What happens when Crypto Kids watches an art auction? How big will immersive Botero be? + Other questions I have about the artistic news of the week
Curiosities is a column where I comment on the artistic news of the week, sometimes on stories too small or strange to be retained, sometimes just giving my opinion on the ups and downs.
Below, some questions asked by the events of the last week …
1) What does this Emoji Sausage Roll mean?
No doubt about it: the fun place to watch Sotheby’s art auctions last week – and trust me, I know ‘fun’ isn’t a word you usually apply to these things – there – was in the comments section that was broadcast live on Sotheby’s YouTube channel.
You now know that Sotheby’s sold a copy of the US Constitution on Thursday, sandwiching it between two sales of contemporary art (the historic meat in a top-notch paint sandwich). The Constitution had been the subject of a new crowdfunding initiative by a group of thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, who pooled their money to make an offer through a crypto-fueled fund called ConstitutionDAO.
In the end, the DAO (short for Decentralized Autonomous Organization) was narrowly beaten by Kenneth Griffin, the mainstay of finance who was also somehow involved in the RobinHood / GameStop mess, which resulted in a very symbolic defeat of ConstitutionDAO’s attempt to buy it. “for the people.”
All the same, however, the excitement around the ConstitutionDAO drew a swarm of highly online crypto commentators to attend Sotheby’s obscure contemporary auction ceremony, camped in the comments, as they awaited the sale of the moment of truth of the Constitution.
“I noticed this cat is more active than normal,” joked an Andrew Gelston. “Don’t you watch Sotheby’s auctions normally?” “
The coming together of two communities released an energy that can only be described as Illuminati vs. Deadpool. Referring to the common charge that crypto is a vehicle for money laundering, one DAOist commented, “This is how you launder money in style, not with the noob crypto stuff.
Another, speaking on behalf of many out there for the Constitution, simply wrote, “A monkey wants a document.
Of all the esoteric practices surrounding the Sotheby’s selling process, none have struck chat-watchers as more astonishing and odd than the use of landlines:
The auction for the evening began with a painting by Lisa Brice. “Painted from a feminine perspective, Brice’s scantily clad women overturn the traditional portrayal of women as isolated and passive subjects with a domineering male gaze,” Sotheby’s text explained in a box.
“Who is she cute,” weighed the cat, referring to a specialist bidding on the Brice. And, later, “THE WOMEN HERE ARE SO HOT OMG.”
The Lisa Brice ultimately went for $ 2.6 million, flattening her high estimate of $ 300,000. It led to an early and premonitory epiphany watching DAO supporters, who had spent the last few days debating how much more than the high estimate of $ 20 million they should collectively raise to take over the Constitution. : I really wonder what the constitution will be used for.
There was still a lot to be discovered, as auctioneer Oliver Barker pushed his torso back and forth over the audience like a costumed cobra, summoning money with his dance. As the auction progressed, the phrase “wen Constitution” became a refrain.
At one point Barker was momentarily distracted by a man who seemed to be wandering aimlessly in search of a seat, sort of a human metaphor for what DAOs think of the art world. Barker ad libbed: “Do you need a drink? I’ll serve you a drink, a sausage roll, or whatever.
This, of course, immediately became a meme that kept the cat entertained for the rest of the night, as DAO dubbed themselves SausageGang and SausagerollDAO and filled the screen with hot dog emojis and screams of ” SAUSAGE RRRRRRRRROOOOOLLLLSSSS “, to total confusion lately. newcomers in the chat.
As for the real art in selling, in general, the ConstitutionDAO was not impressed. From Nicole Eisenman: “This painting could have been found in a trash can. “
And the late and beloved Matthew Wong: “It wouldn’t earn 0.05 ETH. “
There was, however, one figure who drew praise from the crowd: “Honestly, Banksy is a good performer. “
The sale of the street artist’s work to Ether caused ecstasies in the flow of discussion. (Sotheby’s had also announced an evening watch for the Banksy sale in the online world of Decentraland – check it out here if you’ve had an immortality potion and don’t mind wasting your time on earth. )
In general, the Constitution team took the opportunity to make a lot of jokes like “Holy shit they did real life NFTs” and “Is that like … physical NFTs?” ? “And” who right clicks and saves these paintings? And “imagine buying a painting that you can’t put in your metaverse gallery”.
It was a mad rush. However, not everyone in the chat liked the style of the ConstitutionDAO, with its chants “BY THE PEPES, FOR THE PEPES, WE THE PEPES”. Someone by the name of Nicole added, “Just because you’ve all been so boring in the chat, I hope Hong Long gets the constitution…”
As for DAOers, attending an old-fashioned human-based art auction only seemed to affirm the superiority of the new digital art economy: “the punks> that shit,” one wrote. of them. “This whole process makes me wet for the NFTs,” said the following.
But not everyone came away with this lesson. It looks like Sotheby’s has gained at least one new fan. Wrote a member of the Sausageroll Gang: “Maybe I’ll start watching auctions just for the sake of entertainment. “
2) How hardcore is Microsoft’s recreation of the old Olympia?
The ruins of Olympia in Greece, site of the ancient Olympic games, are in need of funds, are suffering from austerity and, recently, forest fires. As the video below explains, they “need to be preserved or we risk losing them for future generations.”
Microsoft has heard the call and is here to help, just virtually.
Instead of preserving the real ruins of Olympia, the Seattle tech titan decided to map the site with drones and turn Olympia into an augmented reality experience, so visitors could pretend they were seeing the temple. of Zeus, one of the lost wonders. of the ancient world, as it might have been, all in waxy digital marble.
(Microsoft has agreed to fund the AR project, in addition to a billion dollar deal to build three huge data centers in Athens.)
Ancient Olympia: common ground, as this thing is called, promises more than novelty. It’s like a Kenneth Clark AR reboot Civilization, with all its haughty rhetoric about honoring the birthplace of Western greatness. The initiative allows, says the narrator,
not only imagine, but literally see, experience, what these buildings looked like, what life was like at that time, almost like a time machine … Common ground is an opportunity to connect with our humanity, with the place where our values, our democracy and our excellence have become a way of life.
Like a time machine! Wow!
I really hope they show the part where the Olympics were played to the fullest in the buff. And also the huge diarrhea pits resembling trenches used for sanitation.
Or, since we are talking about where our modern ‘values’ were formed, the fact that the ancient Olympics were the occasion of massive amounts of match fixing, bribes and gambling, not to mention the Hellenic equivalent of doping to give competitors an advantage (mainly eating animal testes) and using black magic to spell the enemy (mainly using “tablets of curse ”to invoke Hades). As historian David Clay Large wrote: “It is often assumed that these ancient games were purer than modern games. In fact, they were perhaps even more corrupt.
Oh yeah, and I would love to see Microsoft’s tribute to “Founding a Civil and Fair Society” show that once boxer Damoxenos was disqualified from the Games because he slashed his rival’s side with her long fingernails, then pulled her insides with bare hands.
By the way, if you want to learn more about the wonders of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, video game developer Ubisoft has beaten Microsoft there. The recreation of Olympia in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is more than half decent as a historical guide. If you don’t believe me, check out “Mr. Hinde’s Classics Channel” to see a classics teacher use it to talk about the art and culture of ancient Greece:
3) Are you ready to swim in Botero?
The craze for immersive art continues to spread up and down the art food chain like high fructose corn syrup making its way through everything. And the latest one is… no, not immersive Frida and Diego… no, not immersive Goya… no, no, I’m talking about the immersive Fernando Botero.
For those traveling to Miami for the fairs, the Nader Museum sent an explosive advertisement “Botero Immersed”, a tribute to the Colombian painter of tall portraits. It promises “interactive 360-degree digital projections, lights, music and sounds.” In addition, it is composed by Emilio Estefan (husband of Gloria) of the Miami Sound Machine.
It’s unclear just how serious a dollar-for-dollar immersive art game Botero Immersed will make (check out the @boteroimmersed Insta for updates). But I have hope: Botero is an artist whose literal artistic signature is bloated, so if anything, “Botero Immersed” looks like Botero receiving the Botero treatment.
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