INTERNET — I’m fucking tired of the apes. The flat, pointless pixelpunks. Crypto fans tell us this is ‘non-fungible art’, yet employ all possible means to mass-produce maximally derivative icons and make sure they’re seen by everyone, at least fourteen times a day. To any mind not addled by the inherent futurology (astrology by means of scifi), these awful fucking icons are instantly recognizable not as the future, but as the dead end of the era’s overoptimistic, technology drained imagination.
The Maximally Fungible Ugliness of NFT art acts as mascot and pretext for a wide array of unregulated speculation markets. The icons bear a striking resemblance to Fred Flinstone, Tony the Tiger, and other cartoon characters used in marketing sugar-laden children’s cereal. Maximally Fungible Ugliness isn’t only unhealthy for children, the economy, the electric grid, or the environment. It’s the morbid sick at the heart of our civilization.
Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot stated that NFTs facilitate an ideal relationship between artists and patrons. This is built upon the futurological premise that traditional banking and currency will inevitably be replaced by crypto. Never mind the absurd computing expenses, slow transfers, and third-rate security that makes the premise laughable. Tolokonnikova’s art is the kind of minimum effort bespoke icons that viewers will pound to death while watching a Twitch stream because their thoughts are too repetitive and tiring to actually type out. Backgrounded in these icons are Tolokonnikova’s prison papers, an ugly detraction which serves only to underline the fact that this is an ideal relationship with patrons, for sure, but also, nothing has changed. Financial support of this kind is still only for the few artists who are sexy, fabulous, or lucky.
The smell of rot is unbearable, but Maximally Fungible Ugliness did not begin with NFTs. The Ugliness pervades public spaces, invades devices, imprints itself on labels, cycles through permutation after permutation, fills the few gaps left in economic suffering by berating everyone everywhere with a stream of ceaseless insults to their intelligence, dignity, and humanity. The Ugliness has been distilled and refined for decades and the NFT is the penultimate expression: Marketing has become self-sufficient, and no longer relies on meatspace goods or services. While we were distracted with the potential for some AI apocalypse, marketing has slowly eaten us up from the inside, some aesthetic singularity passing by unnoticed, and only Rip Van Winkle, awakening from his slumber, can see quite how ugly life has become. Ha-ha.
It is so often said that the simple appreciation of Beauty for its own sake is shallow or narrow minded. But if there were an essence to Beauty, it should be fantasy. The opening of all potential, the emptiness of a blank slate and its laughable projections, pathetic daydreams, the experience of eternity, of oceanic depth. This inspires ridiculous behavior, love, which is an intolerable thing, and can be dealt with easily. Just ignore it!
But if it doesn’t go away, it can be enclosed within a marital contract, secured in bland familiarity, withheld in casual usefulness. What is left of love may be allowed to linger for a time, before being choked out by the all-pervading Ugliness and the perfectly acceptable, low-risk, business-like behavior of partnership.
This madness for trading trashy marketing materials representing no services or goods is the most pure partnership possible, an ideal relationship like out of some childish romance anime, a perfect transaction in the Ugly mold, and the next technological improvement over the purchase of a box of Fruity Pebbles. Enjoy your Maximally Fungible Uglies while they last!