Fine art photographers launch NFTs for climate change action

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Yann Arthus-Bertrand - Yann Arthus Bertrand, tags: fine art photographers nfts climate - CC BY-SA
Yann Arthus-Bertrand – Yann Arthus Bertrand – CC BY-SA

Rhapsody Curated, a European NFT photography platform, has partnered with three acclaimed fine art photographers to sell their work as NFTs for the first time. This partnership aims to raise awareness and funding for the fight against climate change.

The three artists are Yann Arthus-Bertrand — celebrated for his aerial collection “Earth From Above,” which has captivated audiences worldwide, Nicolas Henry — whose immersive installations exploring themes of reminiscence and the passage of time have garnered critical acclaim, and Namsa Leuba — who previously collaborated with prestigious brands such as Dior and Nike, attesting to her artistic prowess.

Their works, each reflecting on the current state of the environment, will be sold on the Ethereum blockchain. More than half of the proceeds from the sale will be given to Photoclimat, a French charity that promotes climate change awareness through photography.

Photoclimat’s mission with NFT art

Rhapsody’s Head of Curation, Pierre-Elie de Pibrac, brought the three artists together to mint photo collections on the Ethereum blockchain that reflect the current state of the environment. Starting May 4, buyers can purchase between three to six photos from each artist, with prices ranging from 2 to 8 ETH (around $3,685 to $14,745).

Pibrac believed that minting the artists’ works as NFTs would make Photoclimat’s mission of raising awareness and funding for climate change more accessible to a broader audience.

“It’s difficult to broadcast [our environmental] message. You need to go to Paris, you need to see the art, to begin to communicate the ideas [represented]. But with NFTs, we can broadcast this message to many more people, and use this technology to allow people to buy pieces of art they couldn’t [otherwise] buy.”

Pierre-Elie de Pibrac, Rhapsody’s Head of Curation

“If you’re in New York or Africa, you cannot buy something from France, the impact is too big. But with NFTs, the impact is very low,” said de Pibrac to Decrypt.

The Ethereum blockchain was chosen to mint the collections because of its environmentally friendly reputation. In September 2020, Ethereum shifted from a resource-intensive model that required significant energy consumption to a more eco-friendly approach known as proof-of-stake. This change reduced the network’s carbon emissions by 99.99 percent, based on the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI).

While several crypto blockchains have recently transitioned to less energy-consuming models, many concerned about the environment — or the technology’s potential appetite for energy — still see crypto as a controversial topic, including lawmakers.

For instance, a county in North Carolina is deliberating implementing a one-year ban on cryptocurrency mining to assess its potentially harmful effects on the environment. Earlier this month, the Texas Senate also approved legislation restricting Bitcoin miners from consuming excessive energy during peak demand periods from the Texas energy grid.

Blockchain technology and environmental sustainability

The works of the three artists selected to be sold on Rhapsody are thematically and visually distinct but unified by a shared message of the importance of tackling climate change.

“We all have different styles and approaches when it comes to art, but are sending the same messages of urgency,” Leuba said to Decrypt.

An urgency understood by many in the crypto industry as well. For example, in another move towards a sustainable future, the blockchain platform Solana has started measuring its real-time carbon emissions and publicly made this information available on a dashboard last week, which is the first of its kind in the cryptocurrency industry.

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