Podcast: Floor Is Rising
Episode: Kevin Abosch
Welcome to the podcast Floor Is Rising with host SabreTooth, a professional NFT collector and Kizu, a professional art critic. On this podcast, we talk deeply about the business of creating, collecting and analyzing NFTs. So, if you’re a creator or collector of NFTs, jump in!
On today’s episode, SabreTooth and Kizu interview Kevin Abosch, an OG crypto artist. Kevin began formal practice as an artist 33 years ago. Beginning with digital photography, he explains his art as always have been at the intersection of art and technology. After getting publicity from a project he built in which users of the portal could communicate anonymously, he was approached by a number of Bitcoin wallet companies who wanted to acquire the same technology. This sent him into a deepdive on all things blockchain. In January of 2018, Kevin made his first big statement by tokenizing himself in the form of 10 million ERC-20 tokens. This idea for I AM A COIN came to him after many years of feeling commodified as an artist.
When Kevin released his book Bank in 2013, few people seemed to show interest in the subject matter. In fact, he explains, the mainstream is only just now beginning to show interest in crypto, which has previously been seen as an alien. For decades, digital art was very marginalized from the professional art world. Many early practitioners of digital art were not prolific and spoke the language of technology, which most traditional artists did not have in common. Art institutions are only growing interest in digital art now because of the monetary potential seen in the medium’s growing popularity. There is very little consensus on what crypto and NFT art means, though for Kevin it is simply a methodology of creation.
The traditional art world has been hesitant to accept pioneers of digital art, though they are slowly coming around. Kevin ultimately believes that if there is money to be made in this field, then those with money and in power positions will control the narrative, show, media and marketplace. They discuss trash art among other prominent “newer” art movements. Historically, we know that the art world loves a movement, as there is power in numbers. Among many NFT artists, it is clear that there is a lack of understanding regarding how their practice fits into the context of the tradition of making art for thousands of years. The “new” concepts, such as trash art and found art, have really been done for decades and are nothing new at all.
Kevin discusses his first major NFT project 1111. Though the amount of work it required nearly killed him, it was a satisfying and well received project overall. The most challenging thing, he recalls, was finding the ability to sit back and watch his work be commodified. He prefers to know that his work has made it into good hands and people are finding enjoyment in it. This is a space, he has learned, in which you have the ability to create your own reality. As the episode wraps up, he reveals his favorite artist.
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0:57 – Introduction to this episode and today’s guest, Kevin Abosch
1:53 – Kevin’s background in art and cryptoart.
8:33 – The reception of Kevin’s 2013 work, Bank, and what has changed since then.
11:04 – The tensions between digital vs. contemporary art worlds.
19:25 – The future of traditional art worlds.
22:30 – Reflecting on trash art and other “new” art movements against the background of art.
28:11 – Kevin’s project 1111 and discussing the art collector dynamic.
35:30 – Kevin’s favorite artist,
Crypto, cryptocurrency, cryptoart, crypto artist, NFT, digital toke, digital photography, photographer, artist, digital art, technology art, blockchain, cryptography, conceptual art, investors, startup, privacy, anonymous, bitcoin, bitcoin wallet, public and private keys, Ionia coin, ERC-20 tokens, openseed, contemporary art, media art, meme, digital art career, NFT art, art movements, twitter, trash art, traditional art, art collectors, discord
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