Why Musician and Ethereum NFT Artist Jimmy Edgar Is Skeptical of Music NFTs

Why Musician and Ethereum NFT Artist Jimmy Edgar Is Skeptical of Music NFTs

For musician and visual artist Jimmy Edgar, NFTs are intangible—but that’s not a bad thing.

U music world, Edgar worked with Vince Staples, Charli XSXX, Miguel, Machinedrum and remixed Lady Gaga’s “Babylon”. But he also branched out on his own with NFTs.

Edgar releases an Ethereum NFT’s August 11th collection titled OXYGEN, consisting of 13 artworks that play with the viewer’s conception of the immaterial, liquid, aerial and consumerist symbols of adulthood.

“Through the metaphysical process by which Jimmy forges ‘digital condensation,’ imagination solidifies as literal objects,” according to a press release.

The NFTs will be on display at the Vellum LA NFT Gallery in a solo exhibition in Los Angeles from August 11th to September 11th and will also be sold on the Foundation’s NFT marketplace. Alice Scope and Sinziana Velicescu were the curators of the exhibition.

NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that denote ownership—are linked to the digital art they validate. Edgar is comfortable with the abstract concepts of blockchain and digital tokens in part because the OXYGEN NFTs address the idea so directly immateriality and potential changes in the state of matter.

“I see Ethereum as a layer of the medium of art,” he said Decrypt in an interview, adding that Ethereum NFTs essentially function as a “super futuristic certificate of authenticity” for digital art.

FUNILAC, NFT from Edgar’s OXYGEN collection. Edgar told Descript that Dyson products “symbolize this ascension into adulthood.” Image: Jimmy Edgar.

Like the OXYGEN collection, Edgar’s previously released NFT collection OBJECTZ and OPTIONZ also include 3D rendered images, surreal physicalities, punchy color gradients, and sometimes draw inspiration from artist Jeff Koons.

“There’s always a bit of humor in my art,” Edgar said of his work. “There’s always a bit of sarcasm.”

Edgar first got into NFT in early 2021. His friends in the music industry were excited about the potential of NFT, and Edgar quickly embraced the idea, but wanted to apply it to visual art.

“My whole life very much exists in the digital realm,” he said, reflecting on why digital art is so important to him.

And immateriality—the idea that something can exist as a “non-object” without being physical—doesn’t devalue NFT for Edgar. Instead, he sees it as part of the evolution of thought and visual art, and the intangibility of digital assets is a theme explored in his work.

“We’re kind of like this generation that’s moving into the intangible—we’re moving up the dimensions and becoming even more intangible,” he said. “I have a lot of patience and belief in cryptocurrency as a digital medium.”

EPOXY ONE, NFT from Edgar’s OXYGEN collection. Image: Jimmy Edgar.

When it comes to music, Edgar sees songs as invisible sculptures.

“I’ve always seen music as sculpture in a way,” he said. “Music is somewhat intangible in a way that you don’t see it, you just feel it and hear it.”

While he sees huge potential for NFT visual arts, Edgar doesn’t feel the same way about current NFT music apps – so don’t expect any of his songs to appear on the NFT music platform Royal or elsewhere in the near future.

“I’ve seen, you know, a lot of talk and propaganda about musical NFTs, but I’m extremely skeptical of NFT songs being dismissed. “I just feel like music is so devalued right now that it’s not really relevant, it doesn’t really make sense,” he said.

But Edgar — whose musical background is primarily in DJing and production — thinks music NFTs could work if they were thought of as community assets.

“For NFTs to work with music in the future, I envision a platform where musicians are able to make music, make sounds, trade them, sell them, collect them and that creates a new community.”

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