Ukrainian Experience: How To Preach With NFT-wrapped Memes
War is a powerful impetus to reconsider many “by default” beliefs that would otherwise remain untouched somewhere at the back of consciousness. There is some luck in any misfortune. War affects people at a personal level mainly. Some may change political inclinations, some may try on new social roles, and some may get rid of unhealthy habits after all. The individual sense of self undergoes a change to produce some unprecedented mental product induced by the shocking experience of death and mass destruction.
What forms can such a product take? Let’s try to speculate on it a little.
In the beginning, some unusual inferences, if not epiphanies, start descending to be digested by the conscious mind. After being processed and reflected by rational thinking, they start looking for ways to express themselves. The new vision needs a vehicle to manifest itself and become achievable by others. Humans share their thoughts via some sort of narrative usually. A table talk to fellow sufferers is good only for sharing complaints. Facebook posts seem to be better if they are not ignored. What else?
A Ukrainian refugee released a series of NFT memes to deliver quasi-spiritual epiphanies on somewhat painful socio-religio-psychological topics to a broad public. The approach is original, at least, isn’t it? Short (about 20 seconds each) MP4 video memes, created with quite a primitive video editor, represent brief prophecy-like stories illustrated with shots of various graffities made in Lviv city (Ukraine). No explicit link between the textual content and illustrations is observed unless you stretch the imagination. The memes’ soundtracks are even more puzzling: various ambient sounds seem to carry no meaningful load. The author is probably counting on a synergistic effect. Who knows. The author’s nickname “Moments H&N” which, by the way, can be easily deciphered as “moments here and now,” adds some colors to the holistic picture as well.
Anyhow, a particular integrated impression has been achieved. The overhyped NFT technology provides a vessel for memes having no humor content with revelation-like inferences illustrated by photos of real graphs made in the city where regular air raid warnings make people remember the ongoing war. What a cocktail!
Discrepancies between visual and textual contents? Yes, so what? Memes are widely accepted as a kind of modern art. Art is not about logic and consistency. Art is about feelings. What will you feel watching those “Graffiti Moments” with their revelations backed by the author’s warfare backstory? We bet you will feel something, something highly personal and humankind-inherent at the same time. Your sense of self will be impacted one way or another. Anyone won’t stay indifferent against such an awkward but intense attempt to tap into our pretty hardened souls.
Maybe modern art should go that way to be sporadic, simple, and impactful. Maybe NFTs can provide excellent carriers for modern synergetic artworks. Maybe new spirituality will arrive from those who face real existential challenges. And perhaps “Moments H&N” is worth the expected reward.