On March 11, 2023, Beeple and Christies hosted the grand opening of Beeple Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. At the opening, Beeple undertook a Live Everyday Performance, which consisted of creation of 50 Everyday Artifacts as well as one of his “Everydays”, which he named Long Road.
Upon completion of each art piece, Beeple would press a button on his desk that would send the art piece to printers hidden in the ceiling of the exhibition gallery, “airdropping” the prints to attendees below. The exact number of prints is unclear, but is described to be over 900 total. Each edition of prints contained one unique printout with a yellow border and a “valuable red dot”, which indicated that the print could be exchanged for an NFT to be received at a future date.
As is his tradition, Beeple published Long Road to his Twitter account prior to 12am midnight, completing his Everyday for the day.
LONG ROAD pic.twitter.com/RgoR1jtrZV
— beeple (@beeple) March 12, 2023
Along with publishing the Everyday, Beeple also updated the metadata to all of the NFTs in the Everyday Artifacts collection. Curiously, an artifact #51 consisting of an all black png with a title of “???” was included with the previously known artifacts.
The #51 Artifact prompted a fury of puzzle hunters attempting to make sense of what it meant. Additionally, it does not appear that the Long Road NFT was claimed, speculation was rampant. Sucked into said speculation, I made an attempt to develop what I thought was an elegant solution to how Long Road could be claimed.
The key to my solution involved a subtle difference between the Twitter Everyday and the NFT Everyday. Because the “Original” Everyday on Twitter contained a few apparent Beeple-esque doodles (see the ‘X’s in the upper right of the image), and both the live printed poster editions and the NFT do not have the doodles, I interpreted this to mean that Beeple actually physically doodled on one of the sheets of paper pre-loaded into the printers prior to the gallery opening. The team would have then scanned the sheet of paper and used this to make a secret “layer” file which could then be later revealed as Artifact #51. This would only be done after the doodled Long Road is used to claim the Long Road NFT, so as to not ruin the mystery. This could explain why a Long Road claimer has not yet bubbled up, as the ‘X’s on the print out are subtle and would be missed as an important detail by someone not super knowledgeable on Beeple lore.
So what did the Beeple team have to say about my solution? Well, beyond “RECEIVED”, nothing. So, perhaps I am wrong, or perhaps the golden ticket to Long Road is still out there. I leave it to the community to figure out the answer.
Special thanks to @Sven_NFT for bouncing some of these ideas around. Also, thanks to @AizomeEth for tips and ideas, and @KingborNFT for helping me with some contact info questions. A big thanks to the Beeple team for the many hours of entertainment. Lastly, thanks to all the other community members that I talk to about puzzles and Beeple, been fun as always!