“Historically, artists have always been a bellwether for societal change. Not only is Visions of the Future expansive enough to give artists lots of room for creativity, but it’s also a nod to the forward-thinking nature of photography NFTs themselves.”
With the ever-increasing chaos of today’s world, it’s hard to predict what will happen next. But one thing is for sure: artists will continue to be at the forefront of cultural and technological change. Their work provides a glimpse into what the future may hold for us all.
So what do they envision for the coming decades? Saatchi Art asked creators to share their thoughts and Visions of the Future is a compelling curation of what they had to say.
Emerging from an open call which received over 800 submissions, the collection features a hand-picked selection of 50 receptive artists from around the world. Each piece from within the collection has been presented as a 1/1 NFT auction on Saatchi Art’s own independent platform where every collector, and 2 subsequent holders, have the chance to redeem a limited-edition print of their purchase.
The images on display offer a range of different visions of the future. Some are utopian, some dystopian, but all of them are generated from the artists’ real observations about the world we live in today and profound predictions of where we might be headed tomorrow. By using the lens of art to explore these issues, the collection provides a welcoming space for open dialogue and critical thinking about the future.
Looking at the future can be daunting, but it’s also necessary in order to create the change we want to see. In a time when it feels like everything is happening too fast and the future is hurtling towards us at an ever-increasing speed, this collection offers a moment of pause. It allows us to step back and consider the direction we are heading in, and whether or not we are happy with that path.
We asked Aine Foran, community & project manager to help us understand the Saatchi Art mission, why they’ve chosen to enter the Metaverse and where this project came from.
ART3: Who is Saatchi Art?
AF: Saatchi Art has been a leading platform for artistic expression and discovery for over ten years. We care about making original art accessible for creators and collectors everywhere, regardless of location, background, education, and budget.
ART3: Why has Saatchi Art decided to explore NFTs?
AF: NFTs present an exciting opportunity for artists everywhere, and we see them as a great fit for our mission. Beyond providing artists with a new medium of exploration to broaden their creativity, smart contract technology gives artists the option to generate revenue through royalties, something that wasn’t possible before.
And for digitally native mediums like photography in particular, NFTs provide an incredibly strong foundation for provenance and authenticity.
Ultimately, WEB3 gives us a lot to be optimistic about, and we’re very happy to be on this collaborative journey with our artists and collectors.
ART3: Photography is more often than not used to document history, however VoTF has a focus on what’s to come. How do you feel this future parallel has affected the subject matter of submissions compared to more traditional open calls?
AF: We formulated the Visions of the Future concept in order to give creators a uniquely open-ended opportunity to be expressive. We have some amazing works captured in a traditional photographic context, but then we also have works that were fully realized through tools like Photoshop and Unreal Engine 5. It’s really exciting to work with artists who clearly understand the evolution of photography itself and how that relates to their diverse subject matter choices.
ART3: How did the futuristic theme of this collection come about?
AF: Historically, artists have always been a bellwether for societal change. Not only is Visions of the Future expansive enough to give artists lots of room for creativity, but it’s also a nod to the forward-thinking nature of photography NFTs themselves. The theme is a strong connector of both blockchain technology and the role of the artist.
ART3: Have you found that many artists from Saatchi Art’s IRL network have been interested in adopting the NFT space?
AF: Definitely. We’ve gotten a lot of interest from artists, especially through our Discord community. Over half of the 55 Visions of the Future artists were completely new to NFTs prior to joining this project. Onboarding artists into web3 is a very rewarding and natural extension of our mission.
ART3: There is a big debate in the Metaverse on whether NFT art requires some form of utility to become valuable. What’s your view on this topic?
AF: At Saatchi Art, we firmly believe that art itself, whether it takes the form of NFTs or any other format, is a value-add to people’s lives. How collectors see and engage with that value will certainly vary, so a key part of being in this space is being able to identify your audience.
We have experimented with different approaches to utility with our first two releases. Our first NFT launch, The Other Avatars, offers holders VIP tickets to our global art fair, The Other Art Fair, in addition to the art itself. With Visions of the Future, we’re very excited to offer holders a limited edition photography print along with their 1 of 1 NFT. Having this “phygital” component was something we felt would add value for both experienced NFT veterans and more traditional art collectors alike.
The future is always uncertain, but it is up to us to decide what kind of future we want to create. With that in mind, we invite you to take a step into Saatchi Art’s Visions of the Future and explore the many different ways that artists are imagining our future world.