Brian Eno is not a fan of NFTs

If you were saving up Ethereum for a set of Discreet Music NFTs, we’ve got bad news. In an interview with Crypto Syllabus (conducted by longtime tech critic Evgeny Morozov, of all people), Eno outed himself as a skeptic of cryptocurrency — and NFTs in particular.

“NFTs seem to me just a way for artists to get a little piece of the action from global capitalism, our own cute little version of financialization,” Eno told Morozov. “How sweet — now artists can become little capitalist assholes as well.”

Best known for his pioneering ambient work and prolific producer credits, Eno seems like the perfect artist for the NFT era. He’s spent decades making art with an eye towards technology and its social implications, often made available as software or limited-edition product drops. Eno was a particularly early proponent of algorithmically generated art, pioneering the same basic process that produced those endless minutely varied monkey portraits for the Bored Ape crew. It would be easy for him to bank a few million pounds by turning this generative iPad app, say, into a string of 10,000 numbered NFTs.

But as he describes it in the interview, taking the NFT turn would be pointless as an artistic move and craven as a financial calculation.

“I am not sure what is being brought into the world that makes any difference to anything other than some strings of numbers moving about in some bank accounts,” Eno continues. “People I like and trust are convinced they’re the best thing since sliced bread, so I wish I could have a more positive view, but right now, I mainly see hustlers looking for suckers.”

Read the whole thing here.

Comments

lol, the guy crying about capitism:

Brian Eno Net Worth:
$60 Million

What’s your argument, exactly?

He doesn’t have one. Just a chip on his shoulder.

no chip, actually think Eno is the one with the chip.

Ah, the classic "Rich people can’t argue against capitalism" strawman. I love the classics…

my point is has done quite well from via capitalism, as he criticizes those who want to make money from that same system.

as he criticizes those who want to make money from that same system

Brian Eno made his money via a lifetime of creative output unmatched by very few humans.

NFT cryptoscammers make want to do the same by, well, scamming.

Both you and I know, with unflinching certainty, that poor struggling artists aren’t benefiting from this— it’s the Gordon Gekko cosplaying cryptobros who moan "arbitraaaage" in their sleep.

I don’t understand why, in your mind, that excludes him from having an opinion on the matter. By your logic, only poor people, oppressed by the capitalist machine, can speak with authority on the shortfalls of the system.

You’re picking the wrong fight here, man. If you agree that capitalism has its flaws and NFTs are just another vehicle for the rich to exercise their wealth to generate more wealth, then you don’t want to attack someone who shares your opinion just because they have found success in their endeavors. Step back and realize who the true adversary is here.

money, wealth, trading even banks existed before Capitalism. what is your point exactly?

yah cause nothing screams capitalism when you choose to become an artist lol. so many daft commenters on here.

Victor Chaos!

Here Come the Warm NFTs

Before and After Crypto

Haven’t seen a better pull quote on NFT than this one yet, it’s succinct and precise.

Oh no, crypto and finance bros are going to be mad

Yeah, because artists have to stay poor and suffer by design. This is even more dumb by a guy who has millions. Yeah no doubt he’s fine. Ask some poor bastards how nfts changed their life, not some fancy top of the cream established ones.

Also how is it his stuff not a way of finding suckers? Or his work is somehow above the rest because he gets dollars somehow and it is via the app store. And don’t give me he’s the best, argument.

Ask some poor bastards how nfts changed their life

Yeah, ask actual artists. Mostly you’ll learn that they had their art ripped off & made into NFTs without their knowledge. Some are considering taking their DeviantArt accounts down entirely, because they can’t keep up with the bots stealing their work.

This sort of thing is why I’m not putting any of my own art or music out there online until I’ve gotten it all copyrighted.

If you’re talking about the US, you automatically have a copyright over any creative works that you author. You can also officially register your works for copyright, which can give you the right to sue for statutory damages in specific situations if someone violates your copyright, but the right itself automatically attaches to any work you create.

Copyrighting art is a good concept on paper until you realize how unfeasible and costly it becomes to go after infringements.

Working in the art industry has been my full-time occupation for the last 13 years and the sad realization I’ve come to is that we’re at a loss. NFTs will only make this situation a lot worse.

glad someone sees this the same way i do.

The vast VAST majority of money being made is by crypto bros, marketing, and paid promos, not artists finding an audience.

This is like claiming not backing Supreme or Bape is condemning a broke oil painter.

I mean this with all due respect: Who?

I respect his opinion with regards to NFTs, and I do agree with it. But why does this guy’s opinion deserve a headline?

His bona fides are right in the article

Best known for his pioneering ambient work and prolific producer credits, Eno seems like the perfect artist for the NFT era. He’s spent decades making art with an eye towards technology and its social implications, often made available as software or limited-edition product drops. Eno was a particularly early proponent of algorithmically generated art, pioneering the same basic process that produced those endless minutely varied monkey portraits for the Bored Ape crew. It would be easy for him to bank a few million pounds by turning this generative iPad app, say, into a string of 10,000 numbered NFTs.

Also, some more from his Wikipedia entry:

Alongside his solo work, Eno collaborated frequently with other musicians in the 1970s, including Robert Fripp, Harmonia, Cluster, Harold Budd, David Bowie, and David Byrne. He also established himself as a sought-after producer, working on albums by John Cale, Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Talking Heads, Ultravox, and Devo, as well as the no wave compilation No New York (1978). In subsequent decades, Eno continued to record solo albums and produce for other artists, most prominently U2 and Coldplay, alongside work with artists such as Daniel Lanois, Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, Slowdive, Karl Hyde, James, Kevin Shields, and Damon Albarn.

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