“Right-Click to Save: Preservation, NFTs, and Distributed Ledgers” presented by Bell, Harsanyi and Ippolito


Session Title:

  • Summit on New Media Art Archiving: Panels

Presentation Title:

  • Right-Click to Save: Preservation, NFTs, and Distributed Ledgers




  • Artists have experimented with cryptocurrency incentivized distributed ledgers such as blockchains since the advent of Bitcoin. In parallel, crypto advocates frequently claim that distributed ledger protocols will ensure an accessible and immutable record of anything registered to it, including artwork. This panel examines this idea with nuance, neither buying into the mass deception around NFT marketing tactics nor rejecting the reality that a subset of artists are creating significant, challenging works that inherently utilize these technologies. Preserving the asset may seem to be in the regular wheelhouse of preservation professionals, who have decades of experience developing guidelines for saving software-based art, but ledger-based technologies have their own preservation promises and challenges.