NFTs might be all the rage right now but one person who definitely isn’t on board is Brian Eno.
The ambient legend had some harsh words for non-fungible tokens in a new interview with U.S. writer Evgeny Morozov. “I can understand why the people who’ve done well from it are pleased, and it’s natural enough in a libertarian world to believe that something that benefits you must automatically be ‘right’ for the whole world,” he considered.
“That belief is a version of what I call ‘automaticism’ – the idea that if you leave things alone and let something or other – the market, nature, human will – take its course unimpeded you will automatically get a better result than you would by tinkering with it. The people who hold beliefs of this kind don’t have any qualms about tinkering themselves but just want a situation where nobody else gets to tinker. Especially the state.”
Eno continued with a reference to a certain marmite writer. “The idea that Ayn Rand, that Nietzsche-for-Teenagers toxin, should have had her whacky ideas enshrined in a philosophy about money is what is terrifying to me,” he said. “But I still don’t really understand what it is they think they’ve done. Maybe I just don’t get it!”
And don’t be holding out for a Brian Eno NFT collection anytime soon. “I’ve been approached several times to ‘make an NFT.’ So far nothing has convinced me that there is anything worth making in that arena,” he added. “‘Worth making’ for me implies bringing something into existence that adds value to the world, not just to a bank account.
If I had primarily wanted to make money I would have had a different career as a different kind of person. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to be an artist. NFTs seem to me just a way for artists to get a little piece of the action from global capitalism, our own cute little version of financialisation. How sweet – now artists can become little capitalist assholes as well.”
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