22/06/2021 Artist Marco Evaristti shows that NFTs are more than art

“You can burn or steal the picture and ban the video, but the story and ownership will remain by the caretaker.” – Marco Evaristti

This writer is not the biggest fan of NFTs, being a person who loves the circularity of life and it being based on human interaction, not nebulous corners of digital places.

To prove the synchronicity of the planet, last week I went for a walk on the Sussex Downs for sunset, leaving my car in the car park, unlocked as I always do because if somebody wants to break into my car, they can do it whether it’s locked or not.

When I came back, I found a piece of paper on the windscreen and was about to curse every jobsworth parking warden until I saw the message “You dropped your wallet, hope this is your car, I left it in the central console – smiley face”.

The world is a good place; I hadn’t even realised that I’d lost my wallet and there it was in the central console as promised. Amazing.

So two days later, I saw a girl hitchhiking with a petrol can on my way back to Brighton. I picked her up because I ALWAYS run out of petrol and know what it’s like to have no money and drive as far as possible without buying more petrol than absolutely necessary.

She, indeed, had no money, so I gave her all I had in my wallet, took her to the petrol station and then drove her back to her car. She called me ‘an angel’… she was probably right. Smiley face.

Then, that evening I went to The Village, an amazing Bohemian pub in Brighton to have a drink, settled in and then somebody called out my name (questioningly).

No, it wasn’t the girl I’d picked up earlier that day, it was a guy who had picked ME up hitchhiking in the summer when my bike had run out of petrol. Awesome. He’s also an amazing carpenter and he’s going to make me a table from Douglas Fir. Smiley face.

So, that’s what makes me tick although, as the quotation states at the start of this column illustrates. Life is about stories, whether they’re your own or told/painted/written/created by others, there is no point to life without stories… and, I’ll concede, they can possibly be told through NFTs.

The aforementioned Chilean artist Marco Evaristti is an extraordinary storyteller and artist; he does daft and amazing things.

These include giving exhibition visitors the option to liquidise a goldfish by pressing a button (two did, two died – he was exonerated by a Danish court). He has also made a deal with a Death Row prisoner in Texas to feed his body to goldfish after he dies.

Then there was the time he was jailed for two weeks after dyeing Iceland’s Strokkur Geysir hot spring pink by professing that nature ‘belongs to no one’. Then doing the same to an iceberg in Greenland and being arrested for trying to do the same to Mont Blanc.

Now, he is moving into NFTs and is distributing his latest project TESTIMONIES on the world’s biggest NFT marketplace Opensea.io.

Evarissti says he wants to bring content and seriousness to the world of crypto art by distributing the displayed work in connection with TESTIMONIES as crypto art with NFT certificates.

“It’s a very interesting world of new valid content to the art world, but the lack of substance and urge to move and even scatter the audience is resounding in the corridors of this universe,” he said.

Artists sometimes talk in different ways to most humans, I still can’t understand that a week on.

Anyway as could be imagined, this is no ordinary project and no ordinary NFT project.

He wants to challenge the world of crypto art by creating a piece of digital art that is a ‘belonging physical painting’ and ownership also brings ‘a narrative, a mystery, a truth? Maybe a lifelong obsession’.

So what is this NFT madness and how does this writer interpret the words of this artist after struggling to understand his previous quote?

In a collaboration with art curator Morgana Rodriguez, TESTIMONIES is 12 first-hand stories expressed in 12 paintings and 12 animations that display stories about the alleged sexual abuse of children by a religious organisation.

The 12 paintings will be auctioned exactly every 13 days until the exhibition takes place at Madrid’s MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo from 14th November 2021 to the end of January 2022

According to Evarissti, the very nature of the crypto environment gives an extra layer and complexity to the art pieces. Inside these 12 pieces of art there is a code that will ultimately lead to the crux of the art itself and the alleged subjects of child sex abuse.

While this writer is yet to be completely convinced by NFTs, he is certainly convinced by Evarissti who later this year will continue to innovate in the physical world.

He plans to create a Buddha on Sagamartha (Mount Everest) constituted of plastic bottles and debris that are created by entitled mountaineers who attempt to climb the mountain.

As somebody who feels he has climbed a mountain in attempting to understand the abstruse and intricacy of Evarissti’s words or creations, there is some more synchonrity.

In many ways, my circular experiences last week of dropped wallets, petrol-less cars, petrol cans, money, hitchhiking and future tables made out of Dougas Fir wood was a work of art in itself.

Such a week is not an NFT by any means and a long way from the elevated work and mind of Marco Evaristti, but the idea that life is art itself is not an imitation at all, it is sometimes real and actually quite magnificent.

Moral of the story; always hitchhike and always pick up hitchhikers and buy art even if you can’t live it every day of your life. Smiley face.

Monty Munford is a tech journalist and is the Chief Evangelist and core contributor to the Sienna Network project.

He WAS a keynote speaker/emcee/moderator/interviewer at prestigious events around the world until Covid destroyed his conference speaking career… until 2023. He has spoken at more than 200 global events.

He also runs his own crypto podcast https://blockspeak.io

He was previously a weekly tech columnist for Forbes in New York, the Telegraph in the UK and continues to write regularly for the BBC, The Economist, The FT and… City AM.


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