Curator’s choice

The intersecting modalities of presenting art and natural sciences have a longstanding history, especially through institutionalized venues, hence, “defining” and “accessing” the knowledge that both disciplines generate have been conditioned by the terms of these institutionalized environments. These environments have always been portrayed in relation to an idea of a presence of a “place/venue,” which creates a background of an aggregation of validified and recognized settings. This idea has inevitably been coded by the politics of representation. Regardless of multiple connections between and beyond art and natural sciences, these two disciplines and the content of the displayed subject, once it comes to representation, the knowledge is always generated through the setting as the extension of the very idea that sets the context. Yet, by harnessing blockchain technology, an NFT uses the digital medium to create an autonomous environment that is totally detached from its context and the presence of its setting, which refers to a structured and controlled environment. By isolating the subject, the NFT semantically cuts the relationships between different pieces of information and creates a temporary “non-place,” to use Marc Augé’s term.

But what is the context that an NFT suggests? Could such a fictive and heterotopic mode of presentation propose a new perception and definition of an ecosystem of a third context? The examples below deliberately use visual extracts or fragments of cliché aesthetics of scientific and medical experiments and operations. In the same line of inquiry, is it possible to read this tendency as an ideological manifestation of this third context?


Specimen 1 - Sustainability

Both the heart and the hand, which are interconnected as an anatomical specimen in this NFT, are complex and layered anatomical structures. An anatomical specimen refers to a preserved or prepared body part or organ that is used for medical training and research; they are often used to demonstrate surgical techniques or procedures in scientific environments. This subject is accompanied by a piece of bone and glass jars on an antique-looking table. The NFT displays an aesthetic that combines antique elements with seemingly analytical and scientific complex forms. Different elements extracted from histories of art and natural sciences complement each other.

Anthony Kyriazis


A dreamlike scene that refers to the vast array of living organisms that inhabit the oceans along with other landscapes on Earth in the same frame. A connection to the idea of exploring the depths of our own minds with a “mycelium-like network of interconnected wonderlands” overlaps with the references of bio-animations and moving images that demonstrate biological systems, processes, and behaviors. The artist creates a biological realm and even a third context in which fiction and science overlap by distancing from their own settings. At the same time, the juxtaposing elements that are contrasting or unexpected in the NFT in relation to their environments create a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Ghosts in the Carnery

Cellular Transfusion

The portrayed scenario, along with projected charts and data, describes a fictive situation in which a scientist or a group of scientists are experimenting with cellular agriculture. By referring to a technique that involves growing animal tissue from cells in a lab, the NFT raises several ethical and ecological issues. Nonetheless, there are many eclectic and even clichéd scientific elements which address an incomplete narration. Accordingly, laboratory equipments, test tubes, burners, gadgets, models, diagrams, computer programs (as projected to the background), measuring devices, and even the remnants of other experiments make the scene more detached from its own context.

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Sofia Crespo


The NFT shows “chromatophores organisms” in a grid structure; the artist defines it as a display of an “aquatically trained neural network” (ATNN). ATNN is a type of neural network that is trained using data from underwater environments. Essentially, chromatophores are specialized pigment-containing cells found in the skin, scales, and eyes of many animals, including fish, reptiles, cephalopods, and some amphibians. These cells enable color changes and patterns on the animals or organisms, which have three functions: to camouflage; to communicate, and to threaten. In this case, the NTF blends fiction in the display ATNN by manipulating the data: As the artist states: “these works are communicative meditation wherein the generative output of an aquatically trained neural network is interacted with, and gently manipulated, so as to create a (bio)mimicry of multiple cells acting in concert to convey tonality, atmosphere, and accentuation.”

Alexey Kashpersky

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) - 1

The NFT is an aestheticized visualization of HIV virus as a close-up 3D render. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system; as the virus replicates, it destroys T-cells and can lead to the development of life-threatening infections, cancers, and other dangerous conditions. By aestheticizing these infectious agents, the NFT creates a realm in which a biological entity shows its beauty and form with meditative moves. This contradicts how it interacts with living organisms in multifarious ways by causing harm and disease. The context that the NFT suggests is an alternative viewpoint to understand a biological ecosystem.

Adam Broomberg

Whether or not they exist we're slaves to the gods
Whether or not they exist we're slaves to the gods by Adam Broomberg

The NFT is based on AI algorithms, guided and informed by a series of quotes from The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. The interdisciplinarity of the work serves the creation and the mechanisms of the third context with a fictive and heterotopic mode of presentation. Creating a collage by pairing algorithms of the natural sciences, art, and literature (by processing image and text through AI) generates not only an image but also —in the artist’s words— an “abstract and surrealist language” that defines its autonomous third context.

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