Bart McGeehon is putting the finishing touches on a vintage 1930s radio outfitted with an LCD screen and refitted speakers in his light-filled Bishop Arts District loft. He’s the production manager of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and he does freelance work as a set and lighting designer. But at the moment, he’s completing his transformation of the retro specimen into the sole physical embodiment of an art object whose dynamic reality will exist entirely in the etheric, intangible world of blockchain technology.
This is the latest endeavor from Verdigris Ensemble, a choral group led by founder and artistic director Sam Brukhman. Verdigris is proposing to catapult itself—and choral music in general—into the nascent realm of programmable music that can be auctioned, resold in cryptocurrency, and modified by its user-owners. It will not just be cutting edge; it will be the first of its kind, propelling Dallas onto the international crypto art scene.
Last fall, the 28-year-old Brukhman connected with Async Art, the San Francisco-based company that recently had a coup with the sale of Block 21, one of a 40-piece series created on the company’s platform by Ben Gentilli, the London-based artist known as Robert Alice. The canvas disc, hand-painted with a portion of the digits that made up Bitcoin’s launch code (the full series contains all 12.3 million digits), sold last October for more than $131,000. It was the first artwork associated with a nonfungible token (NFT), a sort of digital key stored in the blockchain for authenticity, to be auctioned by Christie’s. In March, the digital artist known as Beeple sold a wholly digital art piece for $69 million. And earlier this spring, Alice’s Block 21, along with Beeple’s latest work and other heavyweights of blockchain art, was part of the first crypto art exhibit, held at Beijing’s UCCA Lab, a division of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.Read More