Are NFTs a revolution in the digital art world or just another bubble about to burst?
N x NFTS, is a program aimed at those intrigued by digital art, NFTs, and their immense potential.
We interviewed many renowned artists and asked all of them the same question: Are NFTs a revolution in the digital art world or is it just another bubble about to burst?
Today’s interview is with Moon Ribas, a Catalan cyborg artist best known for developing an online seismic sensor that allows her to feel earthquakes through vibrations.
In order to share her experience, she then translates her seismic sense on stage. Ribas transposes the earthquakes into either sound, in her piece Seismic Percussion; or dance, in Waiting For Earthquakes. In these performances the Earth is the composer and the choreographer; and Ribas, the interpreter. Ribas’ seismic sense also allows her to feel moonquakes, the seismic activity on the Moon. Ribas believes that by extending our senses to perceive outside the planet, we can all become senstronauts. Adding this new sense allows her to be physically on Earth while perceiving the Moon, so in a way, she is on Earth and space at the same time.
Since 2007 Moon has been experimenting with the union between technology and her body to explore the boundaries of perception and to experience movement in a deeper way. Some of her previous research includes transdental communication, 360º perception and the Speedborg. In 2010 she co-founded the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborg art. Ribas also co-founded the Transpecies Society in 2017, an association that gives voice to non-human identities, defends the freedom of self-design and offers the creation of new senses and new organs in community.
We’re sharing her experience with technology and her perspective on digital art and NFTs.
Within the Cyborg movement, have you considered creating any project related to NFTs?
We have talked about it and imagined many things but we have not yet taken the risk, it is still a new world for me and I try to understand it every day. At first, it was hard for me to understand it. In my opinion, art is something more tangible than ephemeral, however with the world of NFTs it seems that everything is infinite; that art will prevail forever, and I find that fascinating, but at the same time it creates uncertainties.
If I had to generate an NFT I would start from the basis of creating something that is related to nature like I have done previously with my work.
Case in point, Fenomen is a work in conjunction with Quim Girón in which we explore the uncontrollable force of nature through ice. The stage becomes a freezer and blocks of ice start to appear. In the end, the water floods the stage and wets us, highlighting its ephemeral nature. However the NFTs it is different, it is a perpetual form of art. In my case, I would do something that has to do with the ocean because I have always been very connected to the ocean since I was a child.
To be able to show that message of exploring how nature works, to see natural phenomena from another point of view and also to realize that, in a way, each one of us is a small phenomenon surrounded by other species. We are not alone. Nature is infinite.
In what ways do you see NFTs complementing the art world? Which benefits besides financial do you see in NFTs compared to more classical ways of creating and trading art pieces?
I’ve never really been too familiar with technology. Since I was a child I’ve had little connection with it. I had a cell phone at a very late age and I’ve always been curious about merging technology with art. In my case, I am a choreographer and I was looking for a way to unite the language of dance with what happens on earth.
In this case, for more than seven years, I wore implants in my feet that allowed me to detect the movement of the earth’s crust in real-time and feel in my body any earthquake that occurred under the face of the earth. I was very afraid to take them off, much more than I was when I put them on because in the end, these technological devices were just another part of my being. And when I took them off I was still feeling the vibrations.
I think that in the case of NFTs it can also be complemented in a similar way to art, as it opens up a world of infinite possibilities. The important thing is everyone’s right to not feel violated. We have a lot of work ahead of us and a lot to learn.
Do you think NFTs have been a revolution in the digital art world or are they just a speculative bubble?
I don’t want to sound pessimistic but I think it could be a speculative bubble that could burst at any moment. But that explosion doesn’t have to be bad, in the end, every big change brings something good, and we learn with time. I don’t understand too much about it, and I can’t give a very detailed view. As with cryptocurrency, it is changing all the time. I think the world of NFTs is something similar.
Technology is developing and we are adapting. It grows very fast, but at the same time, we do not see the results until years go by. In this case, I think that NFTs are like the arrival of the Internet, at the beginning, it was a phenomenon that people did not have much idea about and they were adapting little by little.
For example, when the first email was sent. We have all been getting used to it without realizing it, but it has taken time and years. With NFTs, I think the same thing. We will not know where they have taken us for a few years yet.
What do you think about all the frauds and scams that are happening in the NFT market and how is this affecting emerging artists?
In the end, it’s like everything else. Human beings are constantly exposed to the possibility of breaking the rules governed by society. It’s complicated. There are always going to be frauds and scams. It’s like if they give you a knife, you can cut vegetables with it, and at the same time kill someone with it. The act of making something happen is inside each person. We can’t limit ourselves to not creating new things just because of this. Otherwise, it would be impossible.
How do you see the future of NFTs in the short and long term?
I don’t want to be pessimistic but I still think it could end at any time. It’s an emerging market that still has much to learn and changes very quickly. It’s hard for me to see it in the long term, but certainly, artists will have to adapt and at some point, I will merge my art with this one.