The German philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel wrote as early as 1902: “What the frame does to the work of art is that it symbolizes and reinforces this double function of its boundary. He excludes all surroundings and therefore also the viewer from the work of art and thus helps to place it at a distance where alone it can be enjoyed aesthetically.
For the art historian Dr. Susanne Rennert NFTs and picture frames don’t go together, they seem to be a kind of paradox. She told BTC-ECHO: “The framing of NFTs seems to aim, among other things, to further auraize the work, to define it as art, so to speak.”
But what framework does NFT need to be considered art? Is a simple iPad, a digital picture frame enough, or should it be a special NFT picture frame? For the two founders of the Darmstadt start-up Future Frames UG, it is absolutely clear that there must be special picture frames and that NFTs are works of art even without frames.
Company founder Jan Peter Macedo Aldick at BTC-ECHO: “You buy works of art to look at them, and for that they currently have to be exhibited in the physical world. So far, we still lack technologies to be fully in the virtual space. It is therefore an almost logical step that the owners want to anchor their works in the physical world.” His partner Leon Ehmann: “In addition, the works are often too expensive to disappear in your pocket.” The entrepreneurs: “More and more galleries are curating digital artworks, and this requires professional representation.”
But isn’t an iPad enough for that?
The technically complex graphics of this “new” art are difficult to display on conventional screens for such purposes. Even the largest and newest iPad from Apple “only” has a resolution of 2,732 x 2,048 pixels. However, as Aldick and Ehmann of Future Frames UG explain, the default resolution for NFT frames should be 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. This could guarantee that the partially video and partially image-based NFTs can be adequately displayed. In addition, many artists add music or 3D elements to their digital works, which often cannot be reproduced with conventional digital frames.
However, the main advantage of products designed as NFT picture frames could be that they have software that guarantees that the displayed NFT actually belongs to the person. As Ehmann says, “The framework’s software also connects to its own wallet, confirming ownership of the NFTs purchased.” This means that it is not even possible to display images or NFTs that you have not paid for. Advantages that the entrepreneurs can also pay dearly for. Its smallest frame of 24 inches (about 61 cm) currently costs 1,349.90 euros. All NFTs stored in the own WalletConnect-enabled digital exchange could be displayed on this frame via app control.
NFT picture frames are a niche product
In addition to Future Frames UG, there are a few providers of picture frames for NFTs worldwide. For example Infinite objects. This company’s approach is to store mostly video NFTs immutably on the different sized frames. Even NBA Top Shot is partnering with Infinite Objects. This allows fans to purchase their favorite basketball moments as an NFT and then have them inserted into the transparent frames. The “infinite” also means that the video loops continuously – unless you remove the battery. The price for such a frame is between 70 and 400 euros.
Another frame is the Meural Frame from Netgear. However, the resolution of the devices there is still lower than that of the latest iPads. Meural also uses an app to select the NFTs to display. In addition, you have a library in the background that you can use to acquire new artwork. In addition, the frame adapts to the lighting conditions in the room to guarantee the best viewing experience.
NFT picture frames – yes or no?
Whether it should be the latest picture frame technology for the NFTs, just an iPad or a standard digital picture frame is a matter of the wallet, but also of one’s own standards. One thing is for sure: NFTs are and will remain different from anything the art world has packaged in picture frames to date.
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