Renowned Curator Francesco Bonami Inaugurates NFT Mint With Hoge Finance
By Hogefather, aka Jesse J Rogers
It was a bit like volunteering to interview the most interesting man in the world, without ever having sipped a Dos Equis.
I have very little knowledge of art, so I’m not sure what possessed me to accept a mission that was this far outside of my wheelhouse. But I did. And I’m so glad I said “yes”.
Interviewing Francesco “The Bonamist” Bonami was an absolute delight. You can watch our first conversation here.
We talked about many things, including his perspective and career, interesting works and trends in artwork, and of course the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that he’s teaming up with Hoge Finance to mint.
Many in the art world currently view NFTs with skepticism and even opposition. Bonami admits that even he does! The new tech seems alien and unwelcome to the side of himself that lives in that traditional world. But at the same time, he’s also a curious fellow that’s willing to adventure into the unknown.
This daring and inquisitive nature no doubt contributed to the accomplishments he is most famous for. You may also find it interesting to see the exhibits at the 2003 Venice Biannale which Francesco Bonami was curator of, as well as the Shit and Die exhibit that we briefly discuss.
It didn’t come up in this conversation, but I quite enjoyed the Fruit & Vegetables exhibit as well. When I challenged Bonami to utilize YouTube to critique and analyze some of his favorite works as an ongoing series, this is very much the sort of thing I had in mind.
Instead of seeing YouTube as a secondary consideration that merely documents the main exhibit, YouTube can itself be the center of the effort. It is a platform with which to reach millions directly. I think there is no one better suited to analyze and critique in this medium than Francesco Bonami. What can I say? I appreciate his insight and vision.
For elaboration on the NFTs which cause such a stir, neither Bonami nor myself are experts on them, so I will defer to the programmer who has enabled the Hogemint capability — our Chief Technology Officer Dr. Joseph “Hogeman” Niehaus.
In case you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t get it” or “I must be too stupid for this nft stuff”, just give it a moment. Trying to understand the impact of non-fungibility on digital assets is like trying to imagine what the printing press means to literature as a bunch of monks copying bibles. “More bibles” he might say, “spread the word of god”. But it’s so much more.
Nobody could forsee what it meant to have a literacy rate of 100% in a population, or how the spread of ideas would create new nations, businesses, and modes of thinking. The work you’re doing to understand the NFT is exactly that work of defining new modes of cooperation and economic incentives to support people. Right now the content creator and his patronage is the most obvious model, and we struggled a little with digital rights/permissions. It may grow into fruition, or it may not. Certainly the NFT re-imagines the relationship between digital artist and consumer, and almost negates the purpose of a DMCA (in respect to individuals). Piracy is obsolete, because distribution is not the point of sale anymore. Business to business transactions will likely proceed as laid out by current copyright laws. — Hogeman
The future of NFTs is indeed wide open, and none of us know quite what it will look like. Maybe it will be a fad that comes to nothing, as critics insist. But maybe, just maybe, we’re witnessing something as significant as the printing press. Maybe Hogeman is right that no one from our time can even begin to process the implications of how this could change the world.
Whatever happens, I’m grateful that there are leaders like Bonami who are willing to stand against doubt to invite the world to imagine the kind of future that might be possible. Is this not the value of art?
I feel that I must end this article by thanking Hoge Core for selecting me for the chance to represent Hoge in this historic event. And please know that I certainly didn’t do this alone. I have to thank Tammi King, Saint C, and everyone else on Unit 1. These are the people who did the research behind the scenes to enable my fluency in the topic to seem passable. They also built momentum and awareness around the project. I especially want to thank Andreea Mocanu, without whom none of this could have happened.
Be sure to follow Francesco “THE BONAMIST” Bonami on Instagram, and welcome him to Hoge Nation!