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From NFTs to Using AI: A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Art

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From NFTs to Using AI: A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Art

This is one of the items included in the Speciale Italian Tech Weekattached free of charge to Repubblica, Stampa and Secolo XIX: 112 pages dedicated to the future, with the program of ITW 2022 (all details here)

In the beginning it was Beeple: on March 10, 2021, the American artist has sold her The Last 5000 Days for $ 69.3 million, guaranteeing its authenticity with an NFT. Perhaps he was not the first in an absolute sense, but he was definitely the first to demonstrate that it could be done and that it could be earned. And that changed everything: there is a before and an after, in the world of art. Intended as a before and after the use of NFTs to certify the authenticity of a work.

The acronym NFT stands for Non-fungible token, that is unique and non-replaceable digital tokens (non-fungible): the NFT is not the work itself, but the certificate that guarantees its uniqueness, confirms who created it and establishes who owns it. In order to do this, the token must be unchangeable and precisely not replaceable, which is why it is protected by an encryption such as cryptocurrencies.

After Beeple, in the last year and a half it has been a flourishing of digital works protected by NFT: not only drawings and images of all kinds, but also tweets, videos, animated gifs, audio clips. Also in Italy, art galleries specialized in this have sprung up, and after Christie’s (who oversaw the sale of the Beeple collage) Sotheby’s also threw itself into this lucrative market: after having sold, for almost 1.5 million, Quantum dell’americano Kevin McCoythe managers of the historic auction house compared it to “creations by artists such as Picasso, Malevich and Duchamp” for the ability to create a “small earthquake” in the world of art.

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They were probably right, mainly for two reasons: why NFTs are able to democratize the creative process and make it accessible to practically anyone, and because at the beginning of 2022 another thing happened in the art world that was destined to upset it.


How to create an NFT and how to sell it online

by Emanuele Capone

Criatura Del Fin, by Argentine Frenetik Void in collaboration with The Internet Office.

Criatura Del Fin, by Argentine Frenetik Void in collaboration with The Internet Office.

The arrival of AI and the fascination of outpainting

What happened was that we started using artificial intelligences to create images that don’t exist. Photos never taken and of unreal things, and yet so well done as to seem real. So much so that he won an art competition in the USA, with a trail of unfailing controversy.

The everything is based on Dall-E 2, an AI capable of recognizing people’s language, listening to their instructions and transforming them into images: you tell them what you want (a dog with a painter’s cap, the final of Champion’s seen by Van Gogh, a girl who look at the smartphone in a cyberpunk city) and the computer generates the photo from nothing. Today there are many sites that anyone can do this with: you connect to Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and Pixelz.AI, eventually you pay, you write the instructions and then you wait. In reality, little is expected: all those who have tried it confirm that these machines “are able to do in 2-3 minutes what a digital artist does in half a day’s work”.

The new versions, in addition to being able to create images from scratch, are also able to complete the existing ones, starting with the famous paintings: the technique is called Outpainting and allows (for example) to imagine the room in which the Girl with a pearl earring or see who’s around the guy yelling in theScream by Munch. Or also find out where Mona Lisa isso as to perhaps understand why he makes the face he makes.

The exhibition

Play, the art in the video game, the video game in the art

by Bruno Ruffilli

The Foundry, la digital art da ammirare a Expo Tech

The 2022 edition of the Italian Tech Week (here all the details on the program) it also has an Expo area, home to numerous installations and demos and an exhibition of digital art works: The Foundry is a collective exhibition with 10 NFTs created as part of the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art’s decentralized art residency program of the same name starting since last February. Every two months, The Foundry hosts residencies that culminate in new works exhibited in virtual exhibitions in the metaverse (things?). The figures involved in the program are among the most interesting of the crypto scene: Frenetik Void, Kevin Abosch, Entangled Others Studio and Renderfruit, all artists whose unique styles reveal the great variety and richness of the contemporary digital art scene.

The exhibition is open for all two days of the ITWeek, 29 and 30 Septemberin the Expo Tech area, at Platform 2.

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