The first NFT to be sold by Phillips in London

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, June 20, 2024

The first NFT to be sold by Phillips in London
Agoria, Nicolas Becker, Nicolas Desprat LPENS, ENS-PSL, Phytocene. Estimate: £15,000-20,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

LONDON.- Phillips is pleased to announce the sale of Phytocene by musician Agoria, Oscar-winning sound designer Nicolas Becker and bio-physicist Nicolas Desprat LPENS, ENS-PSL, the first NFT to be offered by the auction house in London. This collective work has been produced and curated by 91.530 Le Marais, a creative lab founded by Benjamin Eymère and Victoire de Pourtalès. Phytocene will be exhibited at Le Marais from 26 June to 26 July, and Phillips’ gallery at 46 Rue du Bac, Paris from 5 to 12 July, before being sold in the London New Now auction on 13 July 2021. Phillips will be accepting payment in Bitcoin and Etherum for the work.

Clara Rivollet, International Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Phillips, said, “It is fascinating to see how the digital and physical life of this work evolve in unison. Phillips began its NFT journey in April 2021 with REPLICATOR by the celebrated digital artist Mad Dog Jones. It is exciting to see that the market is now able to offer great digital works thanks to NFT technology and we look forward to bringing this unique project to new audiences at Phillips.”

Victoire de Pourtalès, Founder of 91.530 Le Marais, said, “As an art production lab, we provided the raw vegetal data for Phytocene, entirely contained in the hemp field. The piece is the artistic continuity of our extensive farming research, from nutrition to transformation.”

Phytocene, from the Ancient Greek word phytos (plant), is a unique experimental work minting bioscience and music. It highlights how plants communicate with their surroundings through an intricate, almost indecipherable network of signs. By placing ORP-30-2-A probes in the soil of Le Marais, the scientific and artistic team collected the data of a millésime hemp plant. The collected data was then converted into a sound and visual creation, providing an immersion into the inner workings of nature. Phytocene is the first vegetal activity data to be protected by NFT. It shows the entire life cycle of a plant on a microscopic scale, from seeding to its ultimate harvest, in the form of a logograph authenticated by a digital ownership.

The real-time data, the plant’s identity and means of expression, generates a vegetal musical texture to the rhythm of its growth. In translating the crypted language into this seven-minute virtual video and soundscape, the artists and scientists join forces in an attempt towards the translation of the two realms and finding a common ground in which the probes serve as channels between human and vegetal language.

Integrating the work on a blockchain is an endogenous process. As the Phytocene is intangible by essence, blockchain is the answer to the questions the encounter between human, artificial and vegetal intelligence raises.

A preview exhibition of Phytocene will be held across three locations: Le Marais, Phillips Paris, and Phillips London.

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