Why Musician And Ethereum NFT Artist Jimmy Edgar Is Skeptical Of Music NFTs

For musician and visual artist Jimmy Edgar, NFTs are elusive, but that’s okay.

In the music world, Edgar has worked with the likes of Vince Staples, Charli XCX, Miguel, Machinedrum and remixed Lady Gaga’s “Babylon”. But he’s also only branched out with NFTs.

Edgar releases one Ethereum NFT collection on August 11 called OXYGEN, which consists of 13 artworks that play with the viewer’s conception of the intangible, liquid, air and consumptive symbols of maturity.

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

The NFTs will be on display at the Vellum LA NFT Gallery in a solo exhibition in Los Angeles from August 11 to September 11 and will also be sold on the Foundation NFT marketplace. Alice Scope and Sinziana Velicescu curated the exhibition.

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

“I see Ethereum as a layer of the medium of art,” he told decode in an interview, adding that Ethereum NFTs essentially function as “a superfuturistic certificate of authenticity” for digital art.

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

Like the OXYGEN collection, Edgar .’s previously released NFT collections OBJECTZ and OPTIONZ also feature 3D-rendered graphics, surreal physicalities, punchy color transitions, and sometimes take 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 first encountered NFTs in early 2021. His friends in the music industry had gotten excited about the potential of NFTs, and Edgar was quick on board with the idea, but wanted to apply it to the visual arts.

“My whole life pretty much exists in the digital realm,” he said, reflecting on why digital art is so important to him.

And immateriality — the idea that something as a “non-object” can exist without physicality — doesn’t devalue NFTs for Edgar. Instead, he views it as part of the evolution of thought and the visual arts, and the elusiveness of digital assets is a theme explored in his work.

“We’re kind of like this generation that’s transitioning into the intangible — we’re going up the dimensions and becoming more intangible,” he said. “I have a lot of patience and conviction for cryptocurrency 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 thought of music as sculpting in a way,” he said. “Music is somewhat unimportant in the way you don’t see it, you feel it and hear it.”

While he sees huge potential for NFTs for visual arts, Edgar doesn’t think the same about current NFT applications for music – so don’t expect any of his songs to drop onto the NFT music platform. Royal or soon elsewhere.

“I’ve, you know, seen 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 makes no sense,” he said.

But Edgar — whose music background lies primarily in DJing and producing — thinks music NFTs could work if they’re viewed as community assets.

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

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