By now, everyone has heard about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies. But what are we to make of them?
Frankly, it's hard to find reliable information! That's why we are so committed to learning more ourselves and educating about the ways that distributed ledger technologies — including NFTs and cryptocurrencies — can be a benefit for singers and performing artists (see our Medium page at livingopera.medium.com!).
Last week, we had the honor and privilege of presenting and participating at NFT.NYC — the world's leading NFT conference. With estimates of nearly 30,000 attendees coming into New York City for the conference, it's a force to be reckoned with. Soula presented about the origins of generative art (hint, they're from Mozart!), and Christos emceed the investing/finance track for one of the days and presented about the ways that NFT marketplaces are turning into mini stock exchanges where digital assets are traded.
Let's pause on the origins of generative art.
First, what is it? Generative art just refers to art that has a structured component and a random component that is left up to algorithmic design. For example, part of an art piece might have a portrait of a character, but the remainder of the piece has different layers that are added randomly.
Second, why is this discovery important? The discovery that Mozart was most likely the catalyst through his dice game "Musikalisches Würfelspiel" is significant. Many people both within and outside of the NFT community today look at generative art as if it's a novel, foreign concept that's just been invented. Not quite — what Soula's presentation highlights is that we're actually building on a discovery from the 18th century!
That should come as exciting news for the classical music community: it's yet another testimony to the longevity and historical impact that classical music has on societies, economies, and cultures! (It's called "classical" music for a reason!) That should give all of us even more encouragement that what we're doing isn't going to fade away. And, it should also motivate us to look for ways to collaborate with technologists who might not know their history as well!
Living Opera established a number of exciting and meaningful new relationships at NFT.NYC, which we will share in the weeks and months ahead. But for now, know that Living Opera is making an impact in the web3 community!