We can all agree NFTs are kind of weird, so here’s another twist to puzzle over: in November, you’ll be able to see the “inaugural display” of The First 5000 Days, the collage/NFT that Beeple sold for $69 million earlier this year. You can also, obviously, view the image right now, for free, wherever you are, on whatever device you’re using, by searching that title on Google. You could also pull the image up on your TV, or display it on a projector, or print it out, because that’s how digital images work.
Here, look, I’m just going to embed a tweet with the image in it:
Christie's is proud to offer "Everydays - The First 5000 Days" by @beeple as the first purely digital work of art ever offered by a major auction house. Bidding will be open from Feb 25-Mar 11.— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) February 16, 2021
Learn more here https://t.co/srx95HCE0o | NFT issued in partnership w/ @makersplaceco pic.twitter.com/zymq2DSjy7
The meaningful twist for this party is that it will feature the first authorized public projection of The First 5000 Days. That means the image’s owner, Metapurse, the crypto fund run by the pseudonymous investor Metakovan, is taking its one-and-only authentic copy of the image (or at the very least, its nominally exclusive display rights) and using them to put this piece of artwork up for a night as though it were being temporarily shown in a gallery.
So I guess the question is: is it cool to see the “authorized” debut of an image you can already see any time you want?
My guess is, for at least some people, the answer is yes. It might be akin to waiting in line to buy something at Supreme instead of ordering a knockoff, or seeing a re-release of a movie in theaters that’s been out for years and you can just as well watch at home. Maybe you don’t want to spend the money on that, but surely some people do. (I don’t, mostly. Although I did pay to see the 2005 Pride & Prejudice at Alamo Drafthouse a couple years ago, despite owning a digital copy of it at home. It looked very good on the big screen.)
One selling point for seeing it IRL? “The inaugural showcase of the work will be projected on a bespoke three-story-tall hybrid physical and digital structure,” according to Metapurse. IMO, big artworks are often the coolest artworks, so I think this has some real potential.
If you’re interested, the image will be shown as part of an NFT event in New York City in November. The event, called Dreamverse New York, will be split into two parts. There’ll be a gallery during the day, which will showcase more than 150 artists in an “interactive digital art experience.” Then at night, there’ll be a party and, notably, the display of Beeple’s work.
Tickets start at $150 for a plain ol’ ticket to the party. If you want an NFT ticket (of course you do), you’ll have to pay at least $475 to get into the party. If you just want to attend the gallery, you can get an NFT ticket for $30.