Tokenization, blockchain, and Industry 4.0 (TBI) can support complex artworks that are not easily confined to a single medium, that are durational, that are defined through relationships, and that engage the receiver of the artwork as a critical component that, in some cases, may even contribute to the form that the artwork takes on. TBI, in this sense, is the medium from which the meta / physical art object is made.
In order to effectively utilize TBI as a medium, it will be essential to incorporate it at the origin point when the work is conceived. The overall architecture must support the goals of the artist and, to a certain extent, the public or collector. For TBI as media to be both cost effective and navigable by the public and collectors, it will ultimately be important to standardize the substrate and, by extension, how it is received and represented in specific contexts. A new “device” must emerge if TBI is to become a medium for the creation of artwork. This new apparatus can initially be cobbled together from existing hardware and software. Eventually, it might become a hardware / software suite that is used to aggregate the essential data and information to make a rich, complete, and valuable meta / physical object.
A hardware suite capable of accomplishing these goals might include traditional audio / video, digital and traditional fabrication techniques, and text supporting a narrative. At the same time, it could include a wide range of digital features such as substrates incorporating IoT supporting a meta / physical intersection, object containers that facilitates tracking and security, lidar scanning to create a digital twin, AR / VR integration, event creation and facilitation, integration of audiences and feedback, and market integration across lifecycle of artwork. These elements would be supported by a tokenized certificate tracking value and authenticity, provenance, and legal terms.
Having conceived of an apparatus and software that can be used both to capture space, objects, other media, people, perspectives, ideas, processes, value systems, investments, and markets as well as to facilitate a creative or design process, it is important to explore where and how this information is being recorded. In many ways, the token would act as a key that assembles a wide range of this recorded data in such a way that it makes sense. As the medium evolves, it will be possible to utilize it in a more generative manner.
While TBI can change how an artwork is encountered in the world, it by no means has to. An artwork could be perceived in exactly the same manner as it is today. However, if this artwork is supported by TBI, a deeper dimension will exist. At the same time, the experience could be radically different than what currently takes place. In this context, a field well beyond the limits of the gallery becomes the stage for the artwork. A given artist would have the capacity to define this stage at the intersection of the physical and digital – perhaps even building out a unique metaverse that corresponds to their work. They would have the capacity to select particular points in the world where their work is sited or accessed digitally via a digital device, AR, or VR. This would create more room for the context to be conceived as part of the artwork and a greater capacity to connect with that context and leave a trace – enriching the market potential and user experience in the process. Most significantly, the token – as well as any other tokens associated with the artwork – would support ongoing engagement with the public and aggregate interactions associated with the artwork.
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