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This year, digital originals took first place in the "Power 100" art ranking

This year, digital originals took first place in the “Power 100” art ranking

Non-Foldable Tokens (NFT) – digitally protected assets – are at the top of this year’s Global Technical Ranking “Energy 100”. The list, published annually by the British magazine “ArtReview”, includes the 100 most influential figures and movements in contemporary art, according to an anonymous jury. NFT, or non-fungible token (in German for “non-fungible token”), is a protected file based on blockchain technology.

This means that the unique token is tied to the factory and secured by the blockchain. As a purchaser of this art, one has a certificate of authenticity for the file and therefore the original. As an example of NFT artwork, the jury named the CryptoPunks project, which was created a few years ago in which interested parties can purchase unique 2D digitally generated images.

While it remains unclear if NFT is a short-term hype or if it will establish itself in the art world, a number of museums, artists and galleries have dealt with the topic in the past 12 months, according to the jury. Great prices have been achieved for works like that of digital artist Beeple. In addition, digital asset protection represents an alternative to traditional marketing channels for artists.

Second place went to American anthropologist Anna L. Tsing, who was honored for her work in the interplay of art and science in the face of environmental catastrophe. Through her representations – including from a mushroom’s point of view – she creates space for new perspectives.

The jury’s criterion is that the movements and personalities of the past twelve months have effectively influenced how contemporary art is created. Artists who have addressed issues of climate change and racism or discrimination have been represented several times on the list. Last year, the Black Lives Matter movement ranked first on the list.

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