Greg Oakford, co-founder of NFT Fest Australia, provides a valuable insight into the world of NFTs from the perspective of a collector and fan. One artist who has been pushing the boundaries of AI art is Pindar Van Arman. With his unique ability to create art using robots, he has been a pioneer in the field since 2004.
Van Arman started his AI art journey seventeen years ago when he built a robot that could paint with a brush on canvas, just like him. Over the years, he has continued to refine his robots, giving them more sophisticated artificial intelligence to paint “more like I painted.” In 2015, he created his first crypto art project, titled bitPaintr, and in 2018, he minted his first Ethereum nonfungible token (NFT) on SuperRare, titled “AI Imagined Portrait Painted by a Robot.”
During the early years, Van Arman faced significant challenges in explaining the emotional aspect of his robotic art. Many people questioned the validity of AI art and expressed concerns about artists losing opportunities. However, Van Arman made a clear distinction between AI being labeled as an artist and being creative. He believes that AI can be a tool used by artists to create art, but it cannot be considered an artist itself. He claims that AI can be creative in a similar way to humans, but it cannot truly make art.
Despite facing skepticism and doubt from the art world, Van Arman views these challenges as indicators that he is onto something groundbreaking. As an avant-garde and forward-thinking artist himself, he sees it as a positive sign when fellow artists find his work too weird or impossible to comprehend. He believes that persistence and pursuit are key in pushing the boundaries of art and technology.
One area of debate that Van Arman actively engages with is the issue of royalties. As an artist, he supports the existence of royalties and acknowledges their significance in the writing and recording industries. He highlights the current writer’s strike in Hollywood, which revolves around the lack of royalties for streaming services. Van Arman believes that artists should have the freedom to transact and decide whether they want to impose royalties on their artwork. He views this as a matter of ownership and control, where artists have the right to protect their work and receive compensation accordingly.
Van Arman also shares some notable sales of his AI art, including his piece “AI Imagined Portrait Painted by a Robot,” which sold for 80 Ether (ETH) ($342,100). He believes that the value of art is subjective and that what may be considered worthless to some could be worth a lot to others.
In a rapid-fire Q&A session, Van Arman reveals his goals for AI art, his influences, and his favorite NFT in his wallet. He aims for people to experience emotions when viewing his art, without even realizing it was created by a robot. As for influences, he refrains from mentioning names to avoid giving them the satisfaction, but he appreciates the opportunity to interact with them in the crypto art space. He also mentions a collector named Blur, who owns one of his pieces and stands out for their lack of social media presence and genuine passion for art collecting.
The article also highlights some current trends in the NFT art market, including the success of the Winds of Yawanawa collection, a collaboration between Brazilian Indigenous Yawanawa and Refik Anadol. Notable sales in other collections are mentioned, showcasing the growing value and popularity of NFT art.
Lastly, the article touches on the iconic Chromie Squiggles collection, which is nearing completion. The founder, Erick “Snowfro” Calderon, has distributed the remaining mints to various individuals and institutions, with only two Squiggles remaining in the 10,000-collection.
In conclusion, Pindar Van Arman’s work as an AI artist and his perspective on the validity of AI art provide valuable insights into the evolving world of NFTs. Despite initial skepticism, his dedication and boundary-pushing approach continue to challenge traditional notions of art creation and ownership. The growing popularity and value of NFT art further demonstrate the potential and impact of this emerging digital art form.