Aesthetic Analysis of Cryptoart as an Art Form

Ian Boots Bautista, Maria Violeta Sandico


This study addresses the importance of examining the engagement between NFTs and computer art called cryptoart. The research goal is to fill in the lack of discussion regarding the aesthetics of cryptoart in mainstream commentaries by questioning and analyzing the validity of cryptoart as an art form. This paper extends Bautista's (2014) and Zhang et al.’s (2012) work to frame the postmodern qualities of cryptoart and its levels of complexities based on computational aesthetics. Sample works were analyzed through identification and classification from two curated NFT marketplaces - SuperRare and Art Blocks. The results show that while the cryptoart space is being used to leverage postmodern practices such as connecting artists and audiences and enabling them to see and understand one another as creators of value, and enabling further exploration of the collaborative relationship between artist and computer, the cryptoart explosion threatens to make all art the art of making money - however, works produced by the artist-computer relationship through Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) is a promising entry-point for leveling up the conversation around AI and artists in the cryptoart space with discourse grounded on how computers could now generate visual outputs and evaluate their aesthetic value automatically. This study could frame the aesthetic design of computer algorithms, simulation, and visualization involved in cryptoart production, where artists, buyers, and collectors are highly engaged. The study also found that the usability and visibility of cryptoart works are enhanced through the GANs and that it can feasibly aid computational aesthetics.


Keywords: cryptoart, NFT, aesthetics, postmodernism, generative adversarial networks.

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