Audrey Carpio on ANCX covers a pretty exciting event spearheaded by Filipino creators. Writer Yvette Tan and design group Team Manila have launched the first ever NFT book at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Titled The Last Moon, the NFT pairs artwork from Team Manila with a story written by Tan, presented as a continuation of the Filipino myth of the bakunawa.
NFTs are still a pretty arcane subject, and the piece spends some time explaining the concept. Carpio frames the emerging technology as presenting the promise of the democratization of art, while being mindful of previous online technologies that also promised some sort of freedom:
“It bears remembering that over a decade ago, everyone thought Facebook was a force of good, and look at where that got us. As with any technology, it is just a tool that we define by how we use it. Presently, NFTs hold the promise of democratizing art and imbuing value in previously undervalued digital art. Practically any digital artist from any corner of the world can sell their 8-bit render of a zombie cockroach to some rich tech bro collector in Silicon Valley, and one day it may end up in the catalogue of a fancy auction house, a bastion of the traditional art world.”
Getting into the project itself, Carpio to the Tan, National Book Development Board executive director Charisse Aquino-Tugade, and project creative director Danella Yujuico-Yaptinchay, who highlights the project’s efforts to build a community around this particular NFT. As Carpio points out, community can a big part of the appeal of the tech:
“This initial foray into NFT publishing is now imbued with a grander vision. Often, what makes NFT collecting special is the communities that are formed around them. Collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club grants owners entry to an exclusive online club, while many others contribute their profits to ocean conservation and charities that support women and children.”
Crucially, the project doesn’t restrict the story to this exclusive digital space. The NFT is partly meant to raise funds to print physical copies of the book. It is publishing with a tech industry bent, with a startup raising funds by issuing special tokens to investors looking to attain something that might rise in value. It’s an experiment worth keeping track of, for sure.
CHECK OUT: The Last Moon Collection on OpenSea