Art is Energy
An image from Cath Simard’s EpoStory 'Art Is Energy' which has a starting price of £6600.

Working with artificial intelligence (AI) technology specialist Artbrain it will hold an auction hosted on of AI generated NFT art called 1/Xrt on January 31.

The artworks are created by digital artists using Art AI’s Eponym service. Art AI, a gallery of AI generated art, launched in 2019 in Cambridge and set up its Eponym service last year which enables artists to create artworks using a text-to-image generator.

Forum said 40% of clients who responded to its recent survey wanted to know more about digital art and NFTs (non-fungible tokens, units of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded).

Stephan Ludwig, CEO of Forum Auctions, told ATG: “We are committed to continuing with the opportunity to educate our client base on NFTs and digital art. Together with our partners at Artbrain and Art AI we are exploring the growing importance of digital creations within the broader art market.

“Listening to and observing the artists behind the artworks confirms to me these works absolutely have artistic substance. Whilst the concept of buying artistic stories purely digitally is a new concept, buying new wave artists is centuries old.”

The artworks in the Forum auction are made using algorithms. The artist creates an ‘EpoStory’ – the name for a group of images and titles telling a continuous visual story by the artist residing on one NFT.

There are 20 of these EpoStories on offer at the auction.

Among the artists is Canadian-born photographer and digital artist Cath Simard. Her EpoStory called Art Is Energy includes four layers (images and title). It has a starting price of £6600.

Forum began working with Artbrain in 2018 on AI marketing and developed social media marketing campaigns with them. They began developing the NFT auction project last autumn.

Ludwig said Forum is emphasising the educational element of the sale and is promoting an online workshop for potential buyers to learn more from NFT and blockchain specialists as well as the curator of the collection and some of the artists. Those interested can sign up ahead of the sale via The workshop will be held on January 19 at 6pm with bidding then opening at 7.30pm. A preview of the works will be available two days earlier and the auction closes from 5pm on January 31.

Increased education and confidence

Asher Ben-Saadon, the CEO and founder of Artbrain, said: “We are sensitive to the need for increased education and confidence in the evolving market for digital art and crypto settlements and aim to help collectors and auctioneers overcome the conceptual and technical mysteries underlying digital art.”

The EpoStories are minted using the ethereum network and registered on the blockchain. Although the auction is held with bidding in pounds sterling, those wishing to pay for their purchases in the Ether cryptocurrency can do so. The prevailing exchange rate will be used when settlement takes place.

The auction will charge a buyer’s premium but there will be no extra online premium for the successful bidders to pay.

Buyers of the EpoStory NFTs have full commercial rights, access to the high definition versions of all images suitable for fine art prints, and the ability to further modify and add to the story. Access to future Eponym Projects and an upcoming token are also part of the benefits of ownership.

The largest global auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s have already held a number of auction formats for the sale of NFTs and last year German saleroom Van Ham held an auction of NFTs of works by British photographer Gavin Evans.

At the time, Van Ham managing partner Markus Eisenbeis, said: “Photography is already a digital medium - the NFT certification is a logical continuation of this art form." 

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