blockchain promises an immutable record of provenance, but the custodial wallets and shared contracts used by some marketplaces make it difficult to verify authorship, complicating the work of appraisers and historians.

Digital Provenance and the Wallet Problem
A digital image of an exhibition, with sculputres and paintings displayed in a white room
Commentary

The Digital Combine

The metadata field of an NFT’s smart contract offers a new way for artists to suture elements of hybrid works.

The Digital Combine
A digital image of an irregular gray rock
Commentary

Behold the Rock

NFT projects depicting rocks remind us that, like rocks, NFTs could be helpful tools. Or they could be useless.

Behold the Rock
A certificate for a reproducible drawing accompanying by two diagrams illustrating how it will look when the instructions on the certificate are executed
Commentary

Authentication in the Expanded Field

NFTs could be an improvement on the paper certificates used to authenticate reproducible artworks. But much work needs to be done to realize that potential.

Authentication in the Expanded Field
A small black-and-white portrait of a shirtless middle-aged man with his name written at the top; the photo is set on a black field with archival notes handwritten on a white strip at the top
Commentary

Timed Exposure

Two new initiatives are exploring the potential of NFTs not only to sell photography but also to build connections between its past and future.

Timed Exposure
Abstract digital composition in teals and yellows, slightly pixelated.
Commentary

Perpetual Futures

The investment tools of decentralized finance are accelerating speculation’s spread to all aspects of life, irrevocably changing how we see the world and experience time.

Perpetual Futures
A person stands in a museum viewing Baroque art; pixelated spectacles and other digital images are overlaid on the antique pieces
Commentary

Punks and Sellouts

The sale of CryptoPunks to Yuga Labs reinforces a troubling notion that stewardship of an NFT project means maximizing profits.

Punks and Sellouts
Commentary

Apeing to the Right

Recent criticism of the Bored Ape Yacht Club asks if alt-right symbolism has infiltrated the NFT market.

Apeing to the Right
Pixel art of a mushroom headed figure in a white robe with a blue scepter, accompanied by a pet ladyburg
Commentary

What's Their Game?

The NFT market has spawned a new cultural form that has elements of games but not their rules.

What's Their Game?
Several multicolored elements are connected by nodes on a blue background
Commentary

Token Allegiances

The claims made about DAOs echo hype cycles of decades past, without convincingly explaining why financialization is essential.

Token Allegiances

Essays produced in a writing workshop hosted by Outland and Art Blocks offer new perspectives on art, code, and web3. The Generative Art Issue

A softly blurred and glowing digital image evoking braided threads, folding over each other in swirling patterns
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