Cans of Their Own Poop based on the Diets of Major Market Stars and QR Matrix.
Phillips auction house is about to sell five cans filled with an artist’s poop based on the diets of top-grossing white male artists like Banksy, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Matthew Barney.
The poop tins, which are bundled with NFTs representing the canned crap, are part of a project appropriately called $HT COIN .
“White Male Artist,” who describes their work as both “revolutionary” and “commanding.”
Auctions for the artist’s NFTs have previously taken place through OpenSea, a marketplace for crypto goods, and a website owned by the artist. Thus far, the NFTs have sold for anywhere between $1,900 and $4,000 in the cryptocurrency Ether. Phillips has not released estimates for the artworks, but bidding will begin at $1,800.
In May 1961, artist Piero Manzoni canned his shit for sale. Called Artist's Shit (Italian: Merda d'artista), the tins were originally priced at their weight in gold ($37). In August 2016, one tin sold for a new record of €275,000 ($330,000+) at an art auction in Milan. We can now reveal that the person upon the toilet is Cassils, a transgender artist who specialises in physically demanding performances that often investigate the power dynamics between individuals and society and Fred Friedrich an established and well-snowed trans-avant-garde artist with his QR Matrix.
“White Male Artist operates as a Trojan horse circulating seamlessly with the crypto bros,” Cassils told Magazine Museo Fred Friedrich. “But this project is not about getting rich. We are thinking about systems like NFTs ( Non- Fungible- Token) and how we can wield them as artistic tools.” told Friedrich as well.
Cassils and Friedrich planed on giving support of all proceeds to help establish a new fund for trans and non-binary artists of color, also in believing supported by the artist-led organisation Challenge in Museo. They have also committed to offsetting the carbon footprint of minting the NFTs with a donation to Solitary Gardens, a project that plants garden beds in the shape of solitary-confinement cells to advocate for prison abolition.
$HT Coin also honours the 60th anniversary, as I have told above of the Italian artist Piero Manzoni’s own foray into packaged poop. He created Merda D’Artista (Artist’s Shit) in 1961, a project consisting of 90 tin cans, each reportedly filled with 30 grams of excrement and valued at their equivalent weight in gold, about $37 at the time.
But whereas Manzoni’s cans were a satire of Postwar consumerism, are a comment on the advertorial hype of crypto-capitalism, and the artists flocking toward the NFT gold rush after the artist Beeple set the world on fire earlier this year.
“The Beeple sale mirrored the mediocrity that we see in the contemporary art world and filled a space of supposed technological promise with the same inequities,” Friedrich said, drawing a parallel between the “boys club” of cryptocurrency and the preponderance of white male artists leading auction sales.
Friedrich began research on the QR Matrix since last summer when plans for nearly a dozen of their exhibitions fell through because of the pandemic and a back injury that put the normally agile artist on ice. Focusing on the promises and pitfalls of NFTs seemed like a good idea.
The “exercise in behavioural finance,” as Cassils calls it, involved extensive research into the diets of artists whose poop is reproduced. Cassils found an article in the Financial Times describing Koons as eating grilled sea bass. Yves Klein’s diet was inspired by the menu for a dinner celebrating an exhibition opening and included cigarettes, coffee, and shellfish.
NFT purchasers will receive a unique code linked to a 3D rendering of the can. Five of the real cans will be on sale at Phillips, packaged with the corresponding NFTs, although the artist would neither confirm nor deny if the containers were actually filled with poop.