The Question of Streaming Images

Curator’s choice

Today, the stream, as one of the key states of contemporaneity, is alienated from its original meaning and represents more of an allegory of the permanent movement of data. Before the advent of blockchain technology, a work of art was usually imagined as a physical object, including storage media (in the case of video formats). The circulation of artworks could not be conceived in the dynamics of capital flow in NFT markets. Marketplaces trading physical non-renewable goods involve logistics and insurance companies, operating within familiar timeframes. NFT offers a format for sharing information of collectible value that we can own this very moment, literally in two clicks. It shortens the distance between desire and action, stimulating processes of acceleration and challenging the traditional art market system. However, any fascination with the rejection of the hierarchy of expertise ends after the first experience of scrolling through aggregators and encountering an abundance of images competing for attention without intermediaries or filters in the form of curators, institutions or galleries. The authentic (meaning endowed with an aura) token as an intangible object points to the author—their ideas, methods, values, and digital footprint. However, at this point not all of the stream of images claims the epithet "art,” and most content suggests the need for a reconsideration of the use of "art" as a noun in relation to the world of NFT. Perhaps NFTs exist independently of the art industry and the need to correlate with its history. On the other hand, authors produce digital objects within the framework of aesthetic experience, which gives grounds for the analysis of the images of NFT within the more general optics of the evolution of a global visual language. Reflecting from the perspective of an imaginary museum, in this selection I was guided by the correlation between the authors and their expressive methods and the art world, speculatively placing NFT works in conventional physical exhibitions and testing their relevance in the territory of institutional collections.



A duo of artists whose practice is rooted in the history of the mutation of post-internet art, closing the cycle of migration into physical space with a symbolic return to NFT format. Aggregator art has become a virus spreading nonverbal codes and a language at the borders of its description. Aggregator formalism has incorporated the strategies of the first net-art experiments and the attempts at physicality within post-internet art. Practices have adapted to physical exhibitions, with the obligatory criterion of considering the display view in the documentation. This community embraces a network of grassroots galleries and artists capturing and expanding the institutional environment. The exportation of such practices to blockchain technology embodies the utopian ideas of net-art artists and in a sense closes the recent history of internet-based practices by dissolving into the world of the NFT stream.



MABLAB is sisters Madina and Ainura, who have a background in architecture and art and are originally from Kazakhstan. Their field of research is the process of transformation expressed in the metaphors of mutation. The chimera is one of the key images of MABLAB, continuing the basic narrative of hybridization and bringing together the metamorphosis of architectural space and the aesthetics of data visualization.

This year MABLAB debuted as curators on the Superrare platform with their collection Mapping Web3 - Eurasia. In the context of the debate on the erasure of borders, this project unfolds issues related to identity politics. Utopian ideas about overcoming geopolitical and national differences inevitably collide with a corpus of critiques of neocolonialism. The decolonial movement actualized in institutional discourse must also touch Web3 culture, colliding the two positions in a dialogue about the future. The synthesis of postcolonial theory and sci-fi culture reveals one of the most important crises of the mainstream—the repetitive patterns of futuristic projection presented by Western science fiction, which displaces the experience of so-called "silent cultures" in postcolonial discourse, cultures that are not expressed in a global context and have no voice.

Afrofuturism, Sinofuturism and the multiplicity of alternative projections of the future constructed in the periphery respond to the challenge of the emancipation of the imagination by re-stitching the codes of the hegemonic concept. From the idea of listening to the voices of others, the project Mapping Web3 - Eurasia is of particular interest, opening up new narratives for the blockchain world with critical questioning.

Magnum Photos

Magnum 75 #104 by Lorenzo Meloni. Palmyra, Syria. 2016
Magnum 75 #104 by Lorenzo Meloni. Palmyra, Syria. 2016 by Magnum Photos

Documentary photography as an archive of the contemporary is widely represented in Magnum’s NFT collection, released to mark the 75th anniversary of the legendary photo agency that has become one of the central global institutions defining the world of contemporary photography. In this selection modernity collides with antiquity, demonstrating the confusion and despair of a soldier against the ruins of a civilization. The photo was taken by Lorenzo Meloni in Palmyra in 2016 and depicts a Syrian soldier removing his helmet among the ruins of the former Temple of Baal, one of several sites in ancient Palmyra destroyed by Islamic State militants. This iconic image shows us a tired soldier in today’s world, where war never ends.

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Asortymentna kimnata

Words of War #1
Words of War #1 by Asortymentna kimnata

Exhibitions of Ukrainian art are taking place in many European cities at this time. Against the background of the crisis caused by the war, Ukrainian contemporary culture is flourishing under the focus of widespread international attention and solidarity. One of the key political artists of the Kyiv scene, Nikita Kadan, has been exploring the themes of elusive Sovietism, violence, power, and totalitarian regimes for a number of years. With his activist background, Kadan has long worked with European institutions. This NFT, like the artist’s physical objects, takes on a political dimension, where the acquisition of a digital artifact is a manifestation of support for Ukraine in a situation of Russian military aggression.


Aurora Borealis

With the development of open neural networks, artistic practices based on procedural live coding retain their character and authenticity, taking us back to 1995, to the SIGGRAPH conference where the history of algorithmic art was initiated. Through the digital layers in this work the author returns to memesis, one of the key meanings of Renaissance art, where the imitation of nature is expressed in the flow of the northern lights of the dancing vortex of computational operations and data. One of the pioneers of this movement, Ryoji Ikeda, also produced an NFT series supported by the technology company Startbahn, which was included in Sotheby’s curated NFT sale in 2021.

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The Curated platform supports openness in the Web3 space. Most of the works featured in this Curator’s Choice section are fetched from external Web3 marketplaces and fall under their respective regulations, and remain the intellectual copyright of the artists. The editorials are non-commercial and we do not take any fees or commissions.