“Attaining a larger impression artistically” – An in-depth dialogue of NFTs with the system of a down Serj Tankian

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Last month, System of a Down’s lead singer Serj Tankian hosted an art exhibition using the Non-fungible Token (NFT) platform and the Curio NFT marketplace. The physically and virtually fused art show was called “Not for Touching,” and this week Tankian told Bitcoin.com News that he believes NFT technology has opened new doors for his artistic expression.

This week, Bitcoin.com News spoke to System of a Down (SoaD) lead singer Serj Tankian about non-fungible token (NFT) technology and how it has given him the opportunity to express his art in new ways. In December, Tankian and Curio NFT hosted an art exhibition of the artist’s NFT artwork entitled “Not for Touching”.

Tankian has been an artist for years, but NFTs have given the SoaD singer a new way of “influencing multiple senses at the same time” and he emphasized that he was always interested in “being artistically stronger”. The following is an in-depth discussion with Serj Tankian of SoaD that Bitcoin.com News taped on Jan. 5th.

Bitcoin.com News (BCN): You recently entered the world of NFTs. Can you tell our readers how you discovered NFT technology?

Serj Tankian: I discovered it while reading the news. Seeing various artists releasing NFTs. We remodeled the house and I had a lot of time to read and thought, ‘Wow, this is really interesting.’ Having been into art for a number of years, music related art, I thought, ‘wow, this could be a new platform for what I do.’ So this is where the connection of the idea came into play.

BCN: You recently did an art exhibition called “Not for Touching” with Curio NFT. Can you tell our readers about this event and how it went?

Serj Tankian: The event went very well, they set up a virtual gallery which was very interesting for me. To go into this gallery and see my pieces, which were of course NFTs, and be able to look at them, listen to them, and see details about them. Then go the other direction and check out another NFT work on another wall. It was really cool, the setup was really nice and it’s kind of my first dive into this world as an artist.

“Achieving a greater impact artistically” - An in-depth discussion of NFTs with the system of a down Serj TankianNFT art by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian.

I’ve always been interested in influencing several senses at the same time in order to have a stronger artistic effect. I did that with my musical art, which we call “Eye For Sound”. We use an app that does optical recognition and you go into a physical gallery and can listen to each of the paintings with a smartphone or earphones.

It’s like an immersive experience and with NFTs the ability to physically bring this painting to life using animation and digital painting. Like my good friend Roger Kupelian who has worked on Lord of the Rings and many, many films, his images come to life with the music in the background. So I’m really excited because the product has become really amazing.

BCN: Do you collect other assets from certain NFT collections?

Serj Tankian: I haven’t yet. To be honest, although I do produce physical art, I’m not a big physical art collector. I have some pictures of good friends. Maybe it’s because I’m a minimalist in some ways. I don’t like mess, not even on a hard drive. I have a lot of friends who are collectors and they love collecting art, collecting things, NFTs, and I’m just not a collector. I am an artist, I produce.

BCN: Are the other bandmates from System of the Down like NFTs?

Serj Tankian: I didn’t really ask her. I’m not sure if any of them bought any. I would doubt it, but maybe Shavo (SoaD bassist Shavo Odadjian) because he’s very tech-friendly and is against the other guys. So possibly Shavo, but I’m not sure.

“Achieving a greater impact artistically” - An in-depth discussion of NFTs with the system of a down Serj TankianTankian thinks how people come to an agreement about perceived value is a very interesting topic. He said whether gold, diamonds, NFTs or Bitcoin are rated, it’s all about subjective ratings.

BCN: Why do you think NFTs are the “next step” in terms of artistic creation?

Serj Tankian: I said this statement is addressed to me. Because it gave me a new platform to add a dimension of experience that I couldn’t physically add. That would be crawling into virtual space in such a way that I can move the images and let them dance.

Where in physical space there are paintings on the wall and they don’t dance, but the music-making that is introduced into them, which is beautiful. But now I can fill that space between the wall and the listener with NFTs. I look forward to finding more virtual or physical spaces to further interact with multiple senses to increase the potency of the artist’s vision.

BCN: Besides NFTs, are you interested in other types of blockchain projects, like crypto assets like Bitcoin?

Serj Tankian: Not really. I don’t know shit. I am a completely naive person when it comes to blockchain, bitcoin and so on. I don’t have any for myself [NFT tech] is a new world of presenting my art, that’s my in. But I really don’t know much about blockchain, but I have friends who bought Bitcoin early on and who are really excited about it.

BCN: Many people believe that blockchain technology can remove parasitic third parties from various elements of our lives. Would you agree with that?

Serj Tankian: I think there is definitely the truth. I think it’s a subversive technology in some ways, or maybe it’s not subversive, and maybe it’s an alternative. You think about the gold standard and how money used to be based on gold. Then they got off the gold standard because they couldn’t find enough gold. They also expanded so that most currencies are based on the integrity of that nation’s government.

With blockchain and bitcoin, you are outside of this system. It’s very interesting to me, including NFTs, because it’s very interesting that the human character agrees to evaluate things in a certain way.

BCN: Are you planning any further NFT exhibitions with your artwork?

Serj Tankian: I do. But I want to find the next level. I would love to do a physical gallery or museum exhibition where there are these physically isolated spaces for each of my paintings and you can create even more of that virtual encounter with the physical world. Where you can interact with the multiple dimensions of art, including painting, definitely the music that surrounds you, maybe bringing some elements of touch and smell, lighting and the virtual world into it. Perhaps the NFTs could be projected into actual space, I am starting to think about multiple dimensions and increasing the potency of the artistic effect.

Tags in this story

‘Not for Touching’, activist, art, artist, Crypto, Curio NFT, Digital Currencies, Earbuds, Interview, nft, NFT art, NFT collection, NFT collections, NFT System of a Down, NFT Tech, NFTs, Non-fungible Token , Painting, Serj Tankian, Shavo Odadjian, singer, smartphone, SoaD, SoaD bassist, SoaD signer, System of a Down, System of a Down NFT, singer

What do you think of our interview with Serj Tankian from System of a Down? What do you think of his description of NFT technology? Let us know what you think on this matter in the comments below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a Florida-based financial tech journalist. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for bitcoin, open source code and decentralized applications. As of September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News on the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer of liability: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement for any product, service, or company. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author are directly or indirectly responsible for any damage or loss caused or allegedly caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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