This is my NFT page. I am going to try to explain NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens. If I fail, either it’s because I don’t really know what I am talking about, or possibly it’s because the whole idea of NFTs makes no sense at all. Anyway, as an experiment I am creating my own NFT, a low-resolution image of which is seen below:
This is a jpeg of my lino print, “Willow pattern.” As you can see it is re-imagined from the original 18th century design, having lost the three little men on the bridge and with the addition of a bather top left and her lover in the foreground.
The original willow pattern developed from an accumulation of elements copied or interpreted from imported Chinese porcelain. Later the design was connected to a Japanese fairy tale about lovers forbidden to marry because of a difference in social class. They escape over the bridge while being chased by the woman’s father – even though the original design shows three identical men.
In my version the man has somehow to get across the water to his beloved who is preparing to bathe from her idyllic retreat on an island. You can make up the rest of the story while looking at the picture.
Back to the topic of NFTs. ‘Fungible’ means something that is interchangeable with something else. So any one-pound coin is interchangeable with any other, even if they have different dates on them or different designs. If I were to have printed my Willow pattern design commercially in an unlimited edition, then one print would be fully exchangeable with another. However, if I made only one lino print and then destroyed the lino, that print would be non-fungible.
The term non-fungible suggests that there ought to be a verb to funge, to make fungible, but it does not appear in any dictionary that I have consulted.
A non-fungible token, or NFT, is a record on a blockchain (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum or some other distributed ledger) of ownership of something. It is not the actual thing itself. According to Wikipedia, “NFT ledgers claim to provide a public certificate of authenticity or proof of ownership, but the legal rights conveyed by an NFT can be uncertain. NFTs do not restrict the sharing or copying of the underlying digital files and do not prevent the creation of NFTs with identical associated files.”
To understand NFTs better I have ‘minted’ a high-resolution version of the above image as an NFT on Opensea. However, if you want an actual limited-edition (only fungible within limits: I shall funge just ten of them, and the artist’s proof is already taken) print in high-quality ink on Japanese Kitakata paper, head over to my Etsy store where you can buy actual physical lino prints to frame and hang on your wall: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MartinDaceArt