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The Restriction of Mushrooms in NFT Art & Social Media

Mushroom Art: Grey Area Fine Art: Tippy

On the subject of fungi and its place in the art world:

Due to the simple biological fact that mushrooms fall into three distinct categories: toxic, deadly, and edible (with a subcategory of edible being psychedelic), there are numerous provisions of social media, NFT websites, and forums, that outlaw or restrict mushroom art. Most of this art does not promote a psychedelic lifestyle, substance use, or anything else the United States government has been at war with for decades and of our research of social media: the type of mushroom-related pieces that were banned or restricted seemed to be confoundingly random with some ban-reasons specified as essentially “being too colorful that their theme might bridge on psychedelic.” Photographers and digital artists constantly edit their photos to highlight vibrance, so why are mushrooms a volatile subject? There is a plethora of other psychedelic or psychoactive fungi, plants, and even animals. For example, in certain Amazon cultures, frogs that secrete psychedelic substances are licked for their psychoactive properties in ritual.

My point is that none of the arguments banning such media are mutually exclusive and so mushroom art and photography, like any other art form, should be an open subject for NFTs. At Grey Area Fine Art, we have recruited a variety of mushroom and psychedelic artists to prove this very point, and we hope we will enjoy our collection.

It’s also worth noting that there are numerous similarities between this topic and nudity in art…


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What is grey area art in the NFT space?

“Grey Matter” — by Coraline

Obviously, art is not just black and white. That would be quite dull. Not to say that black and white images aren’t worthwhile art, I’m just saying that’s not all there is. Unfortunately, like many social media sites, NFT Art sites often enforce a restrictive set of rules that the larger art world doesn’t always comply with. Right now this art can only exist in niche galleries in real life. Therefore, is the need for a ‘grey area art’ space for works that might not be allowed on certain platforms due to copyright issues, vulgarity, nudity/eroticism, violence, and more.

We have created Grey Area Fine Art as the solution to this issue. Our website offers something that no other online NFT art platform does: full anonymity. While you have the option for self-attribution or to use a handle/pseudonym, you can also be listed as fully anonymous, with no handle. That means that art can be judged purely for art’s sake, rather than being judged for the identity and reputation of the artist (as we establish in our first article on our founding philosophy).

A simple visual example of this fact of subjective human perceptions goes as follows:

Lookalikes! (Clipped from our about page on our site.)

Blah blah. Anyways I think you get the point: things are not always what they appear at first and our personal experience is what shapes our reaction to art and the very definition of it. Because of this, we react as much to the artist as we do to the art. That’s why anonymity is important.

The following is a great example of NSFW art that would not be allowed on many platforms, but could easily be accepted by a niche art gallery or larger community:

Love this NFT!?!

However, there is also one more factor that determines what we call art: the audience. For the same reason, the room, gallery, or online marketplace is as important in shaping art as the art itself. So, when we broaden the audience — or at least allow it to be viewed by as many people as possible we can affect the meaning of the art or at least its thematic interpretation. The more stuffy the room (or epistemic bubble), the more narrow or skewed the interpretation and place of the work within a given movement. (See our first article for more analysis on this.)

What’s important is that we have the power to adapt this ideological system into a more evolved state by using the same internet sharing strategies that inherently categorize us to broaden our base and with that our ideology and art. And the more we bridge social media tools, the more we can break the same bubbles that encapsulated those bridges in the first place. Join us on Reddit to continue the discourse. Or utilize social media to interact with us and others in diverse ways; InstagramFacebookPinterestTelegramDiscord, and even Medium can all be used to bridge gaps or widen them.


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