American filmmaker, painter, visual artist, and writer David Lynch is currently trending on Twitter. Lynch is being targeted by Twitterverse’s residents, and not for his version of Dune, filmed in 1984. Instead, the good-hearted and good-natured people of Twitter expressed their concerns over David Lynch’s dabble into NFTs, due to the cryptocurrency’s negative impact on the environment.
Back in 2011, American rock band Interpol debuted their dynamic collaboration with filmmaker David Lynch, best known for his Twin Peaks television series, and 1984’s Dune, by staging a performance featuring an original Lynch short animated film, as a visual backdrop for Interpol’s 2010 single “Lights.” Now, an entire decade later, Interpol and Lynch are collaborating once again to reboot the experience, dropping Lynch’s creepy, crudely drawn short film and Interpol’s “Lights” in the form of eight bite-sized NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Here’s Lynch’s tweet about the collaboration below:
Interestingly enough, Interpol has stated that the new piece of art featuring David Lynch’s cinematic work has morphed into eight NFTs, while Lynch only mentions seven. Well, HIFI Labs created eight NFTs, on the authority of both Lynch and Interpol, which helped unite the unique blend of music and visual art in digital form. But only seven of them will be auctioned via the SuperRare marketplace, beginning today, October 26, through November 9. The eighth NFT will be made available to the fandom for free.
However, David Lynch, the Renaissance man of modern American filmmaking, found himself under attack by the Twitter community, following his post on Twitter, criticizing the filmmaker for minting NFTs. It would seem that the majority of the Twitter community judges NFT minting due to its negative impact on the environment. But what do cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the environment have in common, and why does it garner this much attention? For those that don’t quite follow the world of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are pieces of fine digital art. As such, they can be virtually anything, as long as it is in a digital form.
At a very high level, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. And when somebody like David Lynch and Interpol sell their non-fungible digital art, a unique certificate of ownership over the said NFT becomes locked away on an immutable distributed database, known as a blockchain. However, because they depend on a blockchain, which involves the use of an energy-intensive computer function called mining, NFTs use a lot of energy. And per the last measurement, Ethereum’s blockchain uses approximately 31 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity a year – about as much as the whole of Nigeria. For comparison, one 7-Watt LED lightbulb would take more than 505 million years to consume that much electrical energy.
Calculating just how much responsibility NFT buyers and sellers have in Ethereum’s carbon emissions is very difficult to calculate, but the NFT industry is slowly becoming liable for the increasing share of Ethereum’s total energy use. For example, the French digital artist Joanie Lemercier recently canceled the sale of six works after calculating that the sale would use enough energy in just ten seconds to power her entire art studio for two years. With such a massive carbon footprint in mind, the Twitter mob might be right on this one regarding David Lynch and Interpol’s minting of NFTs.