Proof Market Update (20.10.2023)

There was a lot of exciting stuff happening in the art corner of web3 the past week. Kevin, Derek, Amanda, Sam and Eli got together for another edition of 100 Proof to keep us in the loop.

In general prices have been flat to slightly up recently, which is good to see. The Art Blocks Index has been slowly trending lower though. Some top sales this past week include

  • a Ringer sale for 30 ETH
  • a Gazer with a slate background for 17.3 ETH.
  • The Chromie Squiggle sales saw one go for 14 ETH.
  • Life in West America has seen its floor steadily rise, with a nice 4.5 ETH sale this week.
Recent notable sales

There were some cool one-of-one sales this week too. 

  • Matt Kane’s “Zombie ANON” was just minted this week and sold at auction for 10 ETH. 
  • Patrick Amadon’s “Unknown and a Train”, a motion NFT, also sold for 10 ETH. 
  • Split Personality, an NFT minted in 2020, sold for 10 ETH as well. 
  • Ilan Derech released a new collection with some pieces selling at 3.5 ETH each.

Some more news:

  • Cargo by Kim Asendorf has been on fire lately, even though Art Blocks haven’t been that hot overall. 
  • Winds of Yawanawa has been holding steady at around 10-13 ETH.
  • Snowfro teamed up with Velocity Pass to release NFTs that come with instructions to make your own hat. The bid is currently around 0.7 ETH for them.
  • Opepen teased a collaboration with Chromie Squiggle, causing their price to rise about 15%.
  • Matt Kane released Souvenirs action figures as a bonus for those who bought his SuperRare pieces.
  • Lastly, William Mapan’s Sketchbook A Mint Pass auction is coming up soon, with the lowest bid at around 3.1 ETH as the show was recorded

And another piece of breaking news: X-Copy posted about a new drop titled Algo Bro. This piece feels like classic X-Copy. He is one of those artists we’ll keep pointing back to as a pioneer of the crypto art movement. While artists like Refik Anadal have been featured in museums like MoMA, X-Copy hasn’t received the same recognition yet. This could be because X-Copy is an anonymous artist and harder for institutions to connect with. It doesn’t diminish the fact, that X-Copy is a pioneer in crypto art, and his work should be celebrated. Owning something from X-Copy should be considered essential for any NFT art collector.

Keep an eye on these projects and trends as they develop.

Sketchbook by William Mapan

William Mapan’s latest collection, “Intimacy,” introduces a unique and engaging mechanism in the world of NFTs. Of the 64 NFTs in this collection, four are reserved by him, leaving 60 up for public auction.

Sketchbook by William Mapan

The innovative feature is the ability for collectors to experiment with algorithms, generating outputs and saving their preferred outcomes. Winning one of the 60 auctions entitles a collector to mint their chosen output as their NFT.

The response has been overwhelming, with over 1.2 million outputs generated and approximately 250,000 saved or marked as favourites. This co-creation dynamic has not only sparked excitement among collectors but has also democratized the art collection process. Collectors, many of whom are new to the realm of art acquisition, can explore their creativity and assess the art from their perspective. Instead of predetermined rarity traits, collectors determine value on their own.

Example of collector-generated outputs

Interestingly, William offers the option for collectors to obtain a physical print of their favored output, even without securing the NFT. These prints come signed by the artist, providing a tangible representation of algorithmic art without needing an NFT or authenticity certificate. This approach challenges traditional notions of on-chain collectibles while also promoting the artist’s growth.

The overarching objective is to craft something exceptionally collectible on a blockchain network that also encourages widespread content exploration without inflating the actual mint supply. This strategy cleverly networks a collection while capping the number of minted outputs.

This concept of balancing on-chain and off-chain components is gaining traction. While some may not wish to invest heavily in a mint pass, a signed one-of-one for $650 offers an appealing alternative without increasing the digital collection volume.

The discussion highlighted that other artists, like Tyler Hobbs with QQL, have experimented with similar models, allowing off-chain algorithm exploration. Generative art’s inherent scarcity due to random edition sizes is now challenged by the option of physical prints, prompting reflections on the essence of on-chain presence and imposed scarcity. This new model confronts the conventional NFT market, questioning if the blockchain’s output or the tangible art piece holds more value.

Souvenirs by Matt Kane

Matt Kane has unveiled a fresh project titled “Souvenirs,” which intriguingly takes the form of an action figure. This piece appears to be a continuation of his recent critique on consumer products, notably as part of the SuperRare pass drops.

Souvenirs by Matt Kane

There are some playful elements here. . If you didn’t pay royalties, you got an empty box, which is actually rarer. It’s interesting that those who didn’t sell the piece ended up with the most common edition size.

The project has its quirks. Depending on how you engaged with his previous art drop, you received a different action figure character. Notably, those who refrained from paying royalties received an empty box – paradoxically making it a rarer item.

Observing Matt’s evolution, there’s a marked shift in his artistic style. While previously recognized for works like “Gazers” or “Doors,” he’s currently venturing into uncharted territories. His art, while still intricate, has transitioned from a technical focus to more poignant social commentary, underscoring his artistic maturation.

The following discussion of the panel touched upon royalties. Eliminating them has had repercussions on the artist-collector dynamic. The emphasis has shifted primarily to initial art drops since artists no longer benefit significantly from the secondary market. However, with initiatives like Matt Kane’s we’re starting to see efforts to reward those who pay royalties.

The conversation then veered back towards the physical versus digital art debate. While some are drawn to the allure of digital-only art, others yearn for tangible pieces. Physical prints open the door for new collectors. They target people who enjoy galleries and gives them a way to enter the NFT ecosystem.

Ironically, the current meta of RWA (Real World Assets) suggests these physical pieces might eventually be stored in real-world vaults, tokenized, and then traded on blockchains. This cyclical pattern might once again bridge the physical and digital realms, exemplifying the unpredictable and thrilling nature of the art world today.

Interview with Luke Shannon & Jesse Woolston

Later in the show, they had special guests Luke Shannon and Jesse Wolsten from Notes of a Neutron Star. Proof had an event last week in London with Pace Gallery to celebrate CP1919, a new work from Peter Saville. Now Luke Shannon and Jesse Woolston have created new pieces reflecting on Peter’s work that will drop with us at Proof October 26th.

Watch the whole show here:

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