The artwork is significant not only for being one of the earliest NFT artworks to be exhibited and minted in a legacy art gallery, but also for imagining, in 2017, the ways that non-fungible tokens could advance the conceptualist project of separating the commodity form of an artwork from the experienced form. Also, the ways the separation changes a collector's relationship to art.
The Digital Zones tell a story about how different concepts of ownership are fundamental to the experience of an artwork. The artwork--and the 33-page essay which accompanied it--speculated that if, at some point in the future, artworks were owned and transacted through immaterial blockchain tokens, that shift in the commodity form of the artwork could also precipitate a shift in the material (or immaterial form) of the artwork.
Whoa! There’s no way I can put it any better than he’s already done himself. Sounds like this guy totally nailed it to us! RedLionEye was lucky enough to speak directly with the Digital Zones project creator Mitchell Chan recently, and he gave a pretty solid interview too. Definitely worth taking the time to get your head around this content!
My wrapper artwork is putting forward this idea that: "Yes critics, we know that the NFT is just a receipt. But a lot of incredible conceptual art of the 20th century art was also about receipts." But for that stance to have legitimacy, I also had to create something that was functionally a very good receipt. Good bookkeeping, expanded metadata fields, etcetera.
And if you unwrap, the IKB token returns to your original wallet, obvs. And then if you wrap again, you'll still get the same corresponding wrapper tokenID. Like punks, I presume.
I'm honestly really really proud of it. I was proud of it 4 years ago and I can't even explain how delighted I am that now other people are discovering this project and connecting to it!
Lots of information and links to essays about the piece can be found at https://chan.gallery/.
Red: Really great stuff Mitchell! Thanks again for taking the time to share this with us all. Keep up the amazing work, I know I’ll be keeping a close eye on your upcoming series releases!