BEEPLE (B. 1981)
BEEPLE (B. 1981)
BEEPLE (B. 1981)
3 More
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more
BEEPLE (B. 1981)

HUMAN ONE

Details
BEEPLE (B. 1981)
HUMAN ONE
token ID: 1
wallet address: 0xc6b0562605D35eE710138402B878ffe6F2E23807
smart contract address: 0xa4c38796C35Dca618FE22a4e77F4210D0b0350d6
kinetic video sculpture—four video screens (16k resolution), polished aluminum metal, mahogany wood frame, dual media servers; endless video with corresponding dynamic non-fungible token
87 x 48 x 48 in. (220.1 x 121.9 x 121.9 cm.)
Executed in 2021 and minted on 28 October 2021. This work is unique and is accompanied by a non-fungible token.
Provenance
The artist
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. Where Christie's has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie's therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party. In such cases the third party agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. The third party is therefore committed to bidding on the lot and, even if there are no other bids, buying the lot at the level of the written bid unless there are any higher bids. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. The third party will be remunerated in exchange for accepting this risk based on a fixed fee if the third party is the successful bidder or on the final hammer price in the event that the third party is not the successful bidder. The third party may also bid for the lot above the written bid. Where it does so, and is the successful bidder, the fixed fee for taking on the guarantee risk may be netted against the final purchase price.

Third party guarantors are required by us to disclose to anyone they are advising their financial interest in any lots they are guaranteeing. However, for the avoidance of any doubt, if you are advised by or bidding through an agent on a lot identified as being subject to a third party guarantee you should always ask your agent to confirm whether or not he or she has a financial interest in relation to the lot.

Please note for tax purposes, including potential sales tax, that this lot contains both an NFT and a physical work of art which could subject the entire purchase price of the lot to tax as a digital service or tangible property, and Christie’s may be required to collect relevant taxes dependent on local laws. You alone are responsible for any applicable taxes, tariffs or other government-imposed charges relating to the receipt of the digital service and shipment of the tangible property. For tax rate information you may wish to consult an independent tax advisor.Please note, except in the event you are a resident of Mainland China, you may elect to make payment of the purchase price for this lot in the cryptocurrency Ether or in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Payment in Ether or Bitcoin must be made via a digital wallet transfer of Ether or Bitcoin to Christie’s. If you do not already have one, please obtain a hosted digital wallet at Coinbase Custody Trust; Coinbase, Inc.; Fidelity Digital Assets Services, LLC; Gemini Trust Company, LLC; or Paxos Trust Company, LLC. The digital wallet must be registered to you, or, if you registered to bid as a company, then in the name of the company. Please note that setting up a digital wallet can take a week or more, depending on the service provider’s account opening requirements. Only payments sent from digital wallets maintained at the above listed platforms will be accepted. We will not recognize payments from digital wallets hosted at other exchanges or self-hosted wallets. Partial payments of a lot from multiple digital wallets are not allowed. You agree, upon our request, to provide documentation confirming that the Ether or Bitcoin payment was made from a digital wallet registered in your name and maintained at one of the platforms listed above. Partial payments of a lot from multiple digital wallets will not be allowed. You must notify us within 24 hours of sale closing should you wish to pay by cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency amount will be calculated by us based on the most recent published CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX) or CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX) as determined by us at the time the sale closes and will be disclosed in the invoice. For further information and to view our Buyers Premium rates, please view the Conditions of Sale via the link below.
Post lot text
Please note the successful bidder of this lot will be subject to licensing terms set forth by the artist:

BEEPLE SCULPTURE & NFT TERMS (HUMAN ONE)

By bidding on, purchasing or otherwise obtaining the “HUMAN ONE” blockchain-based non-fungible token created by Beeple Art, LLC (“Beeple”) (“NFT”) and/or accompanying kinetic video sculpture physical element (the “Physical Element”), you are agreeing to these Beeple Sculpture & NFT Terms by and between you and Beeple (the “Terms”).

The NFT is a single-edition digital asset that is specifically associated with “HUMAN ONE,” a digital work of authorship created by Beeple or its affiliates (the “Artwork”). It is a one-of-one NFT. Beeple will not produce additional NFTs associated with the Artwork.

Although the NFT and Physical Element are sold to the purchaser, the Artwork is licensed and not sold to such purchaser. The Artwork is neither stored nor embedded in the NFT, but is accessible through the NFT. The Physical Element displays a copy of the Artwork. Beeple hereby grants to the holder of the NFT and/or Physical Element a non-exclusive, perpetual license, subject to these Terms, to access, perform and/or display the Artwork using the NFT and/or the Physical Element, for the holder’s non-commercial purposes; provided, however, if the holder is a museum, it will not be restricted from selling admission tickets or passes to the public in connection with its exhibition of the Artwork. Except for the license granted above, Beeple and its affiliates retain all right, title and interest in and to the Artwork. The NFT and Physical Element may be separated and owned by different persons. If you are the holder of the NFT or Physical Element, you may transfer the NFT or Physical Element to a third party, but, after you do so, your license to the Artwork will immediately terminate.

The Physical Element is designed to continuously display the Artwork. Beeple will maintain remote access to the Physical Element to ensure proper functionality and/or enhance the displayed Artwork. Beeple warrants that the Physical Element does not contain any features designed to impair the continuous display of the Artwork.

Except as otherwise described in these Terms, Beeple provides the NFT and Physical Element, and licenses the Artwork to the holder of the NFT and/or Physical Element, on an “AS IS” basis, and expressly disclaims any warranties or conditions of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of title, non-infringement, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will Beeple be liable for any indirect, incidental, consequential, or other non-direct damages of any kind. The maximum aggregate liability of Beeple for all damages and causes of action, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, will be $100. The laws of the United States of America and the State of New York govern all matters arising out of or relating to these Terms without giving effect to any conflict of law principles.

By purchasing the NFT and Physical Element in the initial sale, you agree to cooperate in good faith with any reasonable request by Beeple to make the Physical Element available for display in museums, galleries, and other venues for a one-year period following the initial sale; provided that you will not be responsible for any costs or fees associated with making the Physical Element available for display.

Brought to you by

Ana Maria Celis
Ana Maria Celis Senior Specialist

Lot Essay

Let’s begin with an understatement: so far, this year has been a hectic one. Not even a week into January, insurrectionists stormed the American capitol as the pandemic raged on silently in the background, setting a uniquely chaotic tone for the months to follow. It was right around this time—honestly, possibly on this exact day?—that I learned about a new piece of tech which would soon upend my entire world. By now, I’ve told the story enough times that the entire experience feels more like a dream than a memory, but I’ll try to quickly summarize and stay true to the facts. Essentially, Non-Fungible Tokens (henceforth, NFTs) are permanent entries in a virtual ledger known as a blockchain. One of the many utilities of NFTs is to give currency to ephemeral goods, particularly those of a digital origin. Towards the end of last year, just a few weeks before the hubbub at the capitol, an artist made headlines with the sale of a suite of NFT-based artworks for a handsome sum in the seven-figure region, a record net price for the nascent collecting category by leaps and bounds at the time. So when I said “yes” to the question “would you be open to placing an NFT in your sale?” I was hoping to realize a respectable but fairly modest (by blue chip art world standards) price. Needless to say, I severely underestimated Beeple.

HUMAN ONE is the triumphant follow-up to the artist’s notorious EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days, sold at Christie’s earlier this year to much fanfare, astonishment and, to some, terror, mostly due to the enormous price tag attached to it but also its curious format and unabashedly wild aesthetic. With HUMAN ONE, Beeple brings the highly polished, cartoon-dystopian hallucinations of his ongoing EVERYDAYS series boldly into the round via a towering, chromed-out monolith of slowly rotating LED screens. The hero of the work is a lone astronaut, forever striding through the wastes of a vaguely familiar world, one strewn with oversize Pop icons in various states of decay or perversion, punctuated by the occasional spray of flora, desolate stretches of sand dunes and a few nods to some of the titans of Art History. But any description I could write would necessarily be incomplete given the conceptual framework at play. For the rest of his artistic career, Beeple will be able to adjust the visual components of HUMAN ONE by editing or adding to its digital assets, allowing the artist to comment on world events as they unfold in real time. This radical technical flourish allows for a new paradigm of trust to exist between artist and collector.

When I first encountered HUMAN ONE not too long ago over Zoom, I told Beeple it reminded me of Alberto Giacometti’s famous L'Homme qui marche I from 1961. The affinity was so clear, I instinctively read the work as a kind of homage, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that, in fact, Beeple had never heard of Giacometti. I texted him a link to a reproduction of that haunting icon of postmodern existential angst; Beeple agreed, there was definitely something similar going on there… and then, the next time I saw HUMAN ONE, this time IRL at the artist’s sprawling South Carolina studio, I noticed there were newly added giant walking men—obviously Giacometti’s Walking Men—stomping through the landscape in the faraway background beyond the lonesome astronaut protagonist. So, too, were new burial mounds of Warholian soup cans and dead trees draped in Daliesque melting clocks. Seeing HUMAN ONE evolve in media res according to the artist’s inspiration is a truly thrilling thing, and completely unlike any experience I have had with a contemporary artwork, digital or otherwise. While many artists have experimented with adaptable media or challenged the notion of completion in a ‘finished’ work of art (in myriad ways), to my knowledge this is the first major artwork of the 21st century where the artist will have enduring creative remote control over its content forever.

Depending on where on planet Earth HUMAN ONE is installed and what the local time is there, the displayed visuals will be drawn from one of three caches: morning, noon and night. Throughout the day, the 24 hour loop cycles through the various possible landscapes in each of these caches, but each day the output is randomized, i.e. there is very little chance that 10:01am Tuesday morning is going to look exactly like 10:01am Wednesday morning, and so on and so forth. In this, I’m reminded of the relentless rhythm at play in various works by Samuel Beckett but especially En attendant Godot, where the heroes Vladimir and Estragon whittle away an endless string of days waiting under a tree for a mysterious savior who never arrives. Indeed, Giacometti, too, was inspired by Beckett’s weird, laconic work when he created L'Homme. The pioneering 19th century psychoanalyst Carl Jung coined the term “collective unconscious” to describe the phenomenon of instinctive and archetypal shared mental concepts which somehow proliferate throughout humanity and across space and time. I sincerely regard HUMAN ONE as highly attuned to our contemporary collective unconscious; a weirdly enchanting echo of Giacometti, Beckett and, more recently, Damien Hirst, whose infamous 1991 sculpture The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living presents the viewer with the artificially preserved corpse of a tiger shark in a great formaldehyde tank. Just as Beeple’s Human rhymes with Giacometti’s Homme, it does so, too, with Hirst’s dead shark.

These days, the art world and popular culture at large seem very preoccupied with the question of where exactly NFTs are taking us. Some are convinced the end is nigh—whatever that means—while others believe that NFTs will lead to greater transparency, accountability and improved efficiency in the art ecosystem, if not enhanced aesthetic values and artistic content; still others remain on the fence, leery of a potential Emperor’s New Clothes-style denouement or skeptical about the environmental costs of blockchain technology. All of these are valid intellectual and emotional responses to something as radical as the cultural moment we are currently living through, where the supremacy of objecthood and lived experience is under threat. The age of intangible possessions, automation, play-to-earn gaming and increasingly augmented (or entirely virtual) reality may at last be upon us. We are no doubt at the crossroads of either a very bright or very bleak future. And perhaps just like the hero of Beeple’s latest magnum opus, our best bet is to simply keep moving forward, wherever the path may lead.

-Noah Davis, Specialist, Head of Digital Sales

More from 21st Century Evening Sale

View All
View All