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Sotheby's Reveals the Artists of Natively Digital, Featuring the World's First Intelligent NFT (iNFT) by Robert Alice & Mor


Featuring: NFT Artworks by Ryoji Ikeda, Pak, Don Diablo, & Mario Klingemann

The World’s First Intelligent NFT (iNFT) by Robert Alice

A Community-Nominated Artist Submitted Via Twitter Using #NativelyDigital

NEW YORK, 18 May 2021 – Sotheby’s is pleased to reveal the 27 digital artists included in Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale, whose work is now available to preview. The online auction represents the first time a major auction house will bring a collection of the leading NFT artists to auction and will provide an opportunity for collectors, curators, and enthusiasts to experience the unique aesthetics contained within these works, and provide a deeper understanding of the complex, groundbreaking technology from which NFTs are derived and its vast influence.

In a Sotheby’s first, Natively Digital will feature the work of one artist nominated by the crypto and digital art community in recognition of its strong support in building the NFT space to where it is today. Sotheby’s will accept nominations and personal submissions for NFT artists whose work the community believes should be featured on the global stage in this historic collection. Starting today on Twitter, Sotheby’s will accept nominations with the hashtag #NativelyDigital and submissions will close at 12:00PM ET on Thursday, 20 May. For information on the submission process and how to nominate, please see Sotheby’s Twitter.

Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Specialist, commented: “Natively Digital will be the greatest occasion to educate our ‘’traditional’’ audience about the great artists and diverse talents that compose this new space. The multi-venue virtual and physical exhibitions are an ode to this new medium and demonstrate our strong support for this art expression.”

The sale exhibition will be hosted in collaboration with Samsung and viewable on their state-of-the-art TVs and projectors including QLED, The Frame, and The Premiere, from 4 – 10 June at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries in New York. Natively Digital will also be exhibited at Sotheby’s in London and Hong Kong and across the metaverse, making it a multi-venue, multi-dimensional NFT exhibition with more details to come soon.

Bidding for all works in the sale will begin at $100 and buyers will have the option to pay with fiat or cryptocurrency (Bitcoin or Ethereum).

Co-curated by Sotheby’s and leading crypto artist Robert Alice, Natively Digital presents a historical retrospective of early works through a group auction of the most cutting-edge artistic practices in the space. The auction creates a space for the wider global art audience to learn about the unique history and context of NFTs, as well as the aesthetics and themes that have driven NFTs to global prominence. Natively Digital features artworks that draw inspiration from various subsects of the NFT movement and includes multiple first-time works such as the world’s first iNFT (intelligent NFT) and the first NFT from renowned artist Ryoji Ikeda. The Flamingo DAO will become the first crypto native organization of its kind to auction an NFT at Sotheby’s (a DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization made up of multiple parties who pool resources and whose decisions are executed via smart contracts based on the votes of its members). Anchoring the sale is Kevin McCoy’s Quantum, the first known NFT and perhaps the most historically important work in crypto art, and an Alien Cryptopunk (CryptoPunk #7523), represents one of the most iconic NFTs in the collection. The auction has selected influential artists from across the world and draws attention to lesser known artists such as Rhea Myers and Terra0. Continuing a relationship with Sotheby’s following their $17 million NFT auction, Pak will release a new NFT exclusively for the sale as part of a category of artists focusing on the conceptual development of the space, which will also include works by Simon Denny, Casey Reas and Mario Klingemann. The importance of the pop-futurist aesthetic to crypto art is highlighted by works from X-Copy, Fvkrender, Serwah Attafuah and Mad Dog Jones. Audio Visual artist Don Diablo offers a unique physical piece, combining hologram art with music and forward-thinking technology, highlighting how NFTs can cross over into other artistic disciplines and cultural verticals. The collection is focused on showcasing the latest developments of NFT technology such as on-chain generative art led by the Art Blocks Portfolio, with funds raised from the sale to benefit creative coding charities.

In a groundbreaking moment for the NFT space, Natively Digital will introduce a new category of NFTs: the intelligent NFT or iNFT. The first truly intelligent, conversive, self-learning artwork, To the Young Artists of Cyberspace by the show’s curator Robert Alice is a collaboration with cutting edge AI company Alethea AI. This iNFT will mark one of the first moments the public will be able to hold a conversation with the world’s most powerful AIs, such as GPT-3, on a one-to-one basis; until now, they have been available only to journalists and academics. This iNFT represents one of the most technologically advanced NFTs ever made and a preview will be available on request on 24 May, ahead of its full debut on the sale page on 28 May.

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