This artist is trying to destroy the market with ‘free NFTs’

Free nfts

Photos courtesy of nfts_gratuits

Recently, I came across an Instagram account full of confusing photos, including crazy sci-fi creatures, miners, and golden men. The images are offered as “free NFTs”, and are accompanied by captions such as “BREAK FREE FROM THE BLOCK CHAIN”. The account called ‘nfts_gratuits’ thus forms an oasis of generosity in the stingy desert, which is the NFT world. Since last year, it turned out that digital certificates of ownership for JPEGs and GIFs can bring in a lot of money, it seems that everyone feels obligated to push every image to the last drop. Kanye West recently expressed his frustration over all the people who asked him to do an NFT when he did not want to. The free NFTs from nft’s_gratuits are a more ambiguous statement: they are entering the NFT economy to playfully destroy the market. We talked to the manufacturer.

nft free blockchain

Images courtesy of nfts_gratuits.

The images and texts from nft_gratuits seem to come directly from eerie valley. It is difficult to say whether they are produced by an algorithm (as is the case with much NFT art) or by a human. Yet it is the last case, as it turns out, when I send a message. Behind the strange images is a Parisian artist who hides behind the pseudonym “Free Guy” * for this project. As usual in the NFT scene, he does not want to reveal who he is, but he would like to talk to me. Free Guy makes comics and is also a technical assistant at a printing workshop. The drawings he now distributes as ‘free NFTs’ were already made three years ago. “I do not know why. I did not really use them back then, I just turned them into a book and sold it at zine festivals. But then the hype came up last year and I thought: these look like NFTs!”

But instead of putting the cartoon characters on the blockchain as NFTs and trying to assemble a crypto fortune with them, he tossed the NFT-like images on Instagram, saying they belong to all of humanity. “This is already the case with things that artists post on Instagram. And even if you buy a real NFT, you do not even have the rights to print it on, for example, a T-shirt. It’s just a contract. And you say: this is mine. ”

This weakness of NFTs has long been the subject of ridicule on the Internet. In fact, NFTs are nothing but pieces of computer code that have been agreed upon to determine the ownership of memes and works of art. It is often a kind of roadmap to a place where those images are stored. However, the fact that an image has a unique NFT code does not mean that you can no longer share or copy that image yourself. It is a feature that is widely used by trolls who do not like this new ownership system. Someone took this joke extremely far by making a huge download file with all the NFTs in the world. That crypto fans, in turn, sometimes do not understand copyright became clear when some of them paid millions for a rare edition of the manuscript of Jodorowsky’s failed dunemovies. They thought they had bought the rights with it, but they just have a very expensive book.

free coin, image courtesy of nfts gratuits

There is also a free coin. Image courtesy of nfts_gratuits.

nft_gratuits is based on this confusion. His account is therefore often used to ridicule NFTs: people respond with extreme gratitude to his generous gesture, saying that their return is tenfold (because: ten times zero is zero), or that they will soon use a jpeg of zero with their profits will click on a Lamborghini. Yet not everyone understands the irony.

Many people send me messages asking me to send the free NFT. And when I started using the hashtag “nft”, all kinds of bots started talking to me about NFTs. One of them had two million followers. It is very strange and fun to end up in this loop. ” As in ordinary economics, there are apparently all sorts of bots and algorithms that try to inflate the NFT bubble completely automatically. In addition to the heavy environmental impact that NFTs carry, Free Guy is concerned about NFTs for that reason. He thinks they could lead us into yet another economic crisis. “There is already so much speculation with stocks, with contemporary art and now also with crypto. All that money disappears from the real economy. ” Free Guy sometimes gets angry messages from NFT evangelists who believe this is finally a way to make money making art. They say: do you not sometimes give artists money? Of course, it is a gift from God for some people, but in the end, there are only a few. Most of the money is earned by the people who trade with them. It’s just a scam. ”

With his project, Free Guy hopes to demonstrate the absurdity of NFTs. At the same time, he is aware that he can not influence the fate of the work he gives away. “Maybe someone will turn it into a real NFT. It’s possible.” He says he would not mind if it made a lot of money afterwards. ‘That would be completely absurd. But even then, I do not care, because it is still one big mess. I can not stop it, no one can stop it. There are already too many people in it, and too many bots. “

* name known by the editor

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