Friday Links: NFTs & Barcode Instruments

Tap tap, is this thing on? One two, one two.

Hi! I’m Matt and this is the new Sparkle blog.

What is this blog for? Well to begin with it’s for sharing random links on Fridays, because why not. We can figure out the rest as we go.

So what has crossed my path in the last week?

I loved this online, 3D exhibition of 100 NFT artists by INSTITUT, NFTism: No Fear in Trying (powered by Arium). It’s gorgeous to drift round the 3D space, checking out the art, and maybe bumping into (and chatting with) other folks browsing.

NFTs are hot in the art and crypto worlds. Technically NTFs are a way to own and trade digital assets… but artistically they have resulting in an explosion of incredible digital art.

INSTITUT is a new platform for auctioning/trading art pieces, and this is their first exhibition to commemorate their launch, curated by Kenny Schachter. The exhibition was also in physical space in Covent Garden, London (details here).

But what I’m really into is this 3D gallery platform, Arium. Sure you could look at images on a flat webpage… but, somehow, seeing them in a virtual space made me linger more. I gazed at, and appreciated the art more. How come? Worth thinking about. Magical.

Something from the economics world: Closing the saloons during US prohibition reduced patenting by 15% (write-up on the excellent blog Marginal Revolution).

…which only goes to show the importance of informal settings for the imagination and intellectual collaboration.

What’s awesome is how the paper’s author, Mike Andrews, came to this conclusion:

  • Comparing patents from “wet” counties that were forced dry by Prohibition, versus those already dry.
  • Checking how patents by women changed: “Women, for example, didn’t typically patronize the saloons but also continued to patent at similar rates in wet and dry counties.”

Lessons for social situations from economics!

I am always a fan of fantastical musical instruments, so these are barcode scanners turned into synthesisers.

By scanning black and white stripes at different speeds, music is made.

And to keep the barcode scanners flat, the performers use tiny finger skateboards.

Design blog Colossal has the write-up: Repurposed Barcode Scanners Roll Across a Miniature Skate Park to Produce Glitchy Electronic Beats.

Have a great weekend, and see you next time.

–Matt