Non-fungible Stiles


Why would anyone want NFT stiles? Same reason anyone would want to create the greatest collection of stiles on the internet. Just because.

Well… actually, that’s not entirely true. There’s a bit more to it than that. I’m interested in how the physical world and digital world meet (did you see the #FloorsIveWalkedOn), so creating an entirely digital collection of things that aren’t connected in the real world is my kind of conceptual art. And stiles are one of the few unique (and manufactured) items in our physical world, whereas most things are mass produced, so extending that uniqueness into a tokenised version of the object seems like the obvious step to connect the physical to the digital.


You need three things to create NFTs: a crypto wallet like MetaMask, a cryptogoods marketplace like OpenSea, and some artwork that is unique and collectible. Luckily for me, I’ve been creating the greatest collection of stiles anywhere on the internet for a few years now so I’ve all the amazing artwork I need. Connect your cryptowallet to your marketplace account, add your artwork to the marketplace and you have your very own NFTs. Once the NFTs are set up you can then add a price and begin selling them. Of course, selling them requires marketing, usually in the form of creating hype within a small niche of interested people.


I’m not really interested in NFTs for making money, or even for the technology, of which there are lots of different opinions. I think NFTs are an interesting thought experiment, conceptual art about art about ownership, and of course, in my mind at least, an even more virtual part of the digital/physical relationship between things. With NFTs you can claim ownership of an entirely arbitrary record that has a completely invented relationship to the digital object that is a unique in it’s own right and way virtual representation of a physical object that no one ‘owns’ in any real sense. If that seems ridiculous, think about how ownership of anything, from a house to an apple, is any different. It isn’t. We might have a piece of paper (a receipt) that represents the exchange of money, which has no inherent value only that which as a society we agree to pretend it does, for the physical object of the apple. If you don’t eat the apple, it rots and eventually disappears, but the money you paid remains fixed even as the value of the apple change to you (a rotten apple is less valuable to you than a fresh apple).

Trying to explore these ideas through other lens such as economics, is very difficult because everything is made up. It’s just ideas and concepts, and yet people treat economics as if it has some reality about it, probably because we’re so embedded in it. That’s art is a better way of looking at this and things like this. It allows for ambiguities and paradoxes that very few ways of thinking accept so easily.