Artwork for podcast Floor is Rising
Cole Sternberg - "Crossing Over" from Contemporary Art to NFTs
Episode 6913th June 2022 • Floor is Rising • Floor is Rising Podcast
00:00:00 00:38:28

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Show Notes

Cole Sternberg is a critically acclaimed contemporary artist who is now entering the world of NFTs. His first NFT drop was on June 10th and in this episode, we hear about the broader concept of his work and how it manifests through the process of relinquishing control to code. Cole fills us in on what it is that he loves about generative work, and why he chose to embrace the technology tied to NFTs rather than simply turn his physical art into jpegs. We also find out more about the differences between the physical art world and the NFT world in terms of ranking and collector trends, interactions, and expectations. As a ‘crossover’ artist, if you will, Cole explains the dynamic (and the thrill) of exploring the new medium of NFTs, as well as the digital literacy gap between physical art and the NFT space. Tune in to hear about Cole’s exploration process, how his themes of human erasure manifest in his NFT works, and how NFTs act as a commentary on society!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why Cole Sternberg chose to enter the NFT world via Art Blocks.
  • Cole’s choice to embrace the technology tied to NFTs, rather than turn physical art into jpegs.
  • The themes of his work: erasure of the human hand, and the earth itself as a composer.
  • How his upcoming NFT collection addresses these themes in the digital form.
  • What Cole loves about generative work.
  • How it feels to relinquish control to code versus nature.
  • Cole’s learning process of thinking more abstractly and getting to his imagined final product.
  • How interactions with collectors differ in the physical art world versus the NFT world.
  • Why ranking NFTs according to their floor price is detrimental.
  • How NFT curatorial concepts can (and should) evolve.
  • The crossover dynamic of established contemporary artists moving into the NFT space.
  • The digital literacy gap between the physical art world and the NFT world.
  • NFTs as a commentary on society.
  • Speculation on how Light and Space artists would have approached NFTs.
  • Cole’s favourite artists!


“All these different things emerge when you expose paintings physically to the elements.” — @colesternberg

“That broad idea of erasing the human hand and giving it back to the earth, I wanted to address that in the digital form.” — @colesternberg

“There’s not much transparency in the physical art world but there’s basically infinite transparency in the NFT world.” — @colesternberg

“There’s an inherent crossover that should be irresistible to most artists.” — @colesternberg

“It’s a crazy thing that a medium can come over a few-year period, tops, and become so prevalent in the world and in the market.” — @colesternberg

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Cole Sternberg on Twitter

Floor Is Rising