by Richard Kegler and Amelia Hugill-Fontanel
(Letterpress mono-print with chained printing block)
16"x 36" x 1”
In response to the enthusiastic yet clumsy embrace of NTFs (non-fungible tokens) as viable artwork—along with the apparently arbitrary manipulation of pricing and value of these digital assets—a series of letterpress mono-prints has been undertaken by this printmaking artist team.
Using the vernacular of NFTs and adapting to a physical form, this mono-print/assemblage presents its creation data front and center along with its price as primary focal point. The price of the piece is dictated by a multiplier (100x) of the printed price tag circle. The actual printing block that was used for the gold medallion price is attached to the bottom of the frame with gold colored chains. The artwork thus retains its unique source and prevents any duplication of the artwork. The printing block hung like a trophy mount further removes it from its original and only intended use. The additional elements of layered inks with varying viscosity and opacity, exposed wood grain, and metallic reflective qualities, all reinforce the non-reproducible aspects to each NFT. The fragments of printed letters A, C, G, and T reference the building blocks of nucleic bases: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine— or the alphabetic representations of all DNA. These letters are printed from historic printing blocks using reclaimed commercial printing machinery and tools. The implications of truly unique sequences of code in DNA and NFTs are not limited to digital databases but rather carry over into the visual arts. The attention given to the uniqueness and quantification of any artwork ultimately undermines its visual impact. This self-referential print exists to undermine itself while also questioning the representation of databases in art and science.
As NFT number NFT$26912162022RKAH01: $269 is the price upon issue. December 16, 2022 was the printing completion date. RK and AH are the artists' initials, and 02 signifies the second NFT in this undetermined series. Minute particles of the artists’ DNA have been incorporated into the ink for later analysis by future historians.
Official Artists’ statement:
A revolution is afoot in conceptual art. Immutable codes are print-minted as distinctive patterns with their unique blockchains. This is the New-Fangled Typography. These glyphs are not the glorified checksum of Etherium and Bitcoin, however. They do not need crypto authentication on the distributed ledger and overtures into carbon-offsetting. The New-Fangled Typography records the genuine impressions of myriad letters that encode human DNA. These are layered in infinite combinations—as nuanced as the gamut of homo sapiens itself. Each multi-color print is chained to its own letterpress artifact that made the final mark: a vintage 20th-century block used to advertise the trade of goods and services for fungible currency like the American dollar. An identifying cryptograph token legitimizes the monotype’s validity. The New-Fangled Typography is an innovative asset that requires no electricity or credentials to enjoy.
The artists @rkegler and @ameliafont1 grant reproduction rights in perpetuity through the acquisition of this NFT.