Love it or hate it, a piece of performance art is now in permanent residence on the Ethereum blockchain. So is it worth watching?
As Cointelegraph reported, earlier this week a quarantine-inspired performance art film called HOW ARE WE was hashed and minted into a non-fungible token on the Ethereum blockchain. The project also minted another group of fungible HOW tokens and distributed these amongst the film’s contributors.
The rights to the work are now controlled by the main token holder, although mechanisms are in place to ensure that any change of ownership will also reward the holders of the HOW tokens. The entire value of the initial sale will be distributed between the contributors, with 10% of the value of any future sales going the same way.
As a concept for tokenizing art, proving legitimacy and ownership and providing ongoing rewards for the original artists, it is a tantalizing glimpse of a potential blockchain-enabled future for the art world…
… but is HOW ARE WE any good as art?
A smorgasbord of performance art
The film consists of 15 separate performance art clips, each of which is 90 seconds long. The individual artists devised and shot a performance inspired by the quarantine conditions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As each piece has been created in isolation, styles vary wildly, from movement focused works to spoken word and character portrayals and more abstract and esoteric clips.
We see performers writhe, dance, emote and move. One man lets a handful of glittering confetti be taken by the wind in slow motion, while another plays tennis against a wall to while background audio of sirens plays.
A woman drowns under a sea of her own making, while another holds a Zoom call with various instances of herself in a remote garden. Some sheets move while distorted childlike voices play in the background, and one clip is just a shot of a dozing dog.
Something for (almost) everyone
Obviously, performance art can be pretty divisive and is certainly not for everyone. If you think it is just an excuse for pretentious pseudointellectuals to jump around like cretins then there is little here to change your mind.
If however, you are open to a bit of artistic expression then there is plenty here to look at. While it is a mixed bag in terms of style and quality, there are some interesting concepts explored. And with each only lasting 90 seconds, if you don’t like a piece then there isn’t long to wait until you get something totally different.
And of course, who couldn’t benefit from watching a dozing dog for a minute and a half?
While the rights to the artwork may be held on the blockchain, the 25-minute film is currently freely available to watch online.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.