Key facts: “There are people betting on radical change” through cryptocurrency networks, says Castagnino. For him, it is necessary to improve the challenge-reward ratio in the NFT industry. The non-fungible token (NFT) industry is not going through its best moment. Gone is the fury reached during the 2020-2021 bull market when no one wanted to be left out of fashion. At that time, companies, governments, social media platforms, celebrities, artists, politicians, and a long etcetera, joined the wave of “NFT-mania.” But now, as CriptoNoticias has shown, the situation is different and there is a “crash” in the industry. Even so, There are those who believe that NFTs, including those linked to artistic issues, were not just a passing fad but something that is here to stay. Among them is, for example, the Argentine José Castagnino. He presides over the Juan B. Castagnino Museum Foundation of the city of Rosario and, previously, worked in the Association of Friends of the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires and also in the Argentine Federation of Friends of Museums. Within the framework of the most recent edition of the Ethereum Argentina conference, which was held in Buenos Aires, we were able to talk with this specialist who gave us, exclusively, his opinions on the subject. Castagnino says:
«What happened is that the market did not massively adopt NFTs. It did not adopt them for some reason, but it does not mean that the tool [los NFT] be the wrong one. It seems to me that the tool has to wait for the exact moment to come back and continue working. In fact, these conferences on topics related to blockchains are that: they are people who continue to bet on a radical change in total procedures. José Castagnino, president of the Juan B. Castagnino Museum Foundation.
For this graduate in corporate affairs management and audiovisual media production, “the logic that prevails in digital natives is challenge-reward.” Therefore, he explains, “to the extent we can improve the challenges and enhance the rewards, the industry will work. On the other hand, if we ‘match’ ourselves on both sides, things don’t work.” Adds Castagnino:
I believe that engineering [de la industria de los NFT y su tecnología relacionada] It is the most intelligent, the most organic, the most transversal that we have known, so it is a matter of waiting for the moment and being able to use it again. But, for me, it has a lot of future. José Castagnino, president of the Juan B. Castagnino Museum Foundation.
In addition to NFTs, Castagnino is optimistic about the evolution and development of governance tokens, which provide voting power to members of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). He says: “I like the historic moment we are living in to move forward on governance tokens. It seems to me that the governance token is a fundamental tool for making collective decisions.
The Juan B. Castagnino Museum is a pioneer of tokenized art
The Juan B. Castagnino Museum of Fine Arts, founded in 1937 and located in the city of Rosario, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, is one of the main art museums in the country.
Facade of the Juan B. Castagnino Municipal Museum of Fine Arts. Source: Wikipedia. The museum is named in honor of Juan Bautista Castagnino, a prominent Rosario painter (of whom our interviewee is a grandnephew), reflecting his importance in the local art scene. The museum’s collection encompasses a vast range of works, from Argentine and international art from colonial to contemporary periods. Located in Parque de la Independencia, an emblematic green space in Rosario, the museum has become a cultural reference point.
In June 2022, the NFT exhibition, Vibrant, was held in the central hall of the museum. It was organized by DFINITY Foundation (Swiss non-profit entity), artists, producers, local companies and the Municipality of Rosario. Our interviewee shows the joy he feels about the fact that the Castagnino museum has been the protagonist of an event of such magnitude:
«The academic world had a lot of rejection and distrust of the subject of NFT digital art. We were one of the first museums in the world to do this type of exhibition. To buy, the Pompidou in France did it in February 2023 and in June 2022 we already had the first digital art exhibition in a physical and academic museum. José Castagnino, president of the Juan B. Castagnino Museum Foundation.
“The street does not define me”, the flagship project of 2023
Lastly, we spoke with José Castagnino about the flagship project his foundation is working on in 2023: “The street does not define me”. Castagnino explains that “the project is about the resignification of homeless people with addictions through art, education and creativity.” For this they work in alliance with an NGO specialized in the area.
The project “The street does not define me” carried out ‘street art’ actions. Source: @lacallenomedefine – Instagram (photograph republished with permission from José Castagnino) «A series of posters were made to carry out a street art action in the main places in Rosario. So, homeless people generated pieces of art with a message presented in the place where they live,” says Castagnino. On the Instagram account @lacallenomedefine you can see the works of art that were made within the framework of this project.
«The great paradigm of the exhibition is that, for the first time, a homeless person, instead of asking you for something, comes to offer you. It comes to offer you a message of art, of beauty, but above all it comes to offer you a message of hope. “It reverses the marketing scheme of pity against a marketing of hope.” José Castagnino, president of the Juan B. Castagnino Museum Foundation.
In a next stage of this project, NFTs will come into action. “The idea,” says the interviewee, “is to invite digital artists to make a free reinterpretation of the pieces and create a collection of NFTs to make this time-lapse that I describe as follows: one person on a Sunday may be using crack; On Monday he is in an NGO that works on his pathology, his situation, his paradigm; Tuesday at a museum in the Education Department; Wednesday generating a phrase to insert; on Thursday digitizing and splicing; and on Friday doing a street art action. Adds Castagnino, to conclude:
«This means that, from hell, the worst hell that a person can live, he goes through Monday, which is the purgatory where he is resignified, until Friday when he places the piece. It means that an idea was transformed into a materiality that can be put in a place so that it can be spread to the entire world in physical and analog form. See if we can market and sell the works through blockchain networks. Not for profit, but because this circle that begins in hell and ends in heaven has all the decentralized tools to be a success, if you really want to achieve success. José Castagnino, president of the Juan B. Castagnino Museum Foundation.