Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Earlier this month:

editors of an art-selling page dedicated to the most expensive artworks by living artists questioned whether examples such as the $69 million sale of Beeple’s Everydays, or Pak’s $91.8 million NFT “merge” should be included. It’s a tie for the top spot right now between Jasper Johns and Damien Hirst. The debate quickly descended into semantics, with participants debating whether NFTs were tokens or artworks in and of themselves.

The issue was put to a vote:

as is customary when there is disagreement over classification in the free online encyclopaedia. Five of the list’s six editors decided against including NFTs. (The Wikipedia entry had not yet been updated at the time of publication.)

As one Wikipedia editor put it:

“Wikipedia really cannot be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs (art or not) in their own list makes things a lot simpler.” When it came to supporting Beeple’s sale at Christie’s, the lone defender pointed to reports from respected media outlets like the New York Times.

People paid attention to the vote:

even though it took place on a secondary page between six people, all volunteers, who were discussing a larger cultural debate about newfangled forms of digital art and their relationship to traditional modes of artistic production.

Some people:

particularly in the crypto community, were upset by the outcome. “Wikipedia relies on prior knowledge. According to Duncan Cock Foster, co-founder of the popular NFT platform Nifty Gateway, “if NFTs are classified as ‘not art’ on this page, then they will be classified as ‘not art’ on the rest of Wikipedia.” For many people around the world, Wikipedia is their go-to resource for the truth. There are no higher stakes!”

  • It was then that Cock Foster issued a rallying cry for members of the NFT community to “rally and tell Wikipedia editors that NFTs are art!”
  • Every day of their lives, digital artists have had to fight for their right to exist. He wrote, “We can’t allow Wikipedia editors to set them back.”

However, the matter has not been resolved.

  • After the vote, the Wikipedia editors agreed to have another discussion about this issue at a later time in the future.

 

By Adam

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