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Uncharted Territory: Seven Unique NFT Collections Debut on CODAMADE 

The NFT case studies are uncharted territory for many public artists, sparking inspiration and ambition.

Seven NFT collections were realized with the help of experts at the CODAMADE laboratories this year. As prime examples of how CODAMADE helps artists bridge the physical public art space with the virtual sphere, these NFT collections were guided by fearless, creative spirits and the advanced technology at their disposal:    

Melody and energy fuse in Maria Finkelmeier’s Oscillation to the Edge. For more than twenty years, Finkelmeier has been making waves in the universe as a musician. Her work has been celebrated by The Boston GlobeVulture, and Cincinnati Public Radio. Finkelmeier’s new (and first) NFT collection was developed using 3D motion capture technology, encouraging observers to reflect on musical and spatial elements. Adhering to a guiding principle of CODAMADE, the bridging of the physical and the digital, Finkelmeier’s collection brings “expression of the human touch in the digital space.”

Another creative whose collection impresses is Cory Van Lew. Entitled Kambo, the artwork is inspired by a healing ritual known to some indigenous tribes living in the Amazon Rainforest. Spirituality, joy, and the introspective journey are themes represented in Van Lew’s collection. Using his “Theory of Transmission” process, he conveys his own thoughts through his NFTs while also leading observers on quests to find answers for themselves. The celebrated Van Lew has worked with big names like Pixar, Mike Tyson, and TIME – a testament to his creative prowess and artistic style.    

Light Crossings by Susan Narduli accomplishes a goal only possible when dreams become realities in the digital world. Narduli’s impeccable instincts for architecture and design directed her to this experimental conclusion as she planned her NFT collection in collaboration with the CODAMADE team. Physical bridges were her medium of choice for these NFTs. Scanning technology was utilized to obtain comprehensive perceptions of these bridges from multiple angles, as well as their relationships to the environments they are part of. This data was then interpreted by Narduli, who produced a vision for the collection. Ultimately, real-time effects will alter the experience of these NFTs based on a combination of factors. Narduli’s work makes perfect sense for the NFT world, as her acclaimed, California-based studio often conducts research and is influenced by data-driven tools.  

Uncomfortable truths are what Edison Peñafiel specializes in portraying. There are 14 boats and 81 characters that appear in his MARE MAGNVM: VLTRAMARINI, a representation of the Mediterranean Sea’s role in human migratory patterns over the ages, as well as the dangerous and disheartening conditions that these migrants encountered. The faces of the massive characters are obscured with masks, while the boats are constructed from a hodgepodge of materials. The NFT collection was closely designed with assistance from the CODAMADE team and is based on a video installation exhibited by Peñafiel in 2021, adding to the forlorn reality of these travelers. 

Thanks to the power of blockchain technology, the project I Was Here has another dimension to communicate its powerful message. This NFT collection is based on a collaboration between artist Marjorie Guyon and the talents of Patrick J. Mitchell, Barry Darnell Burton, Daniel Ware, Michael Baer, Michael Preacely, and Syndy Deese in 2016. The project was organized around Ancestral Spirit Portraits representing African American slaves displayed at historic locations in Lexington, Kentucky. Now, using augmented reality, storytelling, imagery, and sound design, this NFT collection can reach more people in new ways. Evoking big questions and emotions about injustices in society, ancestry, and our shared history, I Was Here establishes a historical record and pays respect to those who came and suffered before us. 

Toward Justice is the name of a fresh NFT collaboration between Joseph O’Connell and Creative Machines Inc. Traveling from Arizona to Florida to work with the CODAMADE team on this concept, O’Connell had a very specific vision of how NFTs could influence sculpture. Moved by a quote from Theodore Parker that inspired both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama, O’Connell wanted an NFT collection with a video component about a project commissioned by the City of Atlanta. Lighting elements on the physical sculpture will be able to change through the purchase of these NFTs and through people's on-site interaction with the sculpture itself. Sensors installed on it can change the lights, symbolizing the choice and ability everyone has to move “the arc of the moral universe” in the direction of justice.  

MacArthur Fellow, Elizabeth Turk enters the world of NFTs with Ridgeline.00. Emphasizing the joy found in a collective and how we can all be part of the art world, her NFT is a collaboration with dancer Demetia Hopkins and The Assembly Dance. Original musical compositions from ImaniWorks, the host of the Affrolachian On-Time Music Gathering, are also a key part of this collection. ET Projects is a nonprofit, and Turk is interested in the possibilities of the NFT world and metaverse in creating performances that are free to the public. With help from Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Piedmont Environmental Council, and CODAMADE, her artwork is taking on a new form. 

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