Issued May 2021
Australia’s first non-fungible token (NFT) gallery, the Museum of Art & Philosophy (MAP), opens in Hobart, Australia, with the first exhibition scheduled for 16-22 June, coinciding with Hobart’s festival Dark Mofo.
MAP is the first NFT physical gallery in the South Hemisphere, and the second NFT physical gallery in the world, after Superchief Gallery opened in Union Square, New York, in March 2021.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are virtual assets that exist on a blockchain ledger and are a means by which digital artists can certify that their artwork is unique and not interchangeable.
“In the past, digital artists whose work was emailed to publishers via JPEG, GIF, or TIF, struggled to show ownership as digital files could be reproduced at will,” says Antonia Case, curator of MAP, and editor of international print magazine Womankind. “If a JPEG of a digital work goes online, anyone can download it, which puts digital artists at a disadvantage compared to artists whose work is tangible such as paintings on canvas, or sculpture.”
An NFT is a digital certificate of authenticity, granting the buyer of the digital artwork a token proving that they own the artwork. NFTs can be bought and sold, much like any asset, and a record of ownership is stored on a shared ledger known as the blockchain.
“NFTs enable digital artists to compete in the art world alongside fine artists in more traditional media,” notes Case. Auction house Christie’s $69 million sale of digital artist Beeple is one example, setting a record price for digital art.
MAP will initially showcase the artwork of artists featured in print magazines New Philosopher and Womankind, with the first exhibition scheduled for 16-22 June 2020 at the physical gallery space 7 Campbell Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
“Our print magazines have been supporting artists for almost a decade now, and the NFT market is a unique opportunity for digital artists to be remunerated for their work,” notes Case. Adding, “we are excited to be part of this new chapter.”
Antonia Case, curator
map 'AT' newphilosopher.com