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Salah Zalatimo, courtesy of Voice.
Gen Gaika, courtesy of Voice.
Neïl Beloufa, courtesy of Voice.
Gen Gaika, courtesy of Voice.
Neïl Beloufa, courtesy of Voice.
Neïl Beloufa, courtesy of Voice.
Salah Zalatimo, courtesy of Voice.
Gen Gaika, courtesy of Voice.
Art

How Voice Supports Community and Sustainable Art Practices with Clean NFTs

By Eliza Jordan

June 30, 2022

Run by a team of technologists, artists, and curators, Voice is a carbon-neutral NFT platform and residency. A space for artists to mint works and a destination for collectors to discover new pieces, the company is also a forward-thinking space for artists and Voice members to exercise philanthropic ideas.

In April for Earth Month, Voice doubled down on its environmentally responsible approach to minting NFTs by collaborating with Ecologi, pledging to plant a tree for every work created on their platform. The result was 40,635 minted NFTs, and 40,635 trees planted. “We are on a mission to empower artists from all walks of life to build sustainable art practices, made possible by blockchain technology,” its CEO, Salah Zalatimo, recently told Whitewall.

Currently, Voice is focused on bringing the world’s best digital creators into the NFT space, continuing its residency programs, and supporting underrepresented communities. "We’re in the midst of launching the second season of our NFT Residency Program, which focuses on themes of a clean planet, equity and justice, future-proof, and well-being. We are also adding partner residencies, the first being Voice x Women Rise NFT Residency Program, dedicated to supporting women from underrepresented and marginalized communities," added Zalatimo. "Along the way, we’ll be continuing to improve our on-platform experience for both creators and collectors."

Whitewall spoke with Zalatimo to hear more about Voice's role in the world of NFTs and why its community's feedback drives its values, mission, and business.

Open Gallery

Salah Zalatimo, courtesy of Voice.

WHITEWALL: How did you initially get involved in the NFT world?

SALAH ZALATIMO: I’ve always been interested in NFTs and the blockchain, previously having led an internal blockchain task force at my previous position as the chief digital officer at Forbes. I joined Voice because I believe in the concept of 1,000 true fans and wanted to lead a project that enables today’s digital artists to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

WW: What does the brand’s name lend meaning to?

SZ: Voice’s mission is to empower creators from all walks of life. Our name reflects how we are dedicated to giving creators a voice, the opportunity to fully own their creations, and to connect with other creators, curators, and collectors. We are the most diverse, inclusive, and eco-friendly platform in this space because we care to listen and build according to our values.

Open Gallery

Gen Gaika, courtesy of Voice.

WW: Voice has a unique sustainability component. Can elaborate on that, and tell us a bit about your Earth Month pledge?

SZ: Voice is an entirely carbon-neutral platform built on an environmentally friendly blockchain. We pride ourselves on being environmentally responsible, paving the way for a more sustainable Web3 future.

For Earth Month this year, we launched our #ICreateCleanNFTs campaign. Through a partnership with Ecologi—a platform for real climate action—we pledged to plant a tree for every NFT minted on Voice during the month of April. The results? We minted 40,635 NFTs on the Voice platform during the month of April and planted 40,635 trees around the globe, supporting reforestation efforts that have a long-term impact on rebuilding the Earth's overall health. All trees planted on behalf of the Voice community during April are transparently viewable on the platform's virtual forest.

WW: Can describe why NFTs are not a completely sustainable alternative in art-making, and how Voice is doing things differently?

SZ: Blockchains have developed a bad reputation for their large energy use and negative impact on the environment. The energy requirements surrounding the creation and sale of NFTs on Ethereum specifically are unsustainable and irresponsible. This is why we built Voice using more advanced blockchain technology, enabling us to be completely carbon neutral.

Open Gallery

Neïl Beloufa, courtesy of Voice.

WW: What balance do you see between traditional art, digital art, and NFTs?

SZ: NFTs make digital art collectible. That expands the art market to include a whole new segment of digital native art. Beyond making digital art collectible, it also provides new capabilities and opportunities for artists to create. We are excited to see what emerges from the incredibly talented artists around the world who are just now getting familiar with these newfound powers.

For the contemporary art world, that will come to play in a newfound relationship between artists and their galleries, collectors, and museums. Where previously the power was in the hands of institutions, now artists are able to distribute and monetize their work more easily than ever before—so they will lead the way in viewing and collecting conversations of tomorrow. Voice facilitates minting and collecting without cost or barriers, so ‘art world’ artists can enter and experiment with NFTs without any upfront cost or concern.

WW: We’re seeing more and more immersive art spaces popping up across the U.S. What do you feel immersive environments offer the viewer in comparison to traditional galleries?

SZ: They offer the viewer a transformative experience that they may not necessarily receive at a traditional gallery. These immersive spaces are interesting because they allow viewers to interact with the art on a more captivating scale, and in an increasingly digital world, we’re introduced to and engaging with art on a different level than before. While the traditional galleries and museums will always be here to stay, these immersive experiences, similar to NFTs, are paving a new way for us to consume and interact with art on a heightened level.

Open Gallery

Salah Zalatimo, courtesy of Voice.

WW: Are there any creators in this space you’re interested in, or keeping on your radar?

SZ: There are so many talented artists leading us into the future with their work. We had a few in our residency who really blew me away with their projects. Gaika used analytics and activity from our blockchain to produce generative art that changed depending on how many people were watching the live performances. Neil Beloufa built an interactive art experience that allowed participants to mint their own generative art NFT in real-time. These artists, and many more, are pushing the definition of digital art and I am excited to see what they do next.

WW: Has the pandemic impacted your view of digital art?

SZ: The pandemic, in my opinion, has changed the way we all view, consume, and interact with art. When all of the traditional outlets we relied on were no longer an option, we had to come up with a new plan. That’s when the NFT boom began to fuel the art world, and galleries and fairs were pushed into a digital space, resulting in the demand for innovation in the art market like never before. My hope is for this to continue and for the transformative power of NFTs and their underlying technology to continue to change the way we create and share online.

WW: Where do you see the future of art being?

SZ: What we’ve seen from NFTs thus far has been incremental. We are still in the early phase of understanding and utilizing this new technology. As creators become more comfortable with it and the capabilities are better grasped, we will see entirely new forms of contemporary art. We are most excited about the early signs of some prescient curators and creators capturing real life culture as digital art; think about social movements and niche communities built around ideas.

Open Gallery

Gen Gaika, courtesy of Voice.
NFTsSustainabilityVoice

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