I’ve been working on a numbering scheme for pennies that allows tracking and transferring of individual pennies. Unfortunately the penny does NOT have unique serial numbers. However each penny in circulation has the potential to be uniquely inscribed to with self expression. These pennies are called pennyals, and constitute a phygital namespace for NFTs. Today’s penny is comprised of 2.5% copper plating and 97.5% zinc base. Pennyals add on average a 0.5% – 50% art & crafts material covering this already inexpensive base.
Pennyals don’t require a token on the blockchain. They sit in penny dishes across the world right now, telling a lifetime of transactions by evidence of each and every unique scar and mar that their oxidized surface details. Like craters on the moon. Take a penny, leave a penny. Take a story, leave your story.
All satire aside, what I am noticing is that ordinals may well be joining an arts & crafts tradition wherein a culture repurposes as material and creates from a currency’s smallest unit(or any unit in the case of hyperinflation). A penny, after all, costs more to manufacture than face value. Whereas centralized fiat currency has the penny, Bitcoin has the Satoshi as it’s smallest unit: 0.00000001 BTC. A penny is NOT a Satoshi, but can be analogized for purposes of commerce and self expression.
On Saturday, February 11th, a RAREPEPE was destroyed in order to manifest it as Ordinal inscription #5548. In keeping with NOTKAMOTO’s attempt to be and NOT to be a creative master copy after the original RAREPEPE on which it is based, I have been inspired to destroy a NOTKAMOTO on counterparty in order to manifest it as this humble pennyal.
Full disclosure and a little back story: when I created CRYPTOART MONETIZATION GENERATION, I played whatever small role I did in bringing attention back to Rare Pepe’s importance. It was a critical juncture in cryptoart history. I did so at a time when co-opting outsiders wanted to conveniently sweep the froggy origins of NFT culture under the rug as an inconvenient truth. At the time I created this work, I did NOT own any Rare Pepe cards. Or anything on Counterparty, for that matter. My lack of prior investment in the asset class did NOT prevent me from having respect for and taking inspiration from the art, technology, & culture so many of us on Ethereum stood adjacent. Too often in the NFT and cryptoart spaces, I have noticed that conversation is largely fueled by bag contents, rather than any rational respect that develops for an artist or an artwork purely from organic admiration. Oh, it does happen. And I love to see it. And I do see it! But it’s just so quiet next door to the noise of the bag pumping partiers. What I said about Rare Pepes and HOMERPEPE at that time was simply my truth to my experience.
I’ll take this as an opportunity to explain some unspoken motivations I have with NOTKAMOTO – which you may or may NOT choose to reflect on. Part of your reflections, dear #NOTKAMOTO reflectors, is IN PART an effort for you to understand from a shared experience what it is to reflect on, take inspiration from, and perhaps even “pump” an artwork that you do NOT own or have any financial stake in. And will you ever own a NOTKAMOTO? Time will tell. Details are left f(r)oggy at best. But this is how heartfelt relationships between people and artworks come to pass on the daily for centuries. We don’t need to own the thing in order to engage with the thing; in order for the thing to make us feel something or relate our own life to the artist’s experiences. In this new paradigm of new readily accessible digital ownership, let us NOT forget what it is to fall in love with art based on things beside the things inside our wallets. We do NOT need to be financial investors in order to invest our hearts into art. We do NOT need to get a thing from an artist in order to give a thing to an artist. NOTKAMOTO begins with the freedom NOT to transact. NOT to be transactional. NOTKAMOTO is the freedom to be relational first. I mean, it’s that and NOT that, among many other things it is and it is NOT. But we do NOT need to talk about that right now. Or that.
So. Having said that and NOT having said that, I do NOT own any Ordinals and have NOT inscribed any Ordinals. No plans to. But maybe I will? Time will tell. I do, however, see this relationship between the Satoshi and the penny. I do see a long (and perhaps ignored and undervalued) tradition of using the penny in arts and crafts. So the potential of Ordinals, using the smallest unit of Bitcoin, as a means of self expression, of inscription — it’s intellectually juicy to me! It’s at the very least interesting. Enough so, that burning a NOTKAMOTO in this manner was more meaningful and right than staying in line with the absolute. There are some aspects of ordinals right now which turn me off – but given some time to mature – maybe I’ll inscribe a Satoshi one day?
Some questions to consider reflecting on:
What does this say about our culture, gas prices, etc that the smallest unit of Bitcoin is being used in this way now? And that this invention/boom happens in the midst of a bear market? How can that be related to the penny’s historic use in arts & crafts – and the financial climate of the penny’s popularization as an artistic medium. And in what ways, if any, is this analogy absurd? What are some examples of pennies being used in arts and crafts? How far back can we go in this investigation? What’s the first instance of a penny being utilized as a material in art production? And what makes the Satoshi superior to the penny? What makes an Ordinal inscription superior to an NFT? And vice versa.
I will be hodling the NOTKAMOTO pennyal in my pocket for a period of time before proceeding or NOT proceeding with plans to enter it into circulation. Maybe it will even happen by accident?!
You have come to the end, dear reader. Or is this just the beginning? Time will tell.