Nearly two years after holding its first NFT artwork sale, storied auction house Sotheby’s has revealed its next Web3 moves—including an auction of digital art inspired by a popular internet phenomenon that started on Reddit, which will be held both in Paris and in the metaverse.
The “Natively Digital: Oddly Satisfying” auction will feature an array of digital artwork inspired by “oddly satisfying” web videos, a trend that began with a subreddit community on Reddit in 2013. The community is focused on sharing mesmerizing and surreal video loops, including hypnotic animations of apparently impossible patterns and movements.
The auction—which takes place from March 17-24—will feature 66 NFT pieces including work from well-known NFT artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann, whose record-breaking $69.3 million Christie’s NFT auction took place two years ago this week. Other artists participating in the auction include Clement Morin, ARC, Ryan Talbot, Lucas Zanotto, and more.
It’s the first Sotheby’s “Natively Digital” auction to take place in Paris, during Paris Blockchain Week festivities, but it will also be the auction house’s first NFT auction to be simultaneously held in the metaverse.
A digital Sotheby’s auction house was created in RLTY World, a private metaverse platform used by brands and Web3 communities that features support for NFT assets. Startup RLTY, which raised over $4 million in funding in 2022, will also highlight panels and keynote speeches from Paris Blockchain Week on its platform, as well as hold a virtual Web3 job fair.
Following the “Oddly Satisfying” auction, Sotheby’s will shift gears with “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism,” which will feature an array of NFT art pieces in the style of glitch art. As the auction house describes it, the art features the “intentional creation of errors and glitches in digital media, such as images, videos, and sound art, which highlight the complex and often fraught relationship between humanity and technology.”
Slated for March 24-31 in New York, the “Glitch-ism” sale includes the 2018 Ethereum NFT piece “Loading New Conflict… Redux 6” from pseudonymous artist XCOPY, by far the best-known glitch artist in the NFT world and creator of several pieces that have sold for millions of dollars apiece. Other artists in the sale include JakNFT, jakethedegen, Patrick Amadon, and more.
Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s head of digital art and NFTs, described the sales collectively as “a look at the pervasive influence of digital culture that will continue to shape our lives.”
“One of the recurring themes throughout is how digital art communicates our ever-evolving relationship with technology,” he explained in a statement, “from the therapeutic and escapist pleasures of oddly satisfying animations to the entanglements of technology that seem to encroaching on what it means to be in human in Glitch Art.”
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