Very few digital art pieces strike as deep a chord as Murat Pak’s latest work: #404. But what makes this piece truly unique is its conspicuous absence. A void that serves as a homage to Alotta Money, an illustrious figure in the NFT community, and a testament to the groundbreaking capabilities of Buildtree.io’s technology. The result is an artwork that resonates, not for what’s there, but for what’s missing.
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The resounding echo of what’s not there
Typically, an NFT contains metadata that outlines its specifics. Pak’s #404, however, skips this convention. Instead of a title, description, or media, there’s… nothing. This intentional lack was made possible through a custom-built smart contract using Buildtree.io’s modular technology, challenging our perceptions of what an NFT can be.
At first glance, #404 appears ‘broken’. But in Pak’s vision, it signifies the gaping hole left by figures like Alotta Money, who are now “not found” in the physical realm. The starkness of this NFT becomes a tangible manifestation of intangible loss. When engaged, it responds, not with artwork details, but with a heartfelt “In memory of the absent.”
A deep dive into the numbers
The choice of the token ID 404 isn’t arbitrary. It mirrors the internet’s “Not Found” error message, which parallels the artwork’s thematic core. With Buildtree.io’s versatile technology, Pak could mint this token using his personal wallet, embedding his distinct signature on the blockchain and affirming its unparalleled authenticity.
The art world took notice when this one-of-a-kind NFT was auctioned at the Castle Party 2023 event hosted by artist Trevor Jones. WhaleSharkETH, a prominent NFT collector and entrepreneur, secured this unparalleled piece for a remarkable 48 ETH (equivalent to approximately $78,300).
Beyond the screen: An inside look into Murat Pak
While the artwork itself is deliberately void of description, Murat Pak offered deeper insights into its creation.
Referencing a 2016 post, Pak shared that the dual concept of ‘presence through absence’ has consistently piqued his curiosity. This thematic thread, especially in the context of Alotta Money’s departure, inspired the conception of #404.
Furthermore, Pak remarked that crystallizing the concept was paramount. Initially, the NFT was envisioned to self-alter at pre-set intervals. However, as the idea matured, representing absence through another kind of absence became the most poignant representation.
The artist acknowledged the flexibility of the metadata contract. While it currently echoes the remembrance of the missing, its future transformation is open-ended. Regarding ownership, Pak mused on the nature of possession, prompting a deeper introspection about the true meaning of owning an artwork.
Genius creation or total failure
Pak expressed his desire for this piece to redefine the NFT understanding. While many see an NFT as the image it displays, Pak hopes this artwork illuminates the broader potential of the medium. According to the artist, absence becomes an artwork and the void, a canvas for profound reflection.
However, not many collectors are eager to own a blank NFT. The art piece hasn’t been sold despite receiving a few small bids, with the largest one ($245) expiring in a week from now.