Titled Matter is Void, teamLab’s first NFT examines notions of ownership and authorship through an inventive new format that allows collectors to change the content of the work.
The musician Grimes will activate the artwork as part of a large-scale, public presentation on screens in New York’s Times Square.
Grimes will also engage in an AMA discussion on Pace’s Twitter Spaces on Friday, October 14 at 5 p.m. EDT.
New York, NY – Pace Verso, the web3 hub of Pace Gallery, presents Matter is Void, the first NFT by the interdisciplinary art collective teamLab. The project, which will be released on Pace Verso’s platform on October 19, comprises seven unique NFTs bearing the words “Matter is Void,” a reference to the Japanese-Buddhist expression Shikisoku Zekuu, which meditates on the meanings of emptiness.
To explore ideas of authorship and ownership, teamLab has adopted a radical format for Matter is Void that enables the NFT purchasers to change the words displayed in the work via a website that teamLab has created. Once the NFTs’ content has been altered by their purchasers, the artworks will never again display their original “Matter is Void” state.
While only seven Matter is Void NFTs will be available for purchase, ownership of the artwork is not exclusive to NFT purchasers. The artwork will be available for individuals around the world to download, own, and display at any time. All those downloaded works will reflect purchasing collectors’ real-time modifications to the words displayed in the NFTs. While the NFT provides collectors with the right to change the text, all works downloaded by NFT purchasers as well as individuals who do not own the NFTs are equally authentic.
Coinciding with the launch of this online platform, Matter is Void will be the subject of a public presentation in New York’s Times Square beginning on October 12 at 12 a.m. EDT. One of the NFTs will have its initial “Matter is Void” text modified into a new phrase authored by musician and lyricist Grimes, known for her role in shaping contemporary culture. Grimes’s activation of Matter is Void will be revealed for the first time on large-scale screens in Times Square on October 13 at 12 p.m. EDT and remain on view through October 18. The presentation in New York is realized in partnership with Artsy, the leading global online art marketplace, and is sponsored by OUTFRONT Media. The wide reach of this event will give people an opportunity to contemplate teamLab’s interest in continuity and human connectivity.
The seven NFTs—six in their original “Matter is Void” format and one activated by Grimes—will be available to purchase on Pace Verso, accessible starting October 19. Grimes will also participate in an AMA discussion on Pace’s Twitter Spaces on Friday, October 14 at 5 p.m. EDT.
Matter is Void will also be presented in Pace’s booth during the inaugural edition of Paris+ par Art Basel, which is open to the public from October 20 to 23.
On a formal level, the project reflects teamLab’s long-standing investigations of Spatial Calligraphy—or calligraphy drawn in space. With many of its digital works, teamLab has explored the ways that calligraphic forms might shapeshift across two- and three-dimensional spaces. In Matter is Void, brushstrokes appear on the screen, continuously floating and rotating in space. These brushstrokes periodically coalesce to form the phrase “Matter is Void,” or a different phrase selected by the NFT purchaser. These fleeting moments of legibility are interrupted when the brushstrokes take on abstract choreographies once more. Each Matter is Void artwork has a different color variation: black in white, black in black, white in white, gold light, fire, water, and fog.
This new NFT project also reflects the collective’s explorations of the relationships between individuals and the external world. As such, these artworks bring questions of being and ephemerality to the fore.
The release of Matter is Void will coincide with the launch of Pace Verso’s new, Ethereum-backed sales platform built by Mojito. Offering custodial wallets and payments via crypto, credit cards, or wire transfer, this platform update will serve Pace Verso’s efforts to make purchasing NFTs as easy as possible. Varied customization tools will also support Pace Verso’s mission to support a wide range of artists’ practices in the web3 space.
teamLab (f. 2001) is an international art collective, an interdisciplinary group of various specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world.
teamLab aims to explore the relationship between the self and the world and new perceptions through art. In order to understand the world around them, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them. teamLab seeks to transcend these boundaries in our perception of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity of life.
teamLab’s works are in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Asia Society Museum, New York; Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Amos Rex, Helsinki.
Pace Verso is Pace Gallery’s hub for web3 projects, launched in 2021 under the leadership of Pace President and CEO Marc Glimcher. Pace Verso works closely with artists within and beyond the gallery’s program to incubate, develop, and realize their web3 projects, operating an NFT platform on the Ethereum blockchain at www.pacegallery.com/pace-verso. In addition to releasing independent projects, Pace Verso frequently collaborates with leading web3 platforms to share artists’ work with wide audiences. In 2022, Pace Verso established multifaceted partnership with Art Blocks, the leading generative art platform, encompassing boundary-pushing generative NFT releases by Pace’s artists as well as crypto-native artists, exhibitions, and community programming. In its first year, Pace Verso—which reflects the gallery’s longtime and ongoing support of innovative artists who have cultivated advanced studio practices engaged with boundary-pushing technologies—has presented NFT projects by Jeff Koons, Zhang Huan, Glenn Kaino, DRIFT, Lucas Samaras, and other artists. Pace Verso has also grown a robust following on its dedicated Discord server, directly engaging web3 communities through discussions with artists and leaders in the crypto space.
Artsy is the largest global online marketplace for discovering, buying, and selling fine art by leading artists. Artsy connects 4,000+ galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and institutions from 100+ countries with millions of global art collectors and art lovers across 190+ countries. Artsy makes purchasing art welcoming, transparent and low-friction with industry-leading technology that connects supply and demand safely and securely at a global scale. Launched in 2012, Artsy is headquartered in New York City with offices in London and Berlin.