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Entirely Fungible Art

Artworks --> Fungible Tokens
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(+5, -2)
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As a counterpoint to the whole Non-Fungible-Token business, where the innovative idea of codifying the uniqueness or specialness of a thing such that a representation of it can be traded for non-unique inherently un-special units of currency is subverted; Artworks are instead produced that are so un-remarkable that they can be freely exchanged for other artworks of similar non-specialness without resort to clever cryptographic algorithms.

Once we have enough of these, a globally recognised unit of art could be established, by which artworks could be bought and sold en-mass, in much the same way as gold, oil or pork-bellies. Museums could simply buy some quantity of art, and have people come and look at it if they want, or store it away in some vault, and have people buy and sell it according to the whims of the market, its ownership being recorded in the appropriate units on a balance sheet somewhere on an accountant's spreadsheet as a simple number.

Down the line, we can introduce futures, derivatives and all manner of fun, fungibility-associated concepts and practices - but first, we just need to make enough non-descript, mutually interchangeable artworks for this to finally become a reality.

zen_tom, Sep 08 2021


       Truly brilliant. Art valued per unit. Absolute democratisation of art.   

       I thought initially it would be mass-produced copies, but “entirely unremarkable” pieces are so much better. But wouldn’t it equally be possible to have a flat rate per price, no matter how remarkable or not? So that the Mona Lisa or a 5-year-old’s crayon drawing are both equal in value?
Frankx, Sep 08 2021

       In my wallet I have a few prints of beautiful artworks in the form of intricate engravings of typography, scenery, buildings, notable historical figures, monarchs, etc. which are readily exchangeable for similar items or for predictable quantities of goods and services.
hippo, Sep 08 2021

       One problem with this is the ease with which prints can be produced. Anyone with a printer can run off a huge quantity. Without a way to verify originality (if not quality) you're left with pretty much the existing system of buying art.   

       Even if it's only originality you check there are computer programs that can produce unlimited numbers of quasi art by applying random sets of filters to existing images and photographs. Imagine someone taking a video of a half hour drive through their home town, extracting random frames, and applying random filters. Many thousands of relatively unique pieces of art could result.   

       Furthermore any program you can use to check for aesthetic appeal can be catered to by a different program. (if you ask me any human's preferences can be too, but that's a different and very hairy topic. A topic with scales and large fangs and an expression that says "I haven't eaten for three days but come closer so we can discuss art appreciation in a companionable fashion". Yes, you heard that right. Scales AND hair.
Voice, Sep 11 2021

       There are many paintings of dogs playing poker. These will henceforth be stakes in actual games of poker. This may confuse the dogs.
pertinax, Sep 11 2021

       //Entirely Fungible Art//   

       [Looks up fungible]   

       So, a puzzle consisting of square pieces all the same size with its subject being a painting that's basically a single sheet of a single colour then, yes? it's art (allegedly), & all its bits are entirely fungible.   

       Probably already baked by Ron Martin's agent to be fair.   

       Oh, I see, not the idea.   

       Am I mistaken or does the actual idea just boil down to fixing the price of anything labelled 'art' to a single value regardless of size, content or material used in its creation?   

       Can we add an addendum to this whereby houses are considered art?   

       Then I can dash off a quick daub & buy a house with it ;)
Skewed, Sep 13 2021

       There is certainly some sense in the idea that every item in general should have the same fixed price as every other item. A bit like a pound shop but extended to the entire world economy.
pocmloc, Sep 13 2021

       //fixing the price of anything labelled 'art' to a single value regardless of size, content or material used in its creation// it's about making art so unremarkable that buying it is done by units, rather than individual pieces - which is kind of the same thing, but from a different perspective.   

       There are some precedents, like buying old leather-bound books by the yard, something people used to do to make their bookshelves look posh. The value is set by some quantity, without any consideration about the contents of the books themselves, which if taken from a heap, are entirely interchangeable.   

       Or how corporations or hotels will purchase artworks in bulk to hang in their rooms without caring that much about what the pictures do - indeed, they might stipulate that none of them are particularly remarkable.   

       But it seemed to me that the very thing that might be used to define art (which is a tricky thing to do beyond the "I know what I like" type of definition) is its non-fungibility, and thence a property ripe for subversion.
zen_tom, Sep 13 2021

       This idea itself seems to me to be a piece of art: some sort of commentary of what we value (or some such mumbly jumbo). Unfortunately, as a half-baked idea, it's not in a form that can be appreciated by most art connoisseurs. What you need to do is find some way that this idea can be expressed in a more traditional artistic form that can be installed in an art museum or some such. I'm envisioning something that it involves stacks of canvas covered frames with just bits of colors visible from the edge. Maybe a computer display of the derivative prices. A more traditional old fashioned stock ticker would be nice aesthetically, though that might not be recognized by enough people to be effective...
scad mientist, Sep 13 2021

       Turning a resource into a commodity is I think straightforward. You just need to define specifications for all important parameters.   

       To do this for art is perhaps less obvious, but I think feasible.   

       Suppose you accumulated a panel of people, all of whom would certify items as works of art. Each item would need to pass some artistic bar, which could be for example agreement by some number of the reviewers that it was worth at least some minimum value. Then, the artwork can be certified and passed into the channel.
The question then is how to make this work in practice; there are several issues which need addressing.
1) Why would the reviewers perform this task?
2) How do we ensure they don't mis-represent a piece's artistic value?

       1) is easy - they need to be paid. When money, the ultimate fungible token, is made, the mint is paid for its effort. 2) The risk then is that the reviewers have some perverse incentive. Depending on the payment scheme (flat rate, per item evaluated or per-item certified, etc), they may for example habitually under- or over- value works, or perhaps fail to give each item the attention it deserves.
Suppose we pay them as some function of evaluations and time, in works they have certified at random. If they undervalue works (reject some which should have passed) then they'll be paid in relatively high-value items, but at a lower rate. If they overvalue works (pass some which should have failed), they will get paid in under-value items, especially if other reviewers are better calibrated.
We should also allow reviewers to make a higher offer to the artist. Such high-value works should not be in the channel anyway. Obviously the art-mint would still receive a cut.
Loris, Sep 13 2021

       I'm buying a Banksy before he does the stock split...
RayfordSteele, Sep 13 2021

       Good for everyone except for artists [-]
PauloSargaco, Sep 14 2021

       To value art as a commodity would require an economic art basis. Fungible Art Repository Token exchange?   

       Oh, a blockchain ...
reensure, Sep 15 2021


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