Mieke Marple and Sinziana Velicescu on Curating a Sale of Generative Art NFTs

Mieke Marple and Sinziana Velicescu on Curating a Sale of Generative Art NFTs
Mieke Marple, Medusa #56, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

NFTs have a reputation for being male-dominated. So for Women’s History Month, Sinziana Velicescu of Vellum LA and artist/writer Mieke Marple curated an auction of generative NFTs by women and nonbinary artists. It opened on March 22nd 2022 on Artsy, titled “Artists Who Code,” and a portion of proceeds went to the nonprofit Girls Who Code.

We tapped Marple and Velicescu to tell us about the auction and generative art.

Why is it particularly important to highlight women and nonbinary people making NFTs?

Mieke Marple: According to reporting from November 2021, 77% of NFT sales that year were from male artists. This might lead one to believe there aren’t as many women or nonbinary creators in the space, but there are lots—they simply haven’t received the same opportunities or recognition. The first generative artworks were baskets and loom weavings—crafts we typically think of as “women’s work.”

How does generative art work with NFTs?

Sinziana Velicescu: Code can be embedded in the smart contract to allow for interactivity or an ever-evolving artwork that is tied to the blockchain. In other cases, NFTs can be minted using a live minting process that allows for editions of artwork to be generated and sold with randomized attributes.

What kinds of techniques do these artists use?

M.M.: There are artists who feed words and images into AI to create dreamy and uncanny videos, like Morehshin Allahyai and Sofia Crespo. Barbara Rehbahn and Anna Lucia use code visualizations to create abstract patterns that look like tapestries. And Sammie Veeler’s video is a recording of an interaction with a virtual space that feels like watching consciousness form.

What should collectors know about buying NFTs?

S.V.: My advice is to buy artwork that you genuinely enjoy; support emerging artists in the space; and educate yourself about the benefits that NFTs can bring to both artists and collectors. Learn about what artists are providing to collectors in regards to higher resolution assets (if applicable) and consider how you’d like to display the work you collect.

This article was written by Josie Thaddeus-Johns for the March 2022 edition of The Gallerist newsletter.