Non-fungible Tokens Rank # 1 in Art World’s Influential Powers List | Non-fungible tokens (NFT)

The non-fungible token or NFT took first place in the annual ranking of the most influential players in the contemporary art world – marking the first time that a non-human entity has topped the list.

ERC-721, the “non-fungible token” specification on the Ethereum blockchain, tops the 20th Power 100 list released by Art journal, after a year in which he revolutionized the art market by bringing together contemporary art and millennial meme culture.

ArtReview said NFTs have spawned a whole new generation of collectors and allowed artists to bypass traditional market gatekeepers.

“NFT has energized a new cross between pop culture and contemporary art, although you can’t avoid the fact that the NFT explosion is driven by feverish cryptocurrency speculation,” JJ Charlesworth said. , editor at ArtReview.

“But the broader premise behind NFTs is perhaps more important – the idea of ​​digital assets and virtual collectibles is an appealing prospect for artists making art in an increasingly virtual culture. no longer online, and won’t go away anytime soon. “

The most valuable NFT to date is a collage by digital artist Beeple, which sold for £ 50.3million at Christie’s in March. Musician Grimes sold a collection of digital artwork for almost $ 6million (£ 4.4million), while the original photo behind the 2005 Disaster Girl meme sold for $ 473 000 dollars (354,000 pounds sterling). Collins Dictionary even made NFT its word of the year.

Following last year’s Black Lives Matter movement, the new Power 100 list reflects the degree to which ideas rather than specific works of art reflect a change in the industry.

Artist Theaster Gates was named the fourth most powerful person in ArtReview’s Power 100. Photograph: Sara Pooley / White Cube, London

At n ° 2 is the anthropologist Anna L Tsing and at n ° 3 the Indonesian collective ruangrupa, which defends the collaborative practice and will be the curator of the Documenta 15 exhibition in Kassel, Germany, in 2022. The American artist Theaster Gates is at n ° 4, followed by German visual artist Anne Imhof at n ° 5.

The list also talks about the contradictions inherent in the art world. While NFTs and cryptocurrencies have come under fire for their environmental impact, the past year has seen artists, curators and galleries reflect on the climate crisis and capitalism.

These include the indigenous Australian collective Karrabing Film Collective (No8), curator Lucia Pietroiusti (13) and artist Olafur Eliasson (15).

Artists whose work relates to the multiple injustices raised by the BLM movement have continued to feature prominently. At number 9 is Carrie Mae Weems, whose photographs and installations address black female subjectivity, and at number 11 is Kara Walker, whose work also addresses issues of race, gender and violence.

Achille Mbembe (14), Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy (16) and Koyo Kouoh (38) all led the calls for the looted items to be returned to their places of origin.

Mark Rappolt, editor-in-chief of ArtReview, said there were “far fewer” Western museums on the list this year, which in part reflects the reality that they no longer lead the dialogue on contemporary art. as much as they react to it.

“This in turn may reflect the slower pace of their processes or bureaucracies, but also the extent to which efforts to initiate dialogues on restitution, race and gender come from outside rather than within established orders.” , did he declare.

The list was compiled by 30 anonymous panelists and contributors from around the world. Previous number one numbers include Damien Hirst, artistic director of Serpentine, Hans-Ulrich Obrist and German artist Hito Steyerl.

The Top 10 of the 100 power

1 ERC-721
2 Anna L Tsing
3 ruangrupa
4 theater doors
5 Anne Imhof
6 Fred Moten
7 Cao Fei
8 Karrabing Film Collective
9 Carrie Mae Weem
10 David Graeber and David Wengrow

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