Story at a glance
- Supermodel Kate Moss auctioned a video of herself sleeping as an NFT.
- The NFT sold for $14,236.30, with proceeds going to the nonprofit organizations Gurls Talk.
- Moss’s auction comes amid a growing wave of women attempting to take control of their images and works.
Supermodel Kate Moss auctioned a video of herself sleeping, called “Sleep With Kate,” as a nonfungible token (NFT), amid a growing wave of women attempting to take control of their images.
NFTs are units of data that appear on blockchains, a list of records and transactions linked together using cryptographic codes.
Because digital art can so easily be replicated and reproduced, the art world has begun using NFTs to mark original works — a tech-heavy definition that boils down to something similar in concept to a coded digital trademark — and preserve their value.
“Time is the thing that there is never enough of. I’m intrigued by who will want to own a moment of mine,” Moss said. “I was also drawn to the idea that this ownership can be used to help others in need hopefully gain more of it.”
In Moss’s auction, which also included other videos of her driving and walking, “Sleep With Kate” sold for 5.1699 ether, of the cryptocurrency ethereum, or $14,236.30, with all proceeds going to the nonprofit organization Gurls Talk.
Women are increasingly using the NFT trend as a way to seize ownership of their image and likeness, physically and metaphorically.
Model Emily Ratajkowski auctioned her own NFT in April, called “Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution,” tweeting, “The digital terrain should be a place where women can share their likeness as they choose, controlling the usage of their image and receiving whatever potential capital attached. Instead, the internet has more frequently served as a space where others exploit and distribute images of women’s bodies without their consent and for another’s profit.”
The movement for this ownership isn’t just from models, transcending into art and technology.
On May 14, Christie’s auction house made history auctioning paintings by female artists alongside NFTs crafted by the digital feminist collective Rewind, calling it “Trailblazers: Centuries of Female Abstraction.” The NFTs created by Rewind depicted the five paintings for auction, including abstract expressionism works by Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Yvonne Thomas, and Lynne Mapp Drexler.
Women crafting their art as NFTs are already underrepresented in the crypto community, with only 15 percent of crypto users being women.
“From my perspective and understanding, it seems that women are having a hard time being represented and valorized across the NFT landscape,” digital artist Alycia Rainaud, who creates under the moniker Maalavidaa, told Vogue. “A number of females in the space have reported being concerned about how few of us have been given the opportunity to access curated platforms.”
Even memes have forayed into the community, with those depicted in the viral images reclaiming their agency, such as Zoe Roth, known for being captured in what would become known as the “Disaster Girl” meme. After years of the 2005 image circulating, Roth sold the NFT in April for 180 ether or $403,000, which she is using to pay off student loans, and then donating the remainder to charity.
“It really does feel like we’re reclaiming some sort of agency over our images,” Roth says.
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