We've all seen the images. We all remember watching the grainy VHS video
of Andy Warhol center stage creating digital artwork on his Amiga, a hushed audience watching on in amazement. We later learned that the engineers were inwardly praying Warhol wouldn't use the paint-bucket fill tool as it was very beta, and very crashy.
But Warhol did, and it didn't crash! And the engineers exhaled a shaky sigh of relief while the event went on.
Now, over 35 years later, five images retrieved from old floppy disks have been minted and auctioned as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) at a Christie's online sale. It has begun, and you can visit the auction and see the prices thus far here
. (They each started at $10,000 US.)
The auction is scheduled to end on May 27, 2021.
So let's say I lose my mind and bid on one and actually win. How would I be able to "show off" my priceless work of art? The original files were 320x200 NTSC images. These images have somehow been upscaled to 6000 x 4500, which is in fact 4:3. So that's good.
But I wouldn't own the copyright
to the actual image, which can be found all over the place online, in art history books, computer history books and the like.
I could display it on a nice big SamSung digital display at home I suppose. The whole point of most art is that it be a viewable experience, by and large, not including multimedia experiences.
But this is more an investment tucked away in my Crypto wallet, only to be talked about as a thing I owned but couldn't really show as an original (just like stocks, home equity as shown on Zillow, Ethereum, etc.), but a scaled up version thanks to someone with some basic Photoshop skills?
I get it. It's a really weird investment in digital goods. But dang it, I kinda really want the original disk! You know what I mean?
And by the way, don't we all want that image of Debbie Harry? Where'd that image go, hm?