Help to spell it with me – U-ti-li-ty, u-ti-li-ty, find out what it means to me, but more importantly let’s find out what it means to you. Aretha would vibe the sassiness of the current buzzword and how much influence it yields in the NFT and art scene.
Why do you think utility is such a thing and what does it say about the market? What do the two opposing forces, the apes and the fine arts gain to learn from each other? What if there was a space where beauty and function could sit together around a table and shake hands. Hit it!
Let’s take it from the top. Art and utility, why did they become such a match made in NFT heaven? Think about it this way; If art is quickly devoured like fast food and you’re left with only a greasy wrapper after five minutes, you must come up with another use case for it that justifies consuming it. Look look, you can use the wrapper to wipe your mouth after you’ve done eating!
Quality art doesn’t need an additional use case for it. It already has an ancient use case that humans forgot along the way. We turned to art for self-reflection, to experience sublime beauty, to illustrate and reciprocate with challenging or hidden themes. Reflecting on your deepest, darkest thoughts must happen in front of art that has the substance to support said quest. Sounds like a huge responsibility for artists, and you’re right, it is. But so what? What if this view of art alienates people from feeling the relevance in their lives? Artsy fartsy, move over, we’ve got 22 social media platforms to update.
The fact is that our culture is one of brutal game of relevancy. Be relevant, current, low barrier to entry and quick to market, or otherwise you’re out. We don’t turn to carefully crafted art for elevated thoughts, because most things in our society have become disposable, even humans. Zero-hour contracts, ridiculous housing prices and stagnating wages in an exhausting gig economy where a single income supporting a family seems just way too wholesome for our reality. The utility fetish is simply responding to this call. Cool bro, tell me what else it can do. If it can’t do anything else, moving on. The reigning champion, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is a prime example of having their finger on the pulse. Clear plan in terms of their roadmap and highly relevant in the flavour of the above-mentioned culture. The pretentious white wall, too cool for school goliath would have a lot to learn from them.
But what if it didn’t have to be either or? What if art could have its original, nourishing utility and still have an NFT attached to it to provide something extra? The real market utility is undeniable brand recognition, and nobody said quality art couldn’t have an NFT access to lucrative bonuses or experiences, it just hasn’t been the culture up until now. All the while this can be bolstered with a coin specific to the community, like the cashtag VESA.
It’s an exciting and humbling experience to be at the frontlines of this. On Monday the 25th of April, in collaboration with Unique Network, a Twitter space will be held with host Irina Karagyaur interviewing VESA. The space will focus on the tumble between function and beauty, and the role utility plays in this. Be there at 9PM Dubai time / 7PM CET.
V E S A
Crypto & NFT Artist
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Quest writer Lotta has been integrally involved in the world of digital art, cryptocurrencies and NFTs as VESA’s wife for many years. An experienced writer, she is now turning her attention to write about the different phenomena in the space.