Why Is NFT Art So Ugly?

I came across this entertaining essay about NFTs (digital certificates of authenticity traded in a speculative asset bubble, aka "non-fungible tokens"), not from a financial, technological or environmental perspective, but instead from an art-criticism perspective.

As soon as you actually try to talk about this art as art the whole thing sort of falls apart, it just absolutely cannot stand up to the scrutiny. Doing so is about as cringy for the writer and the reader as it is for the viewer of the art itself, which I have to think is why the entire art world seems committed to talking only about the technology, the transmission mechanism, the great great value, all the swirling bullshit AROUND NFTs rather than, god forbid, the amateurish nonsense itself.

Plenty of social and environmental issues with NFTs too, of course, but those have been discussed to death by people more knowledgeable than me.

Edit: the follow-up essay "Why is NFT art so lazy?" is also good, focussing more on procgen in and out of NFTs.

Nate Harrison's audiovisual essays

A while ago I came across a widely-seen Youtube video about the history of the Amen breakbeat, which was a reposting of a recording of a 2004 documentary audio installation by artist Nate Harrison. It details the artist's view of the rise of the break, as well as what this might tell us about the effects of intellectual property on cultural development.

Can I Get An Amen? — Nate Harrison (2004)

Having enjoyed the piece's dry-yet-engaging style, as well as learning about such a specific cultural phenomenon in some detail, I sought out other pieces by the same artist. Luckily, they're posted on his online gallery, as well as on Archive.org. Several of them are somewhat-abstract video installations which are less interesting to me, but there are several other audiovisual essays which I have enjoyed, on various aspects on art, media and tools.