What Is a Signature in the Internet Age? Eileen Skyers, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [31/3/2023]
The prevailing myth of Bitcoin’s enigmatic founder posits that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is a pseudonym for a group of developers who aspired to create a digital currency that could exist beyond the government, banks, and third-party control. Together, they generated a currency that could be stored in code, verified by a massive, shared, peer-to-peer network of transactions taking place on computers the world over. These on-chain transactions are constantly secured through cryptographic proof.
Proof, as it so happens, has always been imperative to the authentication, management, and distribution of art across a global market. Rarity was central to the commodification of traditional art long before our present-day fascination with (or repulsion by) NFTs. The entire art industry, as it were, has been upheld by expert appraisers, ledgers, and other means of record keeping to assess ownership, conservation, provenance, and condition. In the printmaking trade, the “artist’s proof” has historically referred to the impression of the first print, taken to determine the state of the plate, woodblock, or other surface. In modern practice, though, artist’s proof often denotes the first completed work that is identical to the other numbered editions. This methodology was developed slowly and meticulously over the course of hundreds of years.
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