An Argentine dancer sells her art in the crypto world | The dance of the NFTs

In the complex world of NFT technological issues are mixed, speculativeartistic and more. The motivations to participate in it are multiple and among its folds experiments with unexpected results flourish.

It is the case of the editor, designer and dancer Ailén Cafiso who, under the pseudonym Ailo, uploaded some works a Foundation, an NFT platform of the Ethereum network. There he sold several pieces that served him more to spread his work than to earn money, and also to get in touch with dancers from all over the planet: I think I was one of the first dancers in the world or at least the first dancer in Latin America to sell a dance NFT at Foundation. This happened in April 2021, “she says.” What I did was start uploading improvised and edited dance videos that I had from 2016 to here. My idea was to experiment with this form of art. Others uploaded mainly 3D artwork but I thought, ‘No, I upload what I do: dance.’ And collectors who were very active and who came from another route, began to see my pieces and began to buy from me. I sold like nine in all.”

–Who buys this and why?

–There are several. I think they bought me because I was one of the first in dance and performance, and those pieces generate more value over time.

–Were your parts resold?

–Not yet, some of the ones they bought from me are in second-market. That means collectors can resell the work at a higher price. In general, commissions second-market they are 10% for the artist and 90% for the collector, but can be specified.

–Why do you think they buy if everyone can see and use the pieces?

–It’s like in a museum. At least in the sense that there is a painting on display that an art collector buys and can resell in a market, in another museum. The particular thing about it is that what this person buys is not the piece itself: I do not lose any rights or anything. It is simply that he buys the action of saying: “Ailén uploaded this primitive historical material on this day.” What I upload is not what I would consider the most important part of my art: it is like an experimentation. Instead of having some lost pieces on the computer, I make them available on this digital art market and see what happens. The most interesting thing was the dance community that I started to know from this. And we began to generate as a group of about seventy dancers from the Ukraine, Israel, Italy…

–And do you think there is a market for dancers?

–I think so. It is very crazy because dance is precisely one of the arts that was most relegated to a physical, face-to-face and specific question of theaters or participations. And suddenly bursting into the world of art mixing 3D dance, animation, gives the body another value.

–Do you think this has a future or is it a fashion that is going to disappear?

I think there are two variables. One is that dance is breaking into a lot of platforms, social networks, like TikTok. It is very strong, but also very empty: it is a dance looking at the camera. And on the other hand there is this, which would be the most artistic side of the search, of the real body, stuck in the middle of the virtual world. That is what I am looking for: to continue maintaining the human, physical body, placed in the middle of all this mess of pixels and unrealities.

–And what role do the NFTs play there?

–There is everything. There are many variables. There is one that is purely speculation: they make collections of ten thousand cards to speculate. But for me it works like a virtual museum and the possibility of being the artist who directly shares her work, makes it available to collectors and circulates it.

–How much do you get paid for an NFT?

–For example, the first one I sold was for about 0.2 ETH, which varies a lot in its price. Now it’s four hundred dollars, at the time I think it was a little less. I have them in my wallet and use them to upload more pieces. Before at Foundation it was very expensive to upload pieces, around two hundred dollars, although that also varies. With what he recovered, he uploaded a new one. Commissions are down now.

–Of this group of dancers, how many sold a piece to recover what they spent on commissions?

–Several, about twenty-five. There are people who do much more marketing with this. There are people who are going to New York to give lectures. I am going to exhibit a piece in a gallery but from here; I’m not going to travel. The particular thing about the work I did was to encourage myself to upload dance when nobody did. That’s why I’m considered an OG, an “Original Gangsta” (laugh) of dance in the NFT world.

–The only one who is guaranteed entry in this context is the intermediary, right?

–Depends on the marketplace, platform or site you use. In Foundation they charge commission. They are guaranteed that part let’s say. Each marketplace has its contracts with its differences. Some contracts are created from the artist’s wallet directly and others have more intermediate protocols, some more expensive and others more accessible. Social networks are going to mutate to this in many ways. In Foundation before you needed an invitation link and it was much more expensive to upload pieces. Now they are modifying terms and conditions and it is open without restrictions for any user who has a wallet on the Ethereum network.

–Where do you think the world of NFTs is going?

–It is very wide. You can go towards the absolutely marketable. Instagram is going to start doing it too. There are many variables. For me what is good for independent artists. I, for example, had never worked dancing. Do you understand? This gives me a chance to say “this art, which I do because yes, I can expose it, I can share it and it interests me”.

–In concrete, what you achieved is more repercussion for your art.

–Exactly, and also for what I do with the “Action Potential” group. We are several artists who make movies, we made two very important dance shorts that we haven’t released yet, together with a third they make up a trilogy. What I upload are small pieces or additional pieces that I think can be collected, can be sold. It also helps me to generate communication with dancers from all over the world. Dance was always going to take classes and do plays. So this is to open another window for dance or for physical art.