Video Stills, Zen Moments, Non-Fungible Token Art

I have, for some time now, been experimenting with, what I call, video stills. These are short (less than twenty seconds) videos that capture a not quite still moment. Here is an example.

I think of them as video zen moments, or, if you will, video stop and smell the roses moments.

One idea haiku poetry has keyed me into is that the simplest of scenes are both exactly what they are in the moment, and pregnant with the possibility of insight. A famous Issa Haiku illustrates this point:

The world of dew

Is the world of dew,

and yet, and yet.1

Until recently, I have not known what to do with these video stills as an art product. Beyond my mixed feelings about the “art industry,” I truly had no idea how I might sell such a thing to a collector if I wanted to. I placed one of them in a group show once and agonized over how to present it in a way that was salable. How do you supply a digital copy that can’t be replicated? I tried a digital frame which would be solely dedicated to the video, but none of the commercial ones were suitable to how I wanted to present the work. How do you supply a digital copy that can’t be replicated?

Enter Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Art. I am still not entirely clear about the specifics of how it works (I’ve just begun my research), but it seems promising.

  1. Issa Kobayashi, The Dumpling Field: Haiku of Issa [return]