Why the NFT Community Loves Hic et Nunc
The phrase “Hic et Nunc” can be directly translated from Latin to mean “here and now,” reflecting the immediacy of the present.
Hic et Nunc (abbreviated HEN) then seems an appropriate adoption for the title of the Tezos based NFT marketplace that allows its users to manage decentralised assets without the involvement of an intermediary. Essentially allowing the artwork to be shared in the here and the now.
This is just one of the reasons the NFT community loves Hic et Nunc, here we are outlining our top eight.
Amongst the many ways HEN shies away from the common practices of the big commercial NFT platforms is its unaudited nature. Artworks or what are referred to on the platform as “OBJKTs” are minted and traded without the need for third party approval.
On HEN, artwork does not go through any filters or checks before it’s display. No work is hand-picked or polished in any form of gatekeeping or curating. Artists simply submit their work and as long as this process of submission is done correctly the work will be published. There is no channel through which works need to undergo third party selection, permission or approval.
In effect, this creates a space where anyone can enter, where any voice can be heard. An ethos that aligns quite closely with the principles of blockchain technology where the aim is to reduce the power of intermediaries. Artists aren’t judged by any pedigree afforded by attending a prestigious school neither are they vetted by a third party like a dealer or a gallery to approve of their work. Everything is minted and put on display be it "good" or "bad". From a design perspective the lack or curating means all artworks occupy the same space and relevance on the website.
On HEN this notion of democracy brings with it a level of transparency. With anything and everything being minted, the platform in effect becomes completely uncensored and thus transparent. Moreover, since the terms set out in smart contracts, once written, become permanent and unalterable, these permissionless means are set in stone; there is no way on the contract-level to ban or remove an artist from minting. This, paired with the lack of curation on the website, means the audience sees everything as it is. Further, HEN does not save or record any of its user data. The art is saved on a publicly accessible IPF and user information is managed by third party sources or saved straight on the blockchain.
The democratic nature allows the platform to become truly geographically agnostic. While CryptoArt and the NFT space in general encourages global participation, on a platform like HEN the elimination of vetting systems allows artists from places like Indonesia and the Philippines to be as successful as ones from the traditional artworld capitals like London, Paris or New York.
A Liminal Space
In characterising HEN as a liminal space author Matheus Siqueria asks, “Would you be more comfortable going to a gala party where you have to watch every rule of etiquette or going to an underground party where everything goes?” Whether you answered the former or the latter, this proposition helps elucidate the way in which the HEN experience creates a liminal space in the NFT market ecosystem. Siqueria continues to note that HEN, “Opens the doors and lower the barriers to people who were either financially or culturally excluded in the larger NFT platforms".
Cultural vs. Commercial Appeal
Both the design of the website and the low-price points of the art, direct attention to the art itself rather than the marketplace or the commercial opportunities. The minimalistic, geometrically simple design, comparable to a white cube setting, allows the artwork to stand uninterrupted and uninfluenced by directly visible external factors. Each choice in design; from the simple succession of works presented one by one against a solid black backdrop, to the choice of the uncomplicated “Courier New” font, drives users’ attention away from the platform itself and onto the works of art that it hosts.
This design, paired with the low and accessible transaction costs equating to mere dollars and cents, not only makes the platform financially accessible but also contributes to a museum-like experience rather than a capitalistic shopping-driven browsing one. Furthering its art vs. commerce focused appeal is the absence of featured artists or top sales categories.
Pro-Artist/ Self-sustaining Creative Economies
Low platform fees and high royalties (10% minimum) creates and enables a cyclical system through which artists become collectors. The liquidity they get by selling on HEN allows them the ability to become collectors themselves and endorse other artists. Whole communities are created around artists and projects, on discord in particular.
One of the biggest attractions of HEN for many is that it’s low ecological footprint, using the Tezos blockchain network while most others run on the Etherium blockchain network. The difference is while Etherium uses a proof of work model, meaning it validates its transactions through computer mining, Tezos uses a proof of stake model validating its transactions with deposits. The latter model is much more ecologically friendly in that it does not require copious amounts of electricity to validate transactions. With Tezos annual energy consumption measured at around 0.00006 tWh, Ethereum in comparison stands at 26 tWh the drastic difference should be quite visible.
Large Quantity and High Quality of Generative Art
In addition to the massive artist appeal for the aforementioned reasons, we are seeing a lot of high-quality generative artists deciding to mint their work on HEN due to the ease in its format for minting code based NFTs. Generative art which uses artificial intelligence to create unexpected outcomes has become one of the most popular categories in the NFT, CryptoArt space. With HEN attracting leading artists in the space like Mario Klingemann, many others have followed suit making it an especially popular place for generative artists to mint.
Whether you are new to the space or an experienced artist or collector, Hic et Nunc is a wonderful journey into the NFT ecosystem. As with any project in its infancy, the platform is not without its imperfections, but compared to its counterparts HEN is leading the way in enabling an organic experience where the spotlight is on the artwork itself. As the NFT space continues to expeditiously grow, we are excited to see HEN grow and evolve with it.
For a quick guide to setting up a Tezos wallet and purchasing on Hic et Nunc see our previous blog post here.
To learn more about Vastari's NFT collaboration with the Whitworth gallery minted on HEN, the first UK museum collection NFT to be made for sale, visit here.
See all of Vastari's NFT creation on our Hic et Nunc account here.