The Release of '$HT Coin': An NFT Series
What does the world’s first durational performance-based NFT (non-fungible token) series look like?
An art performance created by the anonymous White Male Artist (WMA), it is 33 unique cans of the artist’s feces called $HT Coin.
Done as a referral to Piero Manzoni’s most famous piece, Merda D’Artista (Artist’s Shit), where the Italian conceptual artist sold 90 cans of 30 grams of excrement for the price of 30 grams of gold as a critique of salacious consumerism, the $HT Coin series will be auctioning off each of its cans for the equivalent price of 30 grams of gold. Though instead of the approximate US $37 price it was in 1961, each bid will start at US $1,800 in today’s prices.
Every day during the month of July 2021, one can of $HT will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain and auctioned on the NFT marketplace Snark.art. Each can is produced by the anonymous White Male Artist eating the daily diet of the most financially successful white male artists. Each tin will contain the nutritional and ingredient labels of what the artist ate that day, as well as the name of the artist they are done in reference to. One will realize that much of their diets reflect their class status and the Eurocentric culture they are embedded in. The cans are being released starting from the lowest-grossing and closing on the highest-grossing white male artist.
Among the 33 cans, is one that follows Andy Warhol's diet and perfectly reflects American industrial products - which he included in his famous paintings and prints. The diet includes Campbell canned Tomato Soup, Coca-Cola, a chocolate bar between two slices of bread, steak, Cornflakes and burgers among many others. You can learn how to make your own Andy Warhol can of stool, here.
At the end of the month on July 29 and 30th, over a 24-hour period, Phillips, a leading contemporary auction house, will “hold a battle royale auction pitting $HT resulting from the artist’s diet against the $HT from the top-grossing white male artists’ diet: Banksy, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Andy Warhol”.
Not only is this NFT series created as a critique of consumerism in the art world and the disproportionate focus on certain identity groups in the upper echelons of the elite society, but it also seeks to discover whether NFTs can change this rigid art system. In a world where artists traditionally do not receive compensation when their art is re-sold in galleries, the NFT blockchain technology-powered smart system’s capability of giving artists a permanent link to their work when it is traded in secondary markets is attractive.
Mad Dog Jones (formally Michah Dowback), a digital artist, recently became the most expensive living Canadian artist with the record-breaking sale of his NFT REPLICATOR with Phillips. The winning bid of US $4.1 million toppled famous Canadian photographer Jeff Wall's altar whose record auction bid holds at US $3.7 million. Mad Dog Jone's REPLICATOR is unique in the sense that it produces a unique NFT every month. As such, the owner of REPLICATOR can own up to approximately 200 NFTs.
NFTs have dominated the conversation in the artistic world, whether it is from its decentralization of the art gallery's rigid system for small artists, the high purchase value some NFTs can total to or criticism of its large carbon footprint by increasing Ethereum’s total energy use. Now joining this conversation is $HT Coin, an upcoming NFT series that seeks to satirize the dominance of certain actors in the art world and the consumerism it can turn into.
To join the auction, visit the website and place your bid, here.