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Noland Explores – NFTs Series x Ismaël Chappaz

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 Ismaël Chappaz ,Ismaël was the founder and    co-owner of the design studio Tactelgraphics from 2005 to 2020.

He is currently the director of the contemporary art gallery House of Chappaz (Flat) in Valencia and the co-director of House of Chappaz (Basement) in Barcelona with Toormix Studio. He also acts as an independent curator.

What brought you into this digital art world and what is it that you find attractive and interesting about NFTs? 

I’ve had a Contemporary Art gallery since 2011 in València (House of Chappaz Flat) and I opened a second venue in Barcelona in 2018 (House of Chappaz Basement).

I co-direct this last one together with Oriol Armengou and Ferran Mitjans from Toormix studio. When NFTs appeared I didn’t find anything new or interesting, they were simply a new kind of format, not much more.

We have always had video artists/digital artists in the galleries who have obviously used the digital image as a medium. Several of our artists started doing NFTs. One thing led to another, and we ended up hosting the first NFT exhibition in a proper contemporary art gallery. 

Many artists are concerned about the climate impact of art sales that rely on blockchain technology and there is a lot of discussion about the massive use of electricity and the environmental impact this brings. What is your opinion on this?

If we get into that mood then let’s stop everything and dedicate ourselves to planting potatoes. It seems to me there are more polluting things than an NFT.

Nowadays nothing is sustainable, just look at what is really being fulfilled from the 2030 Agenda. Practically nothing.

This is not to say that we should continue destroying everything, but perhaps what we should do is be more socially aware before considering whether the electricity needed to operate an NFT is polluting.

What real possibilities of expression and experimentation do you think your art offers in the NFT world beyond monetization? 

 I don’t know, I’ve always been quite “enfant terrible”. I have a way of doing that is a bit different from the so-called conventional gallery. I’ve done things that didn’t fall into the norm. I didn’t set up a gallery for status or to become a millionaire. Any kind of speculation disgusts me if that’s what you mean by “beyond monetization”.

I have integrity and transparency; I have nothing to hide.

How do you see the future of NFTs in the short and long term?

As I said before, for me NFTs are nothing more than a new format for presenting work. I guess they are here to stay in the contemporary art world. Time will tell but for the time being, I don’t have a crystal ball to predict anything.

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