The artist Ben Elliot is launching the first art cryptocurrency in 2021 named the Ben Elliot Token (BET)

The artist Ben Elliot is launching the first art cryptocurrency in 2021 named the Ben Elliot Token (BET) FAD MAGAZINE
Portrait: Winter Vandenbrink

Tokens will be available to be collected as digital money and as an artwork. Users will also be able to exchange BET* with other currencies or convert it into physical artworks. A new creative platform will be released in parallel and will broadcast a program of online exhibitions and exclusive contents.

FAD MAGAZINE Ben Elliot, Ben Elliot Token, 2020. Campaign image. Courtesy the artist.
Ben Elliot, Ben Elliot Token, 2020. Campaign image. Courtesy the artist.

‘Ben Elliot Token is an artwork that accepts itself as an investment. But it is a smart asset, and it contains the most forward-thinking concepts of our time.
This long term project aims to take part in the new socioeconomic conversations related to technology, decentralization, and capital through the lens of contemporary art’

While in isolation during COVID-19 we managed to talk to Ben over the relatively old technology of email about his cryptocurrency BET.

Ben Elliot, Ben Elliot Token, 2020. Campaign image. Courtesy the artist.
Ben Elliot, Ben Elliot Token, 2020. Campaign image. Courtesy the artist.

1 BET – is buying art from Ben Elliot just a gamble?
No, It’s an experience from both the art and business fields. This is the occasion to take part in rethinking reality and participate in new formats whether it be the creative ones or about information, datas and digital challenges.

2 A market in currency only works if a certain amount of people take part – how big do you think the BET market will get?
I take my time with BET. I am aware that my actual market is restricted as a young artist but I like to work on other fields like social networks, tech and crypto, get new markets, grow my current audience. That’s a project that I see evolving at least over a decade.

3 BET sits on the roll platform would you encourage other artists to roll a currency?
Sure why not, if they feel like it is a good thing for their own work. For my part, it is not just a question of market, it is also a means to make evolve my overall practice and link it with current concepts.

4 Doesn’t the method of purchase detract from the art or is the art the method of purchase
In the case of BET, the method of purchase is part of and enhances the art.

5 “Making money is art” is your work influenced by Andy Warhol?
Of course, the current society is influenced by past thinkers and creatives, consequently, my work is too. Money is a good asset to evolve, create better and trigger new ideals.

6 What’s real?
A human concept that is slowly losing its meaning.

7 Do you feel positive for the future?
Yes, I am really excited about the evolution of new technologies, singularity and AI.

ben-elliot.com
BET token.ben-elliot.com

What is a cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is crypted. It means that it is not centralized: no bank, company, or government can control the movements of the money. It uses blockchain, a technology where every transaction is recorded in a collective database that cannot be altered, which makes it secured.

About the artist
Ben Elliot (b. 1994) is an artist whose practice addresses contemporary subjects such as influence marketing, high-speed media channels and contemporary devices. Most of his works federate a group, taking place in contexts with a blurry border between the contemporary art setting and the social life environment. Ben Elliot extends his persona through communication tools using the strategies of influencers, social medias, digital contents, product placement, partnerships and contracts; not limiting its economic system to the patrons-collectors-galleries but also integrating other players. He often partners with companies from contemporary industries such as tech, advanced lifestyles and entertainment to highlight the concepts and values that they carry.

By using and spreading the forms, ideas and mechanisms of our time, Ben Elliot explores the new systems of emerging trends, creation of values, articial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, decentralized internet, and in general innovation.

FAD MAGAZINE Ben Elliot, Ben Elliot Water, 2017. Editorial picture. Photographer: Chris Calmer. Courtesy the artist
Ben Elliot, Ben Elliot Water, 2017. Editorial picture. Photographer: Chris Calmer. Courtesy the artist

FAD MAGAZINE Ben Elliot, Meitu MakeupPlus, 2018. Exhibition view, EXO EXO, Paris, France. Courtesy the artist and EXO EXO.
Ben Elliot, Meitu MakeupPlus, 2018. Exhibition view, EXO EXO, Paris, France. Courtesy the artist and EXO EXO.

Ben Elliot, Perfect365 n°13, 2020. Courtesy the artist. FAD MAGAZINE
Ben Elliot, Perfect365 n°13, 2020. Courtesy the artist

Ben Elliot, Perfect365 n°2 &13, 2020. Exhibition view, Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France. FAD MAGAZINE
Ben Elliot, Perfect365 n°2 &13, 2020. Exhibition view, Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France.

FAD MAGAZINE Ben Elliot, Influencers, 2019. Exhibition view, Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Hussenot.
Ben Elliot, Influencers, 2019. Exhibition view, Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Hussenot.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad