Murat Pak is the Perfect Amount of Nothing | Madonna X BEEPLE | Decentralized Arts
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,🏴
NFTs have revolutionized the art world and have caught the attention of renowned artists such as Madonna, Beeple and Pak. Madonna has partnered with celebrated digital artist Beeple to create her first NFT collection, “Mother of Creation,” that explores the idea of motherhood.
We also explore the works of influential anon artist Pak. His minimalist pieces are thought to be created by algorithms or AI and often include innovative features such as the $ASH token.
Madonna, Beeple and Pak are three of the most successful artists in their respective fields, and in the art scene, they all cross paths in this interconnected world we live in.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
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DESIGN IS HACK
Pak is nothing, the perfect amount of nothing.
If you have been in the world of NFTs for a while, you may have heard the name of Pak, one of the most celebrated artists in the space. By staying anonymous, he has created an aura of mystery around him that makes more and more people wonder. Who/what is Pak? He could be a man, a woman or a collective. Many claim that he is an AI built by engineers. What we know is that his works have been sold for huge amounts of money.
Despite the recent market crash, at BanklessDAO we are still bullish on Web3 and crypto-native tools, the technology is the same as when BTC was at $60k. Surely, many NFT projects will disappear in the future and the speculative fever will end. However, the value of NFTs is in their immutable nature and that is why in a thousand years, awesome art like the one Pak has created will still exist on the blockchain.
Formerly known as Murat Pak. Pak is an artist who has been in digital design for more than twenty years and is one of the pioneers of crypto art. Their art is a mixture of geometry, mathematics, minimalism and is based on code and AI. Very little is known about Pak's exact creative process, but people have suggested that their art is created using software and various 3D design applications created by themself.
Pak's name comes from Turkish and means "pure". Perhaps in a quest for purity they have decided to remain anonymous. The world of art is increasingly decadent and the word “artist” has lost prestige. The art should be intriguing, it should make you think and evoke emotions when you see it. Pak's designs play with colors and simple shapes that capture the viewer's attention due to their “purity”.
Pak´s symbol on Twitter is a circle known as "The Nothing".
In 2014, Pak created Arquillect. At first glance, Archillect doesn't seem too out of the ordinary; a collection of images culled from elsewhere on the internet, usually by an artist looking to gather a source of aesthetic inspiration for themselves and others.
Archillect's imagery brand consists of many abstract shapes, fashion photography, and surprising and surreal GIFs. What makes Archillect unique is who makes the selection of those works. No human is directly involved in deciding what gets published on Archillect. Archillect herself is an artificial intelligence that curates her own content. By deploying a network of bots that crawl Tumblr, Flickr, 500px, and other image-heavy sites, Archillect searches for keywords and metadata that you like and posts the most promising results.
In April 2021 Pak organized a sale with Sotheby's called The Fungible Collection. For three days and in just 15 minutes each day, anyone could purchase "cubes" at a fixed price. Although the cubes in each buyer's portfolio were linked, the 23,598 cubes did not form a total work in themselves: each buyer purchased their own set of cubes for an average purchase price of $587.
Released on September 3, 2021. LostPoets is a NFT collection and strategy game that sold out all of its 65,536 NFTs on the same day. Although the sale was supposed to last 48 hours, all the NFTs were sold in 2 hours making around $70 million. While the future of the project may be shrouded in mystery, most of the mechanics are set. Although knowing Pak, expect unannounced airdrops, story building and secret twists that will add value to the collection.
On December 2, 2021, Pak launched "Merge" for sale on Nifty Gateway. "Merge" was available for 48 hours, and buyers were able to purchase "bulk units" instead of individual copies of an NFT edition. Buyers received a single NFT with its associated image generated based on the transaction metadata and the number of "bulk units" purchased. In total, 312,686 massive units were sold to 28,983 buyers generating $91.8 million.
As Pak explained, "Merge is a single artwork spread across many tokens, not a collection of artworks." Basically, Merge is an open edition work of art where people buy tokens (m tokens, or masses) which are units of mass.
CENSORED JULIAN ASSANGE
In February 2022, "Censored", a series of NFTs, was auctioned off to raise funds for the legal defense of Julian Assange. One NFT, "The Clock," was sold for 16,593 ETH ($52.8 million) to the Assange DAO, an online community of 10,000 people who pooled cryptocurrency for the offering. Marking the second highest price ever paid for an NFT at auction, just behind Beeple's Everydays. A second auction as part of "Censored" raised 671 ETH, or $2.1 million, for separate organizations. $1.9 million in cryptocurrency from the censored sale was donated to the Ukrainian government.
Another way Pak caps supply and retains control of a work's value is by exchanging NFTs for its cryptocurrency, $ASH, on its burn.art platform. Collectors can send an NFT, which burns and "dies" or becomes inactive, and will receive $ASH in return. Burning NFTs is the only way to get ASH. The conversion rate between NFT and ASH will be determined by a binding curve that balances price against available supply, although details of the relationship are unclear at press time. "The more NFTs burned, the less ASH each will produce. However, owners of Pak NFTs will produce "more ASH than non-Pak NFTs"
The importance of a work's value should not be defined by a person who is willing to pay for it, that is why Pak's work is not controlled by a few wealthy investors, but by a huge community.
We are taking the first steps of what will be the art of the future and Pak is one of the pioneers. Perhaps the best known artist in the NFT space is Beeple and it was Pak who introduced him to this technology, with that you can get an idea of the importance of his figure in crypto art.
In the period between February 2020 and April 2022, Pak has sold more than 180,300 NFTs in the primary and secondary markets (total sales of single edition, limited edition and open edition), grossing a total value of $394.9 million in just over two years, which makes it clear that Pak is one of the most sought-after NFT artists in the world.
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Madonna X Beeple NFTs
The Queen of Pop Madonna launched her first NFTs last week in collaboration with Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) and SupeRare.
The three video NFTs are a triptych called “Mother of Creation” and explore the concept of creation through visualizations of motherhood. All the proceeds from the sale will benefit three non-profit organizations focused on supporting women and children around the world. In Madonna’s own words: “When Mike and I decided to collaborate on this project a year ago, I was excited to have the opportunity to share my vision of the world as a mother and an artist with Mike’s own unique point of view. It’s been an amazing journey building this together from an intellectual idea to an emotional story, giving birth to art. I wanted to investigate the concept of creation, not only the way a child enters the world through a woman’s vagina, but also the way an artist gives birth to creativity. Most importantly we wanted to use this opportunity to benefit mothers and children who are most in need right now.”
The three pieces in Mother of Creation represent different forms of birth in our modern world and feature a naked 3D representation of Madonna giving birth in different settings.
The first of the series is Mother of Nature – In a cold laboratory setting, with no sign of life, an opening gives way to a branch that transforms into a full vibrant tree. It pushes against gravity and flowers bloom. The tree may bend or even break, but it continues to recreate and flourish. This work features new text by Madonna.
The second work, titled Mother of Evolution, touches on the metamorphosis journey of butterflies, which are one of the most beautiful creations in nature, and a sign of hope. The butterflies are a metaphor for the paradox that the world is burning down in a post-apocalyptic scene, but there is still evidence of life. We continue to give birth, no matter what destruction is going on, no matter what oppression we face. It relays the important message that if you are waiting for the world to be perfect or for your life to be perfect to create art, it will never happen. We have to do it, for our own survival in this chaotic, unpredictable world. The work features lyrics from Madonna’s iconic song Justify My Love, and original music by Igor Bardykin.
The final work is Mother of Technology, and takes place in a beautiful forest, depicting the way science can also give birth light into the world, but only if used with the right consciousness. The centipede represents technology - both the life giving-force and the dangers of it, the juxtaposition of dark and light. Technology continues to evolve in the physical, natural and real world; we can do whatever we want, but there are consequences to that. Nature will ultimately win in the end. The work features the poetry of Rumi.
The auction that started on May 11th and lasted two days achieved 309 ETH in sales. Mother of Nature sold for 107.5 ETH, Mother of Evolution reached 72.05 ETH and Mother of Technology sold for 66.55 ETH.
The three charities that will be supported are The Voices of Children Foundation, The City of Joy, and Black Mama.
The Voices of Children Foundation has been working to support the women and children affected by the war in Ukraine since 2015 with psychological and urgent care.
The City of Joy, a project of V-Day, is a transformational leadership community for women survivors of severe violence, located in Bukavu, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Black Mama’s Bail Out began in 2017 with a mass bail-out of black mamas and caregivers who are disproportionately incarcerated. Sixty percent of people in local women’s’ jails have not even been convicted of a crime and are awaiting trial—and 80 percent of them are parents.
NASA and Epic Games collaborating on a Martian Metaverse Simulation
The American space agency has partnered with Epic Games and Buendea launching a competition to develop a metaverse simulation. It asks developers to build “Virtual Reality (XR) assets and scenarios for use by NASA in research focused on extravehicular activities on the surface of Mars.”
With this project, NASA aims to develop tools for space missions in years to come. “Creators can use Unreal Engine to build realistic simulation scenarios to help prepare NASA for future missions, whether to the moon or Mars,” said Seb Loze, Unreal Engine business director for simulation at Epic Games. “Whether you’re a game designer, architect, hobbyist or rocket scientist, anyone can build with UE5, and we can’t wait to see the immersive simulations the community comes up with.”
There are a total of $70,000 in cash prizes available for those who do well in the competition.
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