#239: Digital Continues to Enter the TradArt Arena

PLUS: 🌎 The World's Largest mint, .SWOOSH's first physical sneaker drop

Digital art pushes into the tradart arena

It often feels like this industry is like Sisyphus pushing a boulder uphill, but there is always some headline worth getting excited about. For me, this week’s (so far) win comes in the form of the trad (traditional) art space.

I’m grateful for the digital artists that are continuing to build and operate in this space today, otherwise we would have to resort to this:

99% meme, 1% art

Transient Labs announces TRACE

Last week, Transient Labs (a partner for digital artists and web3 companies) announced TRACE - Tokenized Records for Artwork Certification and Evolution.


  • TRACE will premier with Alpha Centauri Kid’s ‘The Muse - Sage Green’, which will be auctioned off at Christie’s

  • TRACE smart contracts are owned by the creator and can be deployed on Ethereum L1 or L2s

  • Provenance is stored, signed, and verified onchain and the digital certificates of authenticity are tamper-resistant

  • Viewers can

    • See where the piece has been displayed in the past

    • Access additional details and stories about the work which the creator can provide

    • See if and when the art pieces have been altered and updated

    • View sales and ownership history

I’ll admit, I wasn’t that interested in art until I entered web3 as well as became a creator myself. I’ve grown to appreciate the process and story that art tells, not just the final product.

When we go to museums or art galleries, this is what we see today next to the art piece.


If Wayne came back from the dead, I would imagine he would want to share more about his work of art. What was he feeling when he painted this? Why did he choose that perspective?

If I saw this piece of work at a museum, I’d want to know more about Wayne. And who is Morgan Flagg and why was this piece gifted in memory of his son Lawrence Flagg?!

Wayne Thiebaud slapping me for my stupid questions

It’s possible that these details are left up for interpretation, but this certainly isn’t always the case. There’s always a story to be told.

And that’s where TRACE comes in, allowing stories to be told in ways that can’t be done today.

The MoMA Postcard launch

Today, the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in NYC) launched Postcard, ‘an experiment in collective creativity on blockchain’.

The experiment launched with First 15, a set of 15 postcards by 15 artists around the world.

Dmitri Cherniak’s Postcard

In each postcard, the artist establishes a theme and the postcard ‘travels’ around the the world to the other artists as they add their interpretation of the prompt. For example, Sarah Friend’s postcard and theme, fun concept:

MoMA Postcard will be available at some point soon for the public to participate and will follow a similar format of 15 blank ‘stamps’ for co-creators to collaborate on. If you want to get early access, go here and provide your e-mail in the ‘sign up to get early access’ field.

Fun fact: The postcard experiment is powered by Autonomy, a digital art wallet that I covered last year.

Autonomy has collaborated with the MoMA in the past, so this suggests:

  • That there could be a collection mechanic involved

  • The MoMA will likely continue experimenting with more digital art activations and exhibits

Well whaddya know lol, the Autonomy team released more details on the postcard concept:

  • Stamp creators own the stamps they create and will be available for sale only if the creator chooses to list it

  • Each postcard (I’m assuming this means the collection of 15 stamps) is co-owned by the 15 stamp creators. Not sure how that mechanism works 🤔

  • Autonomy will be releasing QR codes on X for early access to mint postcards

VVD asks thought-provoking questions and creates his own postcard

In response to MoMA’s postcard experiment, Vincent Van Dough (VVD, a digital art collector and curator) asked some thought-provoking questions relevant to the emerging era of digital art.


  • Recently, VVD found MoMA’s digital wallet and sent some of his own art to that wallet

  • As museum wallets are public they will receive unsolicited tokens, similar to our hidden folders on Opensea that receive spam NFTs. What will museums do with art that they don’t want?

My hidden folder on Opensea

  • Art donations oftentimes have tax implications. What happens if someone sends digital art to a museum wallet and they keep it, would that be considered a tax write-off?

  • Digital art and NFTs can be dynamic. What happens if the institution curates a piece of digital art, but the artwork changes to something they wouldn’t approve of?

  • What if people sent offensive work or hate symbols to a museum wallet?

  • VVD concludes the thread by sharing MoMA’s wallet and you can see the transfers made to the wallet since the thread was posted, proving the points.

The questions VVD brings up are important and highlight the double-edged sword of permissionless concepts. At the same time, I believe there will be processes and infrastructure for a healthy middleground to address these edge cases.

And as a nod to MoMA’s Postcard experiment, VVD created his own open edition PePE Postcard. Got to hand it to VVD for the creativity!

Where is this all headed?

The Tradart space has a finger on the pulse of shifting generational preferences and emerging interaction models. Last year I published a piece on the Art Basel + UBS’ Global Art Market Report, highlighting the growing digital art space. Although the digital art space has slowed down, the 2023 report continues to put the digital art space as a key topic.


Reading between the lines, what does the Tradart world and its respective institutions understand?

Blockchain can provide certainty in an uncertain environment: Art doesn’t have to be static anymore, and their stories don’t have to be either. Blockchain helps facilitate the deterministic aspects of this (sales history, where art has been exhibited, etc.)

Stories around art can be active and dynamic: There is beauty and simplicity to standing in the middle of a massive gallery, taking everything in. However, the reality of the fact is experiences are becoming more immersive and interactive.

There are simple ways to incorporate technology to tell a richer and more immersive story (Transient Labs and TRACE), with the opportunity to create engaging and co-creative experiences like MoMA Postcard.

The benefits and advantages of these experiences are that they allow:

  • Anyone and everyone to become an artist

  • Collaboration to happen regardless of distance and access to the institution itself

  • Co-created works to be exhibited. If successful (however that is defined), MoMA Postcards can become a digital (or even physical) exhibition shown at the MoMA. Our work can be displayed at the MoMA alongside Van Gogh, DalÍ, Picasso, and Warhol.

I look forward to visiting a digital art exhibition at my local art museum soon 😉

Have you seen art before? If so, share or subscribe!


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The World’s Largest mint

Note: FYI, The World’s Largest website is a littleee graphic

It’s been a while since I’ve come across an interesting minting mechanic, so it was nice to see The World’s Largest (TWL) come out with a fun experience today.

I first called out TWL last week when I recapped Seed Club’s Demo Day. Today they announced their first NFT drop, which costs $1 + gas in a 24-hour open edition mint.

How does the mint work?

The website takes visitors to a trailer introducing TWL, and from there they:

This is what it looks like in action:

This is interesting case study of community-led curation. The canvas is the trailer video, but everything else about the collection (supply, what frames are minted, the dimension of each NFT) is determined by the community.

The metadata of the TWL collection allows for deeper analysis for the team and any curious onchain researchers.

Andrew Hong from Dune makes an interesting observation that these ‘crop mints’ show parallels to YouTube’s ‘most watched’ bar, which signals interest around specific moments of that piece of content.

Curious to see what the TWL team does next!

Nike announces the Air Force 1 TINAJ

.SWOOSH has been quiet recently, but they’ve been cooking in the background. Today, they announced the release of the Air Force 1 TINAJ - This Is Not A JPEG. And it’s literally not a JPEG, it’s a physical sneaker.

Note the .SWOOSH logo

Official details are sparse (for now) as the announcement was made on a SNKRS App live stream, but here’s the TLDR:

  • This is an Exclusive Access release for OF1 holders, and holders need to reveal at least one OF1 box by October 16th to qualify

  • These sneakers will drop on October 20th at a $120 price point. Limit of 1 per person.

  • There will be an apparel drop that will accompany the sneaker drop as well

  • There was a sneak peek at another related (separate?) drop shared by a team member, but that tweet has since been deleted. It is related to a 404 error screen variant though…


What gives TPan? This is another Nike sneaker among the 3819581989 pairs they release every year.

You’re right, however there are few details that are notable with this announcement:

  • The announcement was made in the SNKRS app during a live stream. You had to be there for the details and no additional announcements or formal communication have been made yet. You had to be there to see and hear about it.

  • This is the first physical sneaker tied to .SWOOSH. I’m assuming this will be a new line of sneakers tying digital to physical.

  • The only way to qualify for this drop is by holding the OF1 virtual sneaker. This is the first, and will likely not be the last, and shows how Nike is experimenting with qualifying actions. Note that you have to reveal at least 1 OF1 box, not just hold one.

  • The SNKRS app is the bridge for .SWOOSH to bring digital to physical, and the primary channel for growing its footprint:

    • Live stream announcement made on SNKRS

    • The TINAJ will be on sale only on SNKRS

    • The SNKRS audience leans more digitally native

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the color blocking of the TINAJ, but considering the provenance of this drop I gotta get one for the culture 🫡

See you Thursday!

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