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One momentous collaboration is shaping up to make a huge splash at The Gateway 2023. Of course, it’s legacy auction house Christie’s upcoming exclusive on-chain NFT auction. Featuring works from some of The Gateway 2023’s most prominent artists in attendance, the Christie’s 3.0 sale will highlight some of the most creative, forward-thinking pieces the NFT space has to offer.
The showcase marks the second consecutive year that nft now and Christie’s have collaborated on The Gateway during Miami Art Week. In 2023, nft now became the first digital media publication to co-curate a major auction house sale in partnership with Christie’s and OpenSea, which closed at $3.6 million.
Throughout The Gateway 2023, attendees can freely dive into (and maybe own) pieces from these promising crypto artists from all over the world. Don’t forget to RSVP your free ticket here to lock down your chance to be a part of NFT art history.
Andres is an American photographer and artist best known for pushing the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable in art. Case in point, “Piss Christ” — one of the most notable works of his career — was a photograph of a crucifix submerged in a jar containing what is widely speculated to be the artist’s urine. Following a decades-long career that’s seen him work with the likes of Metallica, Serrano has since entered the NFT art sphere as one of its newest provocateurs — with Piss Christ becoming available as an NFT for the very first time in its 35 years of existence.
Piss Christ. Source: Andres Serrano
Degradation. Source: Ash Thorp
Ayla El-Moussa works in photography and film, combining aesthetics of sensuality, the raw power of the forces of nature, and femininity into unique pieces of art. El-Moussa was one of the artists to contribute work to the Miami Beach Art Collection, a set of NFTs that were inspired by themes relating to Playboy’s past, present, and future. Her piece for that collection, “Ride The Wave,” which featured the iconic Playboy Bunny figure, sold for just under 70 ETH. In August 2023, she released “Nude Pixels,” a collection of 40 self-portraits in pixelated form that have reached nearly 16 ETH in trading volume since their release. Always presenting nudity with distinct class, El-Moussa has released a number of NFTs, including the single edition “Mirror Mirror,” “Reflection of Self,” and “Bodyscape II.”
Sand of Time. Source: Ayla El-Moussa
Free Hawaii. Source: Cath Simard
Dave Krugman is a photographer and writer based in New York City who embraced the NFT community wholeheartedly as a new platform for expression and education for his fellow creatives. Following the successful release of his collection DRIVE — taken during 10 years of street photography — Krugman founded the creative community chúng tôi Through this community, Krugman hopes to highlight and nurture rising talent within the NFT art community, since “a rising tide raises all ships.”
Drip Drop. Source: Dave Krugman
Random International began in 2005 as the brainchild of Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass. Today, it’s grown into a multinational team of artists working in tandem to explore the impact our increasingly technology-reliant society is making on the human condition through sprawling interactive installations that integrate a large variety of mediums and expressions. For one of their most notable recent collaborative efforts, they teamed up with Danil Krivoruchko to create the Life in Our Minds NFT series. In this work, Krivoruchko lent his considerable skills in creative direction to create a collection that aims to stay in each holder’s wallet.
Mother Flock. Source: Random International x Danil Krivoruchko
Perhaps best known for co-creating the Forgotten Runes Wizard’s Cult Web3 franchise with the rest of his party, Elf J Trul’s creative vision has also lent itself toward a host of other solo projects. Without the limitations set by pixelated art, Trul’s independent NFT outings have consistently enabled his prowess in digital art to shine, providing his followers valuable glimpses into how the Web3 media franchise he helped build may look once it’s achieved full potential.
AlphaGiga. Source: Elf J Trul
Billed as a “psy NFT artist,” Ponce’s digital worlds often see the artist conjure psychedelic imagery as a vehicle for his creative expression. The bizarre imaginary environments that have dominated Ponce’s work have struck a chord with collectors across the NFT space, with the total value of his portfolio estimated at nearly $180 thousand as of writing.
Happy souls become restless anyway. Source: Luis Ponce
Belgian artist Robin Veighe, perhaps better known to members of the NFT community as RhymezLikeDimez, has risen through the ranks of the creative world by merging his love of music into his artistic output. He’s also found great success working with some of the biggest artists in the music industry. Throughout his career, he’s produced visuals for artists like Dua Lipa, Wiz Khalifa, Anderson Paak, and more.
2009. Source: Rhymezlikedimez
Sasha Stiles’ work in the NFT sphere has largely centered on bridging the gap between text and technology. A lifelong lover of poetry and literature, Stiles has used this interest to inform her work as an AI researcher, and in turn, an NFT artist. The cross-pollination of Stiles’ work arguably came to a head with BINA48, a startlingly well-read humanoid AI robot. Stiles is also known for co-founding theVERSEverse, a crypto literary collective that explores how Web3 can further impact the lives of literary practitioners in a positive way.
Completion: Fragments. Source: Sasha Stiles
Mike Parisella, better known as digital collage artist SlimeSunday, works with motion graphics to create abstract artwork that’s characterized by bright colors and surreal (almost macabre) imagery. Many of his pieces show humans whose faces are getting sucked into electronic devices. SlimeSunday is also the art director for DJ and electronic dance music producer 3LAU. He gained fame as an NFT artist after the pandemic halted touring for 3LAU and the duo decided to turn to NFTs. Together, they formed SSX3LAU and started selling unreleased songs paired with exclusive visual effects. SlimeSunday continues to sell his creations as NFTs, and he has had his work featured in a variety of publications, including Playboy, Penthouse, and Glamour Magazine.
Mona Sativa. Source: Slimesunday
Cory Van Lew is a visual artist whose style came to fruition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Known for his use of bright colors to invoke positivity, Van Lew has said his pre-pandemic works were generally fueled with aggravation before he made a switch to spending weeks at a time on single pieces to instill nothing but good intentions into them. His NFTs, which largely pull from moments of his life, quickly catapulted him to the upper echelon of crypto artists in early 2023, leading him to be tapped by Mike Tyson for the legendary boxer’s first-ever NFT drop. Cory remains one of the most unique and prominent artists in the crypto space and continues to be recruited by influential names and brands for NFT endeavors.
Kiley Bug. Source: Cory Van Lew
Following a stint as a freelance illustrator, when Goldcat joined the NFT community in 2023, she found herself as one of the many creatives now unshackled from restrictions placed upon them by their previous jobs. Within a few short years, she’s established herself as one of the most important artists on Tezos, and hopes to encourage future artists to seek their own creative liberations through the growing NFT sphere.
The Conjured #5. Source: Goldcat
Michaël Zancan, known simply as Zancan in the NFT space, is a former oil painter and longtime programmer hailing from the South of France. In the NFT community, Zancan is known for his extraordinary and critically acclaimed plotter art. With his NFTs primarily minted on the Tezos blockchain, he has become somewhat of a celebrity in the Tezos NFT community, and is one of the most accomplished artists to release collections via the fxhash NFT marketplace. Working at the convergence of figurative and generative art, Zancan’s pieces look anything but algorithmic, and are co-produced with coded instruction and a seasoned eye for balancing the density of plants and trees.
The Oak Tree Part #-1,-1 Source: Zanca
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Today marks the start of Bitcoin Week 2023 – the world’s largest celebration of the cryptocurrency that started it all.
Attendees of the four-day Miami Beach event can expect to see some of the most prominent figures in the crypto and NFT spaces. Speakers include former U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Paypal co-founder Peter Theil, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary. Notable investors like tennis legend Serena Williams and NFL champion Oddell Beckham Jr., are also making appearances.
Despite its billing as a celebration of Bitcoin, there will also be plenty of NFT-centric events at Bitcoin Week 2023. Here are all the ones you can’t miss.Bitcoin Renaissance NFT gallery opening
Bitcoin Week 2023 is launching with an aptly-themed NFT collection: the Bitcoin Rennaissance. It’s set to feature work from more than 60 artists including Hitomi Matsui, Drooling Ape Bus Club, and Ross Ulbricht. The best part: you don’t have to be present to be a part of the auction– fans at home can own a piece from the 10,000 square foot gallery, too.Exclusive drops at the TradeStation after-party
Once the week wraps up, attendees can gain exclusive access to the TradeStation After-Party. The invite-only event is slated to feature a set from DJ ANDR3X, an exclusive NFT auction, and of course, an open bar.
Guests will also get an early look at planned drops courtesy of the event’s host, NFT Glee. You can request an invite here.Satellite events
Several companies and groups are also taking part in the festivities with a series of satellite events hosted outside of the official Bitcoin Week conference. Just bear in mind that these have no direct affiliation with the actual event. So if you’re willing to take the plunge, here are some of the most interesting NFT events you can participate in at nearby locations.Art in Action
In partnership with Ujamaa, a mobile NFT marketplace geared towards artists of color, Bitcoin Conference Kings is hosting the 21 Million Savage Networking Event on April 6th at the Sky Yard. Artists will be in attendance to help curate an installation featuring unique artwork produced specifically for the event.BoredPunks’ party for charity
Members of the CryptoPunks and BAYC communities have come together to host an invite-only fundraiser on April 8th for United Way – a charity that’s recently shown initiative in offering financial assistance to families fleeing Ukraine. They’re also known for their efforts in helping working members of the local Miami community in achieving financial independence.
Although not directly an NFT-centric event, guests part of the BAYC community will have the chance to network directly with other community members over drinks, live music, and under a noble charitable cause.Solana Miami
The Solana Foundation is hosting Solana Miami in partnership with Hurry Up Slowly. It’s an event to celebrate the work of the builders, artists, merchants, and users who make up the Solana community. The event comes at an exciting time for Solana, as OpenSea recently announced they will add Solana NFTs starting April 2023.
The event runs through April 10 and features a block-long street fair where attendees can make purchases using SOL, an NFT gallery highlighting artists in the Solana ecosystem, and much more.
Previously, we had to connect our devices to a speaker through a cord to hear the music. This, many times, prevented us from being able to charge said device, go in the other room to answer an email with it, or do other things with the device being used. Cords were a way that tied down that device, forcing you to interrupt the music session when needed. While this may be just fine for someone blasting music to their own delight at home, for individuals at parties, this just isn’t acceptable. Blackberry Music Gateway solves this problem by allowing individuals to have a device connected to their speakers, sort of as a connection portal (or Gateway) that connects the device holding the music, with the gadget playing the music.
The good thing about this device is that you don’t need to own a Blackberry to connect to it. As long as your mobile devices support bluetooth or NFC, you can easily pair it with the Gateway and blast your music wirelessly. And yes, when I say “mobile devices”, it includes your laptop as well.How Do I Set it Up?
First off, you need to ensure that you have your device connected before connecting to the speakers. To do this, ensure that your Gateway is in some sort of power source. This can be a laptop if you are on the go (through the USB port), your car headphone jack, or even an outlet if you’re stationary. From there, you should see a light on.
You should expect to see either a blue, red, or green at any time through the life of your Blackberry Music Gateway.
Green always means that it’s powered on.
A red light always means you don’t have a connection. If it’s flashing quickly, this should be an alert to you that you lost your connection. If blinking slowly, this simply means you haven’t attempted a connection just yet.
The next color is blue, if this is blinking fast, then good news, you’re connected. If not, then it’s still good news, this means your Gateway is playing a song/sound. If mixed with red, this means it’s currently attempting to connect.
After the Gateway is plugged to a power source, press the top of the Gateway device, you’ll then have to go on to your Blackberry (or any other mobile device) and activate Bluetooth. Once Bluetooth is activated, you should be able to see the name “BlackBerry Music Gateway” in the list. At this point, once it is selected and paired, the light should be Blue.
To pair with NFC, Near-Field Communication, power the Gateway on, press the top of the Gateway, and activate NFC on your BlackBerry. From there, tap the Blackberry on top of the Music Gateway to activate.My Experience with Music Gateway
During my week with the Blackberry Music Gateway, I found it to be a device fitting for a get-together or even while on the road. When testing it out on multiple platforms (in the car, through a television, and traditional speakers), I found it to be quite useful. iPhone and Mac games were able to have a more amplified sound when being hooked up to the speakers, increasing the gaming experience. When testing it on the Blackberry, that’s where I truly was able to appreciate the freedom of not being tied down by cords when listening to music and doing other tasks.Conclusion
Do you need a Blackberry to get the best experience? No, not at all. RIM found a great way to make this platform-blind. Consumers will still not have the device on mind though due to the Blackberry name. Many will say, “I don’t have a Blackberry, so why would I need the Blackberry Music Gateway”. This wasn’t necessarily done on purpose or by accident by RIM, the device is made for Blackberry devices. The ability to work on other devices is just coincidence. That being said, paying $50 to not be tied down to cords while using your Bluetooth device is still something I see as not a bad purchase. Let’s just say, once Apple introduces a NFC iPhone, you’ll probably appreciate the purchase even more!
The Blackberry Music Gateway is sold on the RIM website for $49.95.
Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn’t working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.
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REYKJAVIK, ICELAND—Dust 514 is dead. Long live Dust.
But as a PlayStation 3 exclusive there’s no doubt its days are numbered—and no doubt that Dust 514 didn’t really pan out as well as either CCP or EVE players hoped.
So why not start anew?We are Legion
Project Legion, unveiled today at Fanfest during the Dust 514 keynote, is essentially a new CCP prototype, along the lines of EVE: Valkyrie at last year’s show. In other words, CCP is gauging whether there’s interest in Legion, which is a first-person shooter built for the PC.
In other other words, CCP has taken everything it learned making Dust and transferred it to this new project. Yes, new project. This is not simply Dust 514 ported to the PC. It’s an entirely new effort by CCP to make a first-person, ground-based shooter based in the EVE universe.
I got a chance to speak with Project Legion executive producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon prior to Legion’s official announcement, and he told me a bit of what to expect. Full interview transcript below.Deep-ish dive with Jean-Charles Gaudechon
Jean-Charles Gaudechon (JCG): Project Legion is a—
JCG: No! There’s some pieces of it, absolutely. There’s a studio that’s spent five years building a shooter—you don’t throw that away. It’s a shooter.
And I felt that, as I sat with the team and we discussed where to take it, that it became quite different. That it became its own thing. And that’s where Project: Legion was born, as a part of the team in Shanghai. They’ve started working for the past few months—it’s still fairly early. We’re in prototype phase on this.
We’re salvaging some of the best of Dust, but it’s a brand new experience. The way I see this, that ecosystem of what Project Legion is, it’s three pillar.
It’s a deep, balanced competitive shooter—that’s the core, moment-to-moment gameplay. It’s a sandbox experience, with some player versus environment in there mixed into that experience. That’s important because that adds looting, and creation of value is getting you looting in these sandbox areas. And the third piece, the cement of that ecosystem, is the player-driven economy—player trading and stuff like that.
And all of this is still in the wrapper, which is the EVE universe, New Eden.
How do you bring something like an economy into a shooter? Normally in a shooter you have one thing to do—
JCG: You shoot at people. Yeah, well, and that’s really the question because that’s the loop of the ecosystem. Basically the way I see the experience is—you’ll see some of this in the live demo. Not a lot, or all the stuff I’m talking about here, but some of it. But the idea is that in your merc quarter, which is basically a space facility, you’ll be scanning New Eden and you’re going to find stuff to do.
So once you have these choices, you’re like “I’m going to go scavenge some stuff because I need some gear.” The looting piece of it starts there. You’re going to drop on the face of a planet where you’re going to see some ambient threats, which will be the drones in the first situation. And then other players—it will be social, all together, not PvP-style but higher sec in that world—you’re going to be able to shoot at some drones, get some stuff from the ground. It’s the aftermath of a battle, or you’re getting some gear for the next battle, or to get some money by putting it on the market. That’s where you see that ecosystem, that loop, started.
So how do you get gear? How do you get an economy? That way. Get that gear. Do I sell it? Some people will just do this. They’ll find the best places in the universe to get the best gear they can—they’ll master that, and they’ll master the way you play the markets and make a lot of money. That’s one way to play the game.
On the other side, if you have someone playing their pure shooter, they’re like “I don’t shoot drones, I don’t chat with people. I’m here to shoot people in the face, so that’s what I’m going to do”—cool. That person can get the gear he needs through the market. It’s fed from the sandbox areas, the scavenging grounds, but they both meet on the market. That’s why I call it the cement of the system.
CCP has a legacy of eleven years of EVE Online now. They tend to be a company that puts out a game and that’s their game for a long time. Do you think it was a mistake launching Dust on a platform that was already on its way out by the time Dust released?
JCG: Well, not when they started. [Laughs]
No, I really don’t think so. I really think we learned a lot by getting on PS3. We also formed a really strong collaboration with Sony, which helped a lot along the way. Being able to have people on the PC shoot at people on the PS3—that kind of interaction’s really cool. And if there’s something CCP does, it’s that they take on challenges. They mess with them all the time, and they find a way to solve it. I think it was a real novelty, a real innovation. There was some really cool gameplay that came out of it.
Dust 514—not Project Legion—in action.
Also, remember this is a free-to-play product, and the PC is a big market for free-to-play. That’s part of it.
It allows us to go and touch a lot of people with a really strong experience. And then I think the final thing is that PC is part of the DNA of CCP, to your point. It’s natural for our products to be on PC and expand. That doesn’t remove any other plans out of it, but I very much feel that today it’s time for an on-the-ground experience to go PC. Absolutely.
Will Legion be doing the same tie-in stuff with EVE as Dust?
Is it going to stay as-is? I want to see how the ecosystem we just talked about evolves, and depending on that it will give us the keys to how to do the proper interactions with it. But how I see the two games living together? It’s not necessarily needing each other, or making them in each others’ way. It’s making the experience better together.
“Better together.” When I talked to the team, I said “Guys, think of it that way.” And perhaps cooperating together gets resources to each, and each has a real reason to be fighting together. But not in a forced way. More in a “Damn, that’s awesome. Why wouldn’t I do that if I get that out of it?” And both games get close together.
What happens to Dust now that Legion exists?
So basically by the time Legion comes out, Dust might not be a factor.
JCG: It’s tough to say today. Exactly. Right now, what we know is we have a solid shooter on the PS3, and we have this other cool project we’re starting. We’re proud to show some stuff early and get a lot of feedback, absorb a lot of feedback. That’s always how CCP does it: Get out there, show what we’ve got in a very open way, and get feedback on it. I think it’s the right way to do it. It’s the right way to make games. And that will help us shape that project anyway.
So right now, what happens to Dust? More shooting people in the face. That’s what’s going to happen to Dust.
JCG: We’ve learned a lot. I personally come from…I was doing that on products at EA before. I was already quite a bit in the free-to-play business before, which allowed me to understand I think what makes a strong or good free-to-play experience, and not a frustrating one. That’s normally the frustration with players, like “Ah, when are you going to stop the movie to ask for money?” That’s not the way to go, I really think.
Also, I think EVE has been a free-to-play product for a long time, with the PLEX system. A lot don’t realize, but people who play a lot can just buy a subscription.
So I think we’re in a very strong position to make a free-to-play product learning from Dust, learning from EVE Online, and with the right DNA in the team to offer that. We’ve learned how to make it non-frustrating, so I think that answers a lot of the worries from the community.
You mentioned it’s a sandbox-style game. How much structure is there actually going to be?
JCG: There will be structure. There will. If your question is “Are we…Rust?” I guess, no we’re not. And we don’t want to be either. It’s cool. I love that type of product, absolutely a big fan, but the one line I always go back to is “How do we deliver on the promise of a true sandbox, first-person experience in New Eden?”
I don’t think all of that is mutually exclusive. You see EVE and some other products that offer a really complete experience. It’s kind of the, “What am I going to do?” Scan the universe and, hmm, that. That’s what I want.
And even further, when we look at planetary conquest today, there’s that man on the moon feeling where you say “I’m going to drop in here.” And then you drop in and you say “That’s a very big drone. I can’t take that by myself.” You call your friends or you leave or whatever. That’s the idea.
When people say, “Are you open-world if you call yourself a sandbox?” I say “Nope, but we’re open-universe.”
JCG: We have it in Dust 514. A lot of people sometimes don’t know, but we have a whole corporation system. We have a chat system that’s linked with the EVE chat system. We have a mail system. That social experience is already at the heart of Dust 514.
And stronger from these learnings, that will absolutely translate to Project Legion.…And that’s it
Unfortunately that was all I had time for, but people have been asking for CCP to create a game similar to Dust 514, but for a PC for years now. It’s not that Dust 514 was a bad concept or ultimately a bad shooter. Unpolished? Sure. An egregious amount of microtransactions? Sure. But really, Dust launched on the wrong platform at the wrong time in that platform’s lifecycle.
Auxo — the popular jailbreak tweak we covered in depth last week — is now available on Cydia with iOS 5.1 support in tow. As you may recall, the initial version only supported iOS 6 out of the gate, and many users, pined for iOS 5.1 support, since a great majority of jailbreakers have chosen to remain on 5.1 firmware for obvious reasons.
Thanks to developer, Kyle Howells, who assisted with porting the tweak, the team behind Auxo was able to meet its turnaround time for adding support for the older iOS firmware. Did the team have to make any sacrifices in order to bring such an awesome tweak to iOS 5.1? It sure doesn’t look like it to me. Check inside as we go hands on with Auxo for iOS 5.1 on video…
As you can see from our video, Auxo for iOS 5.1 works exactly like it does on iOS 6.x. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between the two. If anything, the new version of Auxo with 5.1 support works even better, because it adds bug fixes, performance upgrades, and new languages.
The video that I included with this post is designed to show you how the tweak works on the lesser firmware, and it’s not an in-depth dive into all of its features. If you haven’t read our original synoposis of Auxo, or you’re still wondering what all of the fuss is about, then I urge you to check out our original post about the tweak. There, I broke down every aspect of Auxo in full detail, and also included a more in-depth video that what accompanies this post.
While most iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4G users could have easily upgraded to iOS 6 in order to run Auxo, jailbroken iPhone 4S owners had no such luxury. Now, with the introduction of Auxo 1.1, users of the jailbroken iPhone 4S can enjoy the improved app switching experience on much faster hardware. Sadly, I lost my jailbreak for the iPhone 4S, so I am patiently waiting for an iOS 6 jailbreak for that device, and obviously, I’m looking forward to running Auxo on my iPhone 5 as well.
So what’s next for Auxo? Well, the most logical next step for the team is to implement iPad support. Auxo is the type of tweak that would translate well on the iPad’s larger screen, and the team has assured me that they are working diligently to bring the experience to Apple tablets.
I won’t say I was skeptical, but I was a tad doubtful whether Kyle Howells could bring Auxo to iOS 5 in an accurate fashion. I guess I shouldn’t have been skeptical at all, after all, this is the same guy who brought us great tweaks like MountainCenter, along the marvelous SwipeSelection and Emblem, which were both featured as one of our top tweaks of 2012. Given his track record, I should have realized that if anyone could have pulled this off during the short time allocated for its completion, it would have been Howells.
Update: as many have pointed out, this release is for iOS 5.1.x only, not necessarily 5.x. For instance, if you’re running 5.0.1, it won’t currently work. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
The rise of the open edition (OE) is officially here. After increasing in popularity throughout 2023, the last few months have seen thousands of artists and Web3 builders creating claim pages for open-edition mints. The NFT community has flocked to them in droves, generating millions in revenue and reinvigorating the crypto art space as it tries to shake off the icicles of a frosty 2023. Beyond the financial boost, OEs benefit the NFT ecosystem by driving engagement, allowing an artist’s fan base more opportunities to collect their work while expanding that community’s reach at the same time.
This all sounds like good news — and it is, depending on who you ask. While some celebrate open editions, others worry that they ultimately harm the space, diluting the value of an artist’s output (most notably their 1-of-1s) and bringing little to collectors in terms of utility. There’s also the question of the unknown long-term effects that OEs have on a body of work.
To parse out these concerns and understand why open editions have begun their staggering ascent, we looked at the numbers and spoke to some of the artists and collectors who know the OE trend best. But first, it’s worth understanding the historical context behind this upswing.How did open editions get so popular?
Open editions are NFT drops with no set supply limit, allowing collectors to mint as many tokens as they want within a certain period (usually within 24, 48, or 72 hours). They can also be open-ended, with no time limit, though these are somewhat rarer. The open edition itself isn’t a particularly new drop methodology in the NFT space (Beeple famously dropped three open editions on Nifty Gateway in 2023, for example), but the sheer volume of OEs showing up on the radar recently is unprecedented. Countless artists have joined the OE rush in recent weeks and months, including Terrell Jones, Lucréce, and Marcel Deneuve. And their mints are mostly being met with enthusiasm from their communities and fans.
This surge in popularity can be attributed in part to two things: the dissemination of democratic minting infrastructure from the likes of platforms like Manifold and Zora throughout 2023 and well-known artists experimenting with open editions over that same year. Following XCOPY’s landmark $23 million “MAX PAIN” open edition in March 2023, such experimenters include Alpha Centauri Kid, Grant Riven Yun, and Isaac ‘Drift’ Wright, the NFT photographer who dropped First Day Out in April 2023 as a 24-hour open edition to commemorate his release from prison a year earlier.
That drop sparked an ongoing conversation about utility in the NFT space and whether or not artist pieces — whether OE, 1-of-1, or limited editions — need to come with some additional value or application for collectors beyond just being a piece of artistic work. It also caused people to reconsider how such drops would affect the pricing and value of a well-known artist’s unique 1-of-1 pieces.Behind the rise: Manifold’s Claim Pages and Zora’s Editions
Drift released his open edition on Manifold, a minting platform that might be the most meaningful contributor to the proliferation of the open edition in recent months. First Day Out was minted on Drift’s customized Manifold smart contract. The release likely helped influence the platform’s decision to develop a way for NFT community members with no coding knowledge to easily do the same. Manifold’s goal has always been to give Web3 community members access to tools they can use to create customized drop experiences for their communities. While larger platforms like OpenSea had launched similar “storefront” capabilities in years prior, they were substantially limited in what artists could do with their drops.
Manifold’s most significant impact on the OE movement came when it launched Paid Claim Pages in October 2023. An extension of its Claim Pages functionality which let artists set up pages for free mint drops, Paid Claim Pages allowed users to launch a drop page for limited and open editions for ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens, just like Drift had done earlier that year. The result? Currently, over 16,000 claims have been created by over 6,000 users on the platform, churning out nearly 15,000 ETH ($20 million) in total primary sales volume, according to Dune’s analytics dashboard.
Zora is another NFT marketplace protocol that, along with Manifold, has played a significant role in the OE craze. For those unfamiliar with the name, Zora was the platform through which artist and designer Jack Butcher chose to launch his now well-known NFT project Checks VV. Since launching its Creator Toolkit in May 2023 and giving users a no-code-required way to mint and drop NFT collections, nearly 240,000 unique wallet addresses have minted an edition of some kind, either fixed-sized or open edition.
And while the majority of the more than 8,500 contracts deployed on the platform have been for fixed-size edition drops, that ratio is rapidly beginning to swing in the other direction. Out of the 1,525 total ETH primary sales volume that Zora’s Creator Toolkit has generated since its release (along with over 16,000 ETH in secondary sales), over half can be attributed to OE drops, according to Zora’s Dune analytics dashboard. Combine that with a distinct statistical shift in the kind of collection users are creating on the platform starting in January of this year, and it’s clear that the open edition has hit an inflection point.
via DuneWhat artists and collectors are saying
Not everyone is entirely on board with open-edition fever, however.
“It’s a free market for artists, buyers, and collectors to do as they wish,” said influential NFT collector, influencer, and Web3 builder 33NFT of open edition popularization in an interview with nft now. “But an artist can sell too many editions — thousands or more — which, in my opinion, can end up causing a headache, as the artist and buyer usually want to see the post-mint price rise or at least keep stable above the initial mint price. It appears as an afterthought when, a few months later, an artist announces there will be a burn event, or that very large editions can be used as purchase tokens to submit in exchange for a 1-of-1 artwork.”
“I wouldn’t recommend any artist to drop an open edition until their 1-of-1s have become unaffordable for most.”
The collector referenced Beeple’s 2023 open edition drop with Nifty Gateway as an example of an OE done right. During that drop, Bull Run, Infected, and Into The Ether sold for $969 each. In 33’s eyes, the relatively high price and resulting low volume from the OE drop struck a good balance between accessibility and value preservation rather than coming across as something like an artist’s initial coin offering (ICO).
“Generally, I wouldn’t recommend any artist to drop an open edition until their 1-of-1s have become unaffordable for most,” 33 continued. “There should also be a good reason for the open edition. I’d much rather see a limited edition of 50, 100, or 1,000 if the artist so wishes. But I like to know what that number is.”
In contrast, some artists in the space take umbrage with the idea of scarcity. Visual artist and sci-fi futurist Marcel Deneuve believes that open editions can be a great way to keep the NFT community healthily balanced, ensuring that it’s not just community members with deep pockets and expensive 1-of-1s dominating the space.
“1-of-1s are for a very specific group of people; only a few can actually afford them,” Deneuve said while speaking to nft now. “But there are lots of fans who want to get collectibles and support their favorite artists. This was the main reason I started making OEs.”
Deneuve’s recent OE drop on Manifold
Deneuve has minted several NFTs on Manifold in recent weeks, and, in his view, the community response has been a success. Like other collectors and artists in the space he talks to, Deneuve isn’t committed to any one type of drop but thinks exploring options that his collectors request is worth doing.
“I think the concept of scarcity is a bit overrated.”
“As long as folks ask me to make it, it is a success,” Deneuve underlined. “I will continue doing both types of drops, but my focus is definitely on OEs. Even though too much supply is bad for artists, I think the concept of scarcity is a bit overrated.”The future of the open edition
Some artists are wary of the unforeseen effects open editions might have. Prominent NFT artist and photographer Cath Simard recently took to Twitter to express both her interest in and hesitation with the open edition, striking an ambivalent tone that likely resonates with plenty of other artists in the space. Similarly, minimalist artist and NFT figurehead Grant Riven Yun has said that he believes a higher number or low-priced 1-of-1s is superior to a large number of an edition of a single piece for both artists and collectors.
My first open edition will be one of my most popular image ever created. Very close to Free Hawaii Photo & Le Départ in terms of popularity. If open editions are for “accessibility” to art, might as well have your best and most appreciated work in as many wallets as possible imo.
— CATH Simard (@cathsimard_) January 26, 2023
“It all depends on where an artist is in their career,” 33 elaborated. “I think most people would rather own a 1-of-1. Back in the day, XCOPY was selling 1-of-1 artworks on SuperRare for around $100, and he fully deserves to be where he is today. But now, newer NFT artists rarely want to sell 1-of-1s for that much and want more notable dollars quicker. If they don’t yet have that demand, maybe they think they can pay their bills with an OE.”
As open editions continue to grow as a dynamic in the ever-evolving NFT ecosystem, artists should keep a cautious eye out for the long-term effects they might have but not be terrified of utilizing them. That the space is experimenting with OEs is healthy in and of itself. As a collector, it’s best not to mint an open edition with an eye toward it becoming an extremely valuable asset either immediately or sometime down the line.
The concept of supply as it relates to value in art is nothing new, as many have pointed out. NFTs enable artists to interact with their collectors in previously impossible ways, so it was inevitable that this age-old debate in the traditional art world translated to Web3. How artists choose to navigate it is up to them, but both lauding open editions as a silver-bullet solution to bear market conditions and lambasting them as a harmful and diluting force for collectors are short-sighted lenses through which to view change in an industry that is built on innovation.
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