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 edge. It excludes all surroundings and therefore also the viewer of the work of art and thus helps to place it in the distance in which it can only be enjoyed aesthetically.
For art historian Dr. Susanne Rennert NFTs and photo frames don’t go hand in hand, they seem to be something of a paradox. She told BTC-ECHO: “The NFT framing seems to aim to, among other things, further auratize the work, define it as art, so to speak.”
But what framework does the NFT need to be considered art? Is a simple iPad, digital photo frame enough, or does it have to be a special NFT photo frame? For the two founders of the Darmstadt-based startup Future Frames UG, it is perfectly clear that there should be special picture frames and that NFTs are works of art even without frames.
Company founder Jan Peter Macedo Aldick on BTC-ECHO: “You buy works of art to look at them, and for that they currently have to be displayed in the physical world. Until now we still lack technologies to be completely in the virtual space. Therefore, it is an almost logical step for owners to want to anchor their works in the physical world.” His partner Leon Ehmann: “Also, the works are often too expensive to disappear into your pocket.” Entrepreneurs: “More and more galleries are curating digital artwork 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 Apple’s newest and largest iPad “only” has a resolution of 2,732 x 2,048 pixels. However, as Aldick and Ehmann of Future Frames UG explain, the standard resolution for NFT frames should be 3840 x 2160 pixels. This could ensure that part-video, part-image-based NFTs can be properly displayed. Additionally, many artists add music or 3D elements to their digital works, which often cannot be reproduced with conventional digital frames.
However, the most important advantage of products designed as NFT photo frames might be that they have software that guarantees that the displayed NFT actually belongs to the person. As Ehmann says, “The framework software also connects to its own wallet, authenticating ownership of purchased NFTs.” This means that it is not even possible to display images or NFTs that you have not paid for. Advantages that entrepreneurs can also pay dearly for. Its smallest frame of 24 inches (approx. 61 cm) currently costs 1,349.90 euros. All NFTs stored on the WalletConnect-enabled digital exchange itself could be displayed in this framework via app control.
NFT photo frames are a niche product
In addition to Future Frames UG, there are some photo frame providers for NFTs around the world. For example, Infinite Objects. This company’s approach is to store most video NFTs immutably on frames of different sizes. Even NBA Top Shot cooperates with Infinite Objects. This allows fans to purchase their favorite basketball moments as NFTs and then pop them into the clear frames. The “infinity” also means that the video loops constantly, unless you remove the battery. The cost of such a frame is between 70 and 400 euros.
Another frame is Netgear’s Meural Frame. However, the resolution of the devices is still lower than the latest iPads. Meural also uses an app to select the NFTs to display. In addition, you have a background library, which you can use to acquire new works of art. In addition, the frame adapts to the light conditions in the room to ensure the best photographic experience.
NFT photo frames: yes or no?
If it has to be the latest photo frame technology for NFTs, just an iPad or a standard digital photo frame is a matter of wallet, but also of the standards themselves. One thing is for sure: NFTs are and will remain unlike anything the art world has yet packaged in picture frames.
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