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Daniel Arsham to push the boundaries of NFTs with time-based digital sculptures that slowly disintegrate and then reforms over the year. - FAD Magazine

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Daniel Arsham to push the boundaries of NFTs with time-based digital sculptures that slowly disintegrate and then reforms over the year.

Still from Eroding and Reforming Bust of Rome (One Year). Courtesy of Daniel Arsham Studio.

Daniel Arsham Studio, in partnership with Nifty Gateway, has announced the inaugural launch of Daniel Arsham’s first NFT artwork, to be released as a solo drop on Nifty Gateway on Saturday, May 22nd at 7pm EST. Conceived as a series of 10 digital sculptures, each subsequent sculpture will be released over the coming months.

For the first drop on May 22nd, Arsham has developed a three-dimensional sculpture inspired by an ancient bust in the Louvre’s collection, which will slowly disintegrate and then reform over the course of a year. The large-scale sculpture is situated in a courtyard setting designed by Arsham. The courtyard will also change with the seasons, debuting in the spring with flowering trees and chirping birds through to winter where a soft snowfall will blanket the ground outside. Each year, the sculpture will be restored to its original state and the cycle will begin again, continuing forever in tandem with the seasons. Each artwork in the series has been created to operate on a different time scale, with the final sculpture eroding and reforming over a period of 1,000 years, then restarting the cycle all over again. This kind of artwork would not be possible without the smart contract capabilities built into the Ethereum blockchain on which Arsham’s work will reside.

In development with Nifty Gateway since late 2019, Arsham’s foray into the digital space is very much a reflection of his studio practice, which often explores the concepts of time and its indelible mark on the everyday world around us. Always one to push the boundaries of art-making, Arsham is one of the first contemporary artists to use NFT technology itself as a medium, and to create an evolving, time-based digital artwork, with Nifty Gateway working alongside him to adapt the platform to accommodate both the durational nature of his project and the work’s evolution over time.

According to Arsham:

“there is a level of complexity to this artwork that couldn’t exist outside of the digital realm, and blockchain technology has made this idea a reality. I am interested in exploring what technology can do in the 21st century. This is a fascinating new arena that allows my practice to expand beyond the artistic mediums that exist in the physical world and reach new audiences.” 

Launching as an open edition, each subsequent edition will decrease in numbers, so that the final drop will be released as a limited edition of 50.  Collectors who manage to acquire all 10 artworks in the series will automatically receive an 11th Arsham Nifty for free, deposited directly into their digital wallets. This special collectors-edition features a full private gallery space that Arsham has designed where all 10 sculptures will be displayed. 

“Daniel’s sculptures, drawings and films are an iconic presence in the international contemporary art market. True to his visionary nature, Daniel has created a conceptual work of art that is not only beautiful but incredibly sophisticated. His dynamic collection has first-ever 3D files featured on Nifty Gateway that truly leverage the best of this digital medium and will resonate strongly with the NFT community,”

said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini 

Arsham has drawn inspiration for the series from art historical figures whose practices were also driven by the passing of time, including legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham and conceptual composer and artist John Cage. Cage’s seminal composition, As Slow as Possible, which was designed to play for 639 years, is the ultimate expression of time’s singular ability to outlast us all. This 20th-century masterwork epitomizes what Arsham is aiming to achieve in the digital space – the idea that an artwork can cycle through an infinite state of regeneration and decay is a profound reflection of life itself.

To register for the exclusive drop on Saturday, May 22nd at 7pm visit niftygateway.com.

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