NFTs Vs DOTs, Digital Things, Digital Object-ness & Value Of Digital Art In Web3
On this episode of NEWFORUM, we had no other than the one and only Matt Condon, the only person we know in Web3 who has a chip in their hand that dispenses rare, digital Matt sticker only if you find him IRL. An NFT OG in Web3 and host of Digitally Rare Podcast, where he and his co-host Jonathan Mann explore what it means to own things on the Blockchain and beyond. He has also worked with companies like Google and Skillshare. We had a great conversation about NFTs, Blockchain, Smart Contract, DAOs, the Creator Economy, and how Matt uses his voice and experience to help shape and build the Web3 space.
In Web3, it feels like I’m just wandering around and going like what’s over there wooh!, there’s way more over there; sort of by accident, and I think that’s really energizing; anyone curious, creative, and who thinks critically about this stuff will make a huge impact. There are endless, endless opportunities. What is motivating is casually doing something new, not done before. It feels cool…” — Matt
NEWFORUM hosts were eager to begin the interview with two questions- who is an NFT OG, and why does he have a chip in his hand?
So let’s begin with his explanation of what it means to be NFT OG in Web3.
Matt explained that the NFT OG moniker was something he and others came up with for a digital event they did last year or maybe even before that.
“NFT OG means, I was there in the comments section when we were making up all these things like the term NFT; I still battle with, I think we should have called them DOTs or Digitally Owned Things, probably would have the whole education side of things a lot easier but NFT is what caught on…” — Matt
Matt showed up to the Crypto scene in 2017. He shared that similar to the classic Crypto story, he had seen the white paper but didn’t get it and finally read it another time; this time, Matt understood it enough to participate-he learned of Smart Contract through the exploration of Crypto. The first time he encountered the word Smart Contract it seemed like this mystical object; until he figured out that it was code running on several computers, he recalled.
“I was like, oh I know how to do that and got into Ethereum, and once you are in the Ethereum space, there’s all this different thing going on; eventually I saw Cryptopunks and was like oh that’s really interesting. It was Cryptopunks that introduced me to this idea of Digital Objects that aren’t just money, aren’t tokens…” — Matt
Matt expressed that his brain hasn’t fully comprehended the concept of DeFi, although relating it to objects helped him understand better since he’s a collector: collecting classic stories, Pokemon and YuGiOh.
“ NFT and specifically Cryptopunk ecosystem just struck a chord, and through that lens, I ended up learning a lot about what it means for something to be an object; getting in Art Theory and into Psychology…” — Matt
Matt took us along on his journey down the rabbit hole, sharing all the excitement, challenges, discoveries, and learnings in his full interview.
This chip in Matts hand, what is it about, and how is it connected to NFTs?
Matt refers to the chip as a project, and what he loves about it is that it is realistic, surreal, and weird at the same time, yet, it forces people to think and ask questions. Matt has implanted an NFT in his body. He showed the NewForum hosts and community the exact spot, and we could see with our own eyes that there’s something under his skin for real. Matt explained how the chip works as an NFT and how people can interact with it in his episode. Don’t miss it!
“ I think claiming NFTs, especially in this freeway, is a good onboarding process. I’m a lot of people’s first NFT, especially because they don’t need Eth. to get it; I think it’s a great start to the NFT rabbit hole if this is your first introduction to the weirdness of Web3. I think that’s a good sign as opposed to some of the more commercialized stuff…” — Matt
How further can we push NFTs?
Matt thinks there’s something new about the psychology of owning a digital thing. He believes that the possibility of owning digital things changes everything.
“ Digital things can be objects, and that unlocks the whole Digital Art market…” — Matt
According to Matt, Digital Art was categorically ignored as an art form on the internet because of the innate reproducibility of the work- causing a perverse connection to physical work that humans have with the concept of value.
“Digital objects now have a narrative way to have an aura: to have object-ness, to be a thing that one can own, because that’s all ownership is. It’s an object with a record of who owns it, and the only right you have over that as an owner is to send it to someone else or destroy it if you wanted to…” — Matt
He continued to discuss the connection between Digital Objects and Digital Arts and how Digital artists can now thrive as artists. He even gave a few examples to support his standpoint. One example was his animator friend who had to do ads, movies, VFX, and other jobs to make a living, but now with the disruption of the Creator Economy thanks to the New Technologies and Web3, he only produces animations that make him happy.
“I think that’s amazing; that is one of the huge revolutions happening right now, this slow realization that in the minds of everyone alive that owning Digital Things is possible and also meaningful and also part of our lives in the same way that physical things are…” — Matt
Matt was passionate about dissecting his philosophical connection between; Iconic memes and Comedy, Digital Art, Digital Things, Digital Objectness, NFTs in the context of value and aura in the Creator Economy.
If you think like the NEWFORUM community, you are already curious to know how an NFT OG defines NFT?
“I’d say an NFT is a tool to give Digital Thing an aura…I think it is a Digitally Owned Thing (DOT)…” — Matt
Matt helped our community process his definition explaining that from the context of DOTs, it can represent anything, it doesn’t have to be a picture, it doesn’t have to be a video; it could be anything, and that he finds incredible because innovation and exploration are flexible.
Matt also shared his perspective on the connection between NFTs and Cryptocurrencies and how they will help coordinate Web3 in his full interview.
“If you think about the world, the vast majority of things are more NFT than not, money is one of the only clear examples of something that is clearly fungible in our life, but even then dollar bills are non-fungible; they have a serial number- each one is a unique object, and so when you look at it with that lens, it’s actually a bit surprising that it took too long for NFTs to be a thing…” — Matt
Matt shared that it is more natural to see the world through this lens because it affects a person’s life and although NFT and Cryptocurrencies both have a crucial role to play in Web3 and the Creator Economy. He expressed that he is particularly interested in NFTs and how it affects his life. He believes that when it comes to the Creator Economy, Web3 has returned to the basics.
What does Matt mean by returning to the basics?
“We have digital Objects; you see people selling art, and that’s it, full stop; like renaissance style and people being patrons full stop. I would like to buy this thing, and that’s the full experience. It doesn’t have to get weirder than that…” — Matt
Watch the full episode with the oneofthemanymatts! Hear him speak knowledgeably about NFTs and the Creator Economy. He also dived into NFTs versus DOTs discussing his philosophical concept of the meaning of value in the context of Digital Art in this digital era.
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