Why Ethereum musician and NFT artist Jimmy Edgar is skeptical about music NFTs

Why Ethereum musician and NFT artist Jimmy Edgar is skeptical about music NFTs

For musician and visual artist Jimmy Edgar, NFTs are intangible — but that’s no bad thing.

In which music world, Edgar has worked with the likes of Vince Staples, Charli XCX, Miguel, Machinedrum and remixed Lady Gaga’s Babylon. But he also started his own business with NFTs.

Edgar publishes one ether NFT Collection on August 11 titled OXYGEN, which consists of 13 artworks that play with the viewer’s imagination of immaterial, liquid, airy and consumerist symbols of adulthood.

“Through a metaphysical process that Jimmy calls ‘digital condensation,’ imagination solidifies into literal objects,” reads a press release.

The NFTs will be on display August 11-September 11 at NFT Gallery Vellum LA in a one-man show in Los Angeles and also for sale on NFT Marketplace Foundation. The exhibition was curated by Alice Scope and Sinziana Velicescu.

NFTs– unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership – are linked to the digital art they authenticate. Edgar is familiar with the abstract concepts of blockchain and digital tokens, in part because the OXYGEN NFTs deal so directly with the idea of immateriality and the possible state changes of matter.

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

BLOW DRYER, an NFT from Edgar’s OXYGEN collection. Edgar told Decrypt that Dyson products “symbolize that rise into adulthood”. Image: Jimmy Edgar.

Like the OXYGEN collection, Edgar’s previously released NFT collections OBJECT and OPTIONZ also incorporate 3D rendered images, surrealistic physicalities, expressive 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 was first introduced to NFTs in early 2021. His friends in the music industry were excited about the potential of NFTs, and Edgar was quick to embrace the idea but wanted to apply it to the visual arts.

“My whole life is basically digital,” 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 physicality – does not devalue NFTs for Edgar. Instead, he sees it as part of the evolution of thought and fine art, and the intangibility of digital assets is a theme explored in his work.

“We’re kind of like this generation going into the intangible — we’re moving up the dimensions and becoming more intangible,” he said. “I have a lot of patience and conviction for cryptocurrencies as a digital medium.”

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

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

“I’ve always viewed music as a form of sculpture in a way,” he shared. “Music is immaterial in that you don’t see it, only feel and hear it.”

While he sees tremendous potential for NFTs for fine arts, Edgar doesn’t think the same about the current NFT applications for music – so don’t expect any of his songs to be released on the NFT music platform royal or somewhere else soon.

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

But Edgar — whose musical background is primarily in DJing and producing — believes music NFTs could work if viewed as community assets.

“For NFTs to work with music in the future, I envision a platform where musicians can make music, create sound, trade it, sell it, collect it, and create a new community.”

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