Few things have recently been as divisive in the world of digital art as NFTs and their underlying blockchain technology. In this series, stewarded by our Art + Technology Lab, we will talk with cultural practitioners in and outside of the museum to explore what NFTs mean for institutions that collect digital art, as well as look at the artistic, curatorial, conservation, registration, and legal issues of this new digital format.
NFTs and the Museum
Part 2: Legal Issues for Acquisitions
This post features Jeffrey Blair, LACMA General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, in dialogue with Sarah Conley Odenkirk, partner in Cowan, Debaets, Abrahams, and Sheppard LLP's Entertainment group. Odenkirk co-leads the firm's art law and NFT practice, and advises artists, collectors, dealers, and art institutions in art world negotiations and transactions.
Part 4: Artist Platforms—Tom Sachs' Rocket Factory
Here we talk with Art + Technology Lab grant recipient Tom Sachs about his Rocket Factory, a custom-built digital platform that lives on the blockchain and serves as a marketplace where branded virtual Rocket Components are bought and sold as NFTs. The Rocket Factory allows participants to assemble three Rocket Components into either a Perfect Rocket or Frankenrocket: Perfect Rockets are composed of matching and singularly branded Components, and Frankenrockets are a discordant combination of different brands.
Part 5: Art Collections on the Blockchain
NFTs present challenges for collectors beyond the logistics of ownership and exchange, but also in terms of long-term sustainability and authorship of these artworks. Questions arise as to what stake various blockchain technologies have in guaranteeing that these unique assets have a life beyond the immediate, and questions around the transmutability of these assets onto other blockchain systems remain murky. For this installment of NFTs and the Museum, LACMA Digital Preservation Manager Joey Heinen interviewed Elian Carsenat, computer scientist and founder of UNCOPIED, an authentication system for digital artworks (including NFTs).