Is the “Bird Hat Grift Club” a grift?
Is this a joke?
But is it real?
You mean you have actual NFTs for sale?
Yes. And yes.
Does this grift/joke have the slightest chance of success?
It is at least as likely to succeed as any other NFT project. In fact, I’d say it’s more likely to succeed, because I’m doing it under my own name and if I try to rip people off, my friends and family (not to mention many strangers on the internet) will hate me.
If I purchase NFTS from you, will they increase in value?
The NFTs in this project have exactly the same chance of increasing in value as the NFTs from any other project. Which is to say, the bottom (or what’s left of it, anyway) could drop out of this speculation-fuelled market tomorrow and you could lose your mum’s life savings. But just think — the line might go up and you might get rich!
Will line go up?
If the Dogecoin line can go up, albeit extremely temporarily, so too can the value of the NFTs I sell.
Will this project go to the moon?
If I sell over 9000 NFTs, and I can swing it, literally yes. (See roadmap)
Is this legal?
Unfortunately, yes. Probably. Maybe. I should check. Ah, too late.
Is this moral?
It’s at least as moral as any other NFT project, which is to say, not really. Put another way, I’m trying to grift in the most moral way possible, which means being honest about it being a grift. Also, it’s an art project. A contemporary art project.
A contemporary art project? How does that excuse the fact that it’s a grift?
It doesn’t, but contemporary art has a long history of excusing what would otherwise be deemed terrible behaviour because it’s “art.” It’s also great at assigning value to fundamentally worthless things, and successful contemporary artists are lauded by society while becoming very rich, which sounds ideal actually.
But your project is a joke, whereas contemporary art is very serious and important and meaningful.
My project is exactly as serious and meaningful and important as contemporary art, which is to say, yes, it’s a joke. But it’s a joke that’s worth a lot of money.
Is it, though?
No. Unless people buy it. Then it is. Much like contemporary art.
Then why do it?
Because the world is cracked, and an alarming number of people including high-profile celebrities have convinced themselves and others that things like these hideous lions have truly absurd monetary value. Given this, it’s entirely possible that my less hideous(?) birds could be considered even more valuable. What’s more, bitcoin whales need something to do with their money that won’t tank the market (further).
Also because working artists continue to be routinely exploited. Whether it’s through Karenesque requests to work “for exposure;” corporations dreaming up competitions that are actually requests for artists to work “on spec;” or weebs demanding drawings of a favoured waifu for free: there is a strange cultural expectation that not only should artists work for a pittance; they should appreciate whatever dry bones are thrown to them. I’m intrigued by the dissonance between how art is regarded as a rare and magical skill that can’t be acquired by normies, and (often simultaneously) as a disposable skill that isn’t worth paying for. Both these views are wrong. Nearly anyone can learn to draw and paint, and yet those skills are hard-earned and should be fairly compensated.
In my mind NFTs may have one truly useful thing going for them: they could finally open a door to the work of artists being treated as inherently valuable. Even if this doesn’t pan out, the extraordinary discrepancy between what people will pay for one randomly-generated profile picture NFT (sometimes the equivalent of many thousands of dollars) and what people will pay for one genuinely unique artwork (many will baulk at paying fifty bucks for a painting that might have taken hours, days or weeks) is well worth bringing to people’s attention. It is absolutely bonkers to me that people will throw cryptocash at NFTs while leaving art that is much more scarce and skilful on the fiscal sidelines.
Also if enough people thought my joke / very serious contemporary art project was worth spending money on I could do art full-time instead of an insomniac side-hustle.
Yeah, but if it was contemporary art you’d have a very serious artist statement, which you’d be able to tell was very serious by the fact that it’s a meaningless postmodern word salad.
My work “Bird Hat Grift Club” explores the juxtaposition between artwork, emerging technologies, and people with too much money, very little sense, or both. With influences ranging from “birds” to “Super Smash Bros: Melee,” new variations are created from both orderly and random structures.
What starts out as a “maybe if this works I’ll be able to fix the gutters and have time to do a few more paintings” vision soon becomes corrupted into a dialectic of futility, leaving only a sense of unreality and the unlikelihood of a new order.
As momentary phenomena become transformed through frantic and diverse practice, refracted through the prism of both web3 spaces and contemporary art, the viewer is left with an insight into the limits of our culture.
There you go.
B-b-but NFTs are written to the Eternal Blockchain! You can’t delete them! Checkmate, liberal!
Yes. But the things I’m selling aren’t actually NFTs. Yet. This is in danger of getting a bit technical so I might put a longer explanation elsewhere, but what I’m doing is probably best described as a variation on lazyminting. Simply put, I’m creating a smart contract with the potential to become an NFT. In the unlikely event that someone pays the purchase price, a new NFT is minted (written to the blockchain as a permanent read-only record) and sent to the buyer’s wallet. It then becomes a tradeable digital commodity like any other NFT. Lazyminting leaves me free to remove any would-be NFTs without having spent gas fees or burned carbon writing them to the blockchain.
This will never work.
That’s not a question, but it depends on your definition of “work.” If you mean “it won’t work to sell NFTs,” well… it’s kind of designed not to. The idea is to contrast crypto and NFTs with more accessible ways of supporting artists and participating in community (buying originals, buying prints, Patreon/ subscriptions etc). But as I’ve said, if it turns out that crypto people will fund my project simply because I want to do good things with the proceeds, I will do a u-turn on my opinion that NFTs are almost entirely a useless grift.
Your NFTs are way too expensive! No-one will pay what you’re asking!
Yes. See above. But in the event that you and I are both wrong and people do buy them, see below.
Wait. So if it does work you’re not going to rugpull?
Surprisingly, no! If by some absurd chance this project ends up selling any/all actual NFTs, I will endeavour to build an incredible community, make an amusing and playable videogame, and do everything I’ve put on the roadmaps. Well, I’ll try my best. I can at least post the recording of David Seymour’s reaction to my attempt to buy him.
Is this like other NFT schemes where if I buy an NFT I get the right to use the image?
Sure. Why not. One caveat: you’ve got to email me and let me know what your use case is before I’ll give permission.
I’ll probably say yes.
You’re ridiculous. How do you expect this to wind up?
Yes, I am. I’ve spent months and a decent whack of dollarydoos on an absurd joke that is probably already past its use-by date. So I figure it’ll go one of three ways:
- Crypto people will like the project because it’s a bit different from the other NFT grifts, they’ll see an opportunity to either get rid of some of their plummeting intangible assets, and/or make bank, and they’ll buy all my NFTs. This would make me extremely rich (by normal people standards, not Bezos standards) and in a position to do a lot of good and/or very silly things (see NFT roadmaps.)
Probability: Almost infinitely improbable.
- Normal people will like the project and will buy my actual artwork the old-fashioned way, which will save me from selling many (if any) NFTs. If I sold enough work, it would support me and my family for 1 – 2 years, and enable me to set up as a full-time artist (see non-NFT roadmap).
Probability: finitely improbable.
- People get a bit of a laugh out of the joke but don’t really get into the whole “hey let’s support this guy by buying artwork” thing, leaving me having spent months on a ridiculous gag. But that’s OK, because I’ve really enjoyed it. The name “Bird Hat Grift Club” alone has had me laughing myself to sleep since February.
Probability: very probable.