We know it: digital art is quite popular these days. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are everywhere, and they’re depicting almost every topic in stock. However, believe it or not, there’s also physical art dedicated to crypto, without the NFT part involved.
Sculptures, effigies, devices, and even “living” plants are on this list. Sure, the paintings are great, and sometimes they even include wallets and yes, NFTs. But this time we’re going to focus on those crypto artworks beyond the painting world. Just in case you have some tourism in mind, we’ll also include the current locations of the public artworks.
The concept behind this physical crypto art is very interesting because it’s proposing a new form of live entity. To all appearances, Plantoids seem like mechanical plants with different forms, lights, and colors. They’re very aesthetic, but that’s just the beginning. They can’t be owned, bought, or sold because they’re described as living beings that need humans (and BitcoinBitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009, by an anonymous founder or group of founders... More) to reproduce.
Their tiny souls live as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) on Ethereum, and they expect to grow through Bitcoin donations. Created first by the artistic group O’Khaos in 2015, Plantoids are described like this:
“Plantoids are not bought or sold; nor can they be owned as objects [but] require the interaction of other species (humans) to subsist and reproduce themselves in a physical form. Reproduction of a Plantoid is enabled through human participation, coordinated via smart contracts and blockchainBlockchain is a type of database storing an immutable set of data, verifiable to anyone with access to it —through... technology. Thanks to the fund she has secured beforehand, the Plantoid can pay humans to design a new blueprint, gather materials, and prepare, collate, weld, or assemble them, to ultimately deliver a new structure for every new instantiation of the Plantoid, with a new life on its own.”
Beyond the digital world, their mechanical sculptures have been on exhibition in different art galleries worldwide since 2017. Anyone can donate to reproduce a new Plantoid.
Sponsored by the crypto walletA crypto wallet is a user-friendly software or hardware used to manage private keys. There are software wallets for desktop... More brand Eidoo and designed by the renowned contemporary artist Federico Clapis, Crypto Connection may be deceiving at first sight. This three-meters golden sculpture depicts a pregnant woman’s torso and, inside, her snuggled baby. Of course, there’s another detail: the baby holds a smartphone in their tiny hands. This physical crypto art is meant to symbolize how the future of finances is still in development, and crypto will be there.
The sculpture was installed in London’s iconic South Bank in 2018. It was held an event back then, with Eidoo giving away $30,000 in cryptocurrencies. To do the latter, the company also premiered Wallem, a Pokemon Go-style game of augmented reality. The participants of the game would find (and fight for) the tokens available within 300 meters of the artwork.
Now, at least, anyone in the place can take some pictures. Since 2021, Federico Clapis stopped doing physical pieces to focus solely on digital art. In January this year, he sold an NFT of the same sculpture, dubbed “Baby Connection”. Excluding the woman and only showing the baby with the smartphone, he got $1,500 for it on Nifty Gateway.
Bitcoin Full NodeA blockchain node is a server that downloads the history of transactions and shares it with other nodes in the... More Sculptures
These are likely the most complex items on the list —and maybe even in the physical crypto art world. Created by the cypherpunk artist FractalEncrypt, the Bitcoin Full Node Sculptures are a series of 10 artworks meticulously built and engraved to resemble a full node, or what it would seem like in a physical version.
The artist mentioned the old astrolabe as inspiration: while this ancient astronomical instrument shows a model of the universe, the Full Node Sculptures show a model of the Bitcoin internal working and its history. Every artwork, made of wood or mirror, is formed by 21 concentric rings depicting different blockchain mechanics (like halving periods or Merkle trees), real transactions and blockA collection of cryptocurrency transactions. Every few minutes (or seconds, depending on the blockchain) one miner or validator verifies the... More heights, encoded data (like the message hidden in the Genesis block), and equations from the original whitepaper.
In the back, FractalEncrypt signed the works with a Bitcoin transaction. He’s a Bitcoin maximalist, so, he doesn’t work with other coins or NFTs. These sculptures have been coming one by one since 2020. By now, most of these artworks have different owners worldwide (they were sold at auction in Scarce City), and the last one (#10) was finished this year.
The previous ones were briefly exhibited at several Bitcoin events, so, there’s a chance they would reappear there for the public. As for the prices, they’re likely over $600,000 each, if the current owners agree to sell.
As we may know, the identity of the Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, is still a mystery. He disappeared from the crypto scenario in 2010 but reappeared briefly in 2015. Back then, Craig Wright started to claim that he was the “real” Satoshi NakamotoThe inventor of Bitcoin, which might be one person or a group of people who released the original Bitcoin whitepaper... More, and numerous papers online echoed this. As an answer, Satoshi’s official mail sent its last message to Bitcoin developers: “I am not Craig Wright. We are all Satoshi”.
To pay homage to this figure and those words, the sculptors Reka Gergely and Tamas Gilly created a faceless bust of Satoshi Nakamoto. Over a stone plinth engraved with his name, rests now a golden bust, wearing a darker hoodie with the BTCAn abbreviation for Bitcoin. logo, and without discernible facial features. Instead, anyone who looks into it will see its own mirrored face: because “we are all Satoshi”.
This physical crypto art was built entirely from Bitcoin donations, and it was erected during a ceremony in September 2021. It’s located in a business park near the Danube River in Budapest (Hungary). Everyone can go watch it and take some selfies.
In case you didn’t know, there’s an iconic statue of a bronze bull in the Financial District of Manhattan (New York). Of course, that’s the symbol of Wall Street —full of ‘bears’ and ‘bulls’, just like the crypto market. But now we also have the crypto version available as well. And it was designed by no other than Furio Tedeschi, a famous concept artist that has participated in, among other works, Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) and A Quiet Place (2018).
This new bull, unlike his Manhattan counterpart, is a very detailed robot with deep blue laser eyes. It’s made of chrome and fiberglass, and it’s mostly black with horns and some details in golden. The sculpture is around three meters tall and weighs over 1,360 kg. A big bullish symbol for the crypto market, undoubtedly.
It was presented last April, during the Bitcoin 2022 conference in the Miami Beach convention center; but now resides at Miami Dade College (Florida, US). This is a very Bitcoin-friendly jurisdiction, indeed.
If you can’t travel now to see all this physical crypto art, remember that you can also bet on digital pieces.
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