It seems that Keanu Reeves may have changed his mind about NFTs. In December, the actor burst into laughter after my colleague Alex Heath asked him about the idea of digital scarcity and digital collectibles. Reeves noted that digital items can be easily reproduced.
Now, however, he participates in a Non-Fungible Labs project, where he acts as an advisor to a program called the Futureverse Foundation, which aims to “improve the digital and physical worlds through the support of diverse artists and creative communities”. According to The Hollywood Reporterintroducing traditional artists to NFTs and funding their efforts.
The art connection here isn’t exactly a surprise – Reeves’ partner, Alexandra Grant, is a prolific artist whose work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, according to her website† She is also an advisor to the foundation and plays a lot in a video released by Non-Fungible Labs to announce and explain the initiative.
In that video, Grant talks about how NFTs can be used to bring artists into “a new possible economy.” That ties in well with what the Futureverse Foundation website describes as its mission: to build “a metaverse that everyone can access and create in an open, rich and diverse world.” Still, the foundation’s first charity grant seemed to focus on the physical world rather than the metaverse: art historian Nana Oforiatta Ayim was awarded 100,000 euros to help her curate Ghana’s exhibit at an international art exhibition in Venice. (Just to be clear, I think that sounds like a pretty admirable donation.)
In a press release Grant, of the Futureverse Foundation, calls it “one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on” and says she’s looking forward to “inventing a new model for arts philanthropy.” Meanwhile, Reeves’ statement reads a little more generically:
I am honored to join the efforts of Non-Fungible Labs in partnership with Alexandra Grant for the Futureverse Foundation’s extraordinary program and opportunity, supporting artists and creators worldwide.
Still, it’s quite an evolution to partner with an NFT project as an advisor to his charitable foundation, which explicitly aims to get artists into the metaverse, laughing at the idea that NFTs could be valuable. Non-Fungible Labs has commented somewhat on the video of Reeves laughing at the idea of NFTs, that someone posted as comment to the Futureverse Foundation’s announcement on Twitter, along with the question, “Has he changed his mind about NFTs?” The company responded “more than an NFT.”