BeinCrypto had the opportunity to meet the team of artists Oxia Palus during the Focus Art Fair event at the Louvre Carrousel in Paris from September 1st to 4th. The group’s first collection of NFTs preserves unknown paintings by famous painters.
We all know that throughout history, artists have repainted their work, either because they lacked funds and canvas, or because they just didn’t think their paintings were good enough. Thanks to an X-ray scanner, Oxia Palus was able to recover these paintings and convert them into NFTs.
BeInCrypto (BiC): Can you introduce yourself and the project?
Oxia Palus (OP): Oxia Palus is made up of neuroscientist Anthony Bourached and physicist George Cann, both PhD students at UCL, and mathematician and artist Jesper Eriksson.
BiC: Where do you think this enthusiasm for never-before-seen and “long-lost” images came from?
purchase order: From a simplification perspective, science is the most basic store of information, which records the basic and immutable rules that govern the world. It can be assumed that physics is at the bottom of the hierarchy of scientific complexity, since we can analyze and solve many physical systems with precision.
This hierarchy then goes up to chemistry, the study of molecules and their interactions through biology, the assembly of molecules into organic matter. Then we move on to neuroscience, the study of electrochemical interactions, and then psychology, which becomes qualitative because of the complexity between the electrochemical components that form complex interactions. Finally, we come to sociology, where units capable of complex individual actions form complex social systems.
However, the top of this hierarchy has become so difficult to formalize that we have to rely on evolutionary-driven ways of storing information, such as emotion and culture. We believe that the primary store of this information is art, which is the ultimate goal of complex modeling because of its inherent relationship to culture and emotion.
To paraphrase Turing: We need complex modeling to understand complex systems scientifically. Furthermore, it is a beautiful part of the human condition that we have come to appreciate in future generations. From a Darwinian perspective, then, we can argue that the continued preservation of valuable works of art across generations has become a long-term collective choice to store the most valuable complex information.
Essentially, the time course acts like a filter, selecting only those works of art that are historically informative and providing cultural insight. In our view, the importance of studying and contributing to art history thus becomes the most complex model of reality to study and contribute.
BiC: After all the hype around NFTs, the trend now seems to be fading and trading volumes are down. Do you think this is just a temporary phenomenon and the market will go up? What do you expect from this market?
purchase order: NFTs are a very important innovation for the art world as they instill the concept of ownership in the digital realm, while the potential of NFT technology is still in its infancy.
However, we do not believe it is worth speculating on price and market movements, as these factors are largely unpredictable and irrelevant to the underlying value of the technology. We are most interested in the growing popularity of technological developments in the field and the fact that this development will bring significant benefits to the democratization of art and art markets worldwide.
Also, the boom and bust cycles we are currently experiencing seem to do more harm than good in the long run, and we hope that the field will experience more stability and predictability in the future, as artists who want to make a living from their art should not Forced to live in a hysterical market.
BiC: Why is it so important to you to have your artwork available in NFT format?
purchase order: In the creative tech industry, there seem to be two major movements driving innovation, namely artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies. Oxia is primarily a company focused on artificial intelligence, and our research focuses on developments in this field.
However, we are excited to collaborate with and participate in the rapid development of the crypto community, as these two fields will inevitably and inextricably be linked to define the future direction of art.
So our first move was to start a new project called “TextMasters”. Throughout history, many important works of art have been completely lost, stolen or destroyed without any visual representation. However, in some cases, the text file of the work still exists. Thus, we pioneered the first AI resurrection of these works, leveraging text-to-image translation models such as OpenAI’s DALL-E 2.
Through these, we can combine text input with classical artist catalog training to bring otherwise lost works of art to life. The result of this process is the launch of a new series of NFTs on the KnownOrigin platform. So far, the collection has brought resurrected pieces for Leonardo, Titian, Velázquez and Giotto… Again, we’re excited to witness our first sale in the collection; Leonardo da Vinci of “Medusa”, in our exhibition in Paris.
BiC: Do you have plans to exhibit in the future metaverse?
purchase order: We were intrigued by the idea of having an exhibition in the Metaverse because we wanted everyone on Earth to have access to our work restoring ancient masterpieces, not just those who could afford it. Louvre. Everyone should have access to all art history, and we’d be happy if we could lower the barrier of access to that of an internet connection.
However, we are still very cautious about the idea of putting too much emphasis on the “metaverse” at this time. The original concept was described as a global phenomenon of decentralization and open source, and today, major tech companies are pouring money and resources into developing their own virtual worlds. That’s a good thing to accelerate the development of exciting and useful technology, but it’s a far cry from the idea of a true metaverse, as these companies will inevitably be guardians. So it’s unfortunate that it’s a real misnomer to call the current move different from a privatized virtual world.
That said, what we might hope is that the vast amount of resources allocated to these corporate projects will be used to develop useful technologies that, when aggregated, will help form a truly emerging metaverse. With this in mind, we are keen to look into the possibilities of virtual exhibitions, as long as they allow for greater accessibility.
BiC: What should we know about your upcoming projects or news?
purchase order: Our biggest project is the recently launched TextMaster NFT project. Otherwise, we are fully committed to perfecting our in-house technology and plumbing to make our products as close to perfect as possible.
Additionally, we are donating a resurrected work by Modigliani to UCL’s AI Centre, where we hope to inspire future students to pursue their ideas and passions.
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