Augmented reality artist Sutu is teaming up with Canadian DJ and producer deadmau5 to drop a 30-second audio-reactive artwork as a non-fungible token next week. The video, entitled In Titan’s Light is a 30-second loop paired with a section of the deadmau5 track SATRN.
Sutu has worked on properties such the VR version of the Distracted Globe, an ‘80s-inspired nightclub from the movie Ready Player One, and he has worked with artists like John Legend and The Weeknd on Wave virtual concerts. He describes the scene as “a golden deadmau5 spacestation bathing in the twilight on the moon of Titan” as it orbits Saturn.
“I took a more ambient part of the track rather than some banging part that might get irritating once you’ve heard it a thousand times,” explains Sutu, “but it still has an epic scale to it, with a Blade Runner-esque kind of vibe.” The synths featured in the breakdown are indeed reminiscent of Vangelis.
Sutu suggests that despite this aesthetic, “It’s really an optimistic piece” inspired by space exploration, which he likens to the “new frontier… of crypto art and NFTs. We’re all explorers here and the community is empowering us to push further and go beyond.”
NFT artwork has had a breakthrough year, with record prices tumbling as collectors recognize the value of 1/1 editions with immutable provenance on the Ethereum blockchain.
A year ago, a digital artwork by melduARTE sold on SuperRare for 11.536 ETH, or approximately $1,644 at the time. It was a record sale on the non-fungible token platform during a week in which almost $44,000 in value was transacted.
These days, SuperRare can clear over $100k in sales in a single day and the record prices for NFT artwork continue to topple — Trevor Jones’ The Architect - Satoshi Nakamoto sold for 27.5 ETH in June, before Matt Kane’s programmable piece Right Place & Right Time generated 262 ETH ($101,000) in September. Another Asynchronous Art piece, EthBoy, returned the crown to Jones and collaborator Alotta Money in November, at which point the 260 ETH bid represented $141,536.
Although this piece is unique, Sutu considers NFTs to have wider commercial implications. “I think digital artists have had to be mass-media artists because we haven’t had ways to sell our art in pure digital form,” he says. “But it’s different when there’s digital authenticity and it’s a work the audience can actually own.”
Sutu feels that despite the novelty of blockchain-tracked digital artwork, there’s still enormous potential for innovation. “I can imagine a future in which you could play a song, and the artwork reacts to that song in a certain way… maybe it’s linked to that artist’s catalog, and the music unlocks a new perspective on that artwork. Maybe it could even be a person’s voice that controls the art. That’s the kind of thing I want to do next.”
A teaser for the piece only displays a brief glimpse of the 30-second video, but anyone familiar with Fritz Lang or Ridley Scott will immediately recognize the visual influences at work. Gantries and girders, a cross between steam and cypher, with the verticality of the piece hinting at galactic aspirations. Perhaps there’s even a Saturn V rocket hiding behind the beatific and (hopefully) benign deadmau5 character around which the artwork rotates.
Describing the Emanate.live-powered venture as “a bit of a moment, one of the first NFT collaborations between an iconic musician and a visual artist,” Sutu thinks the eventual buyer of the piece could be an electronic music fan, or perhaps a collector who recognizes the significance of the piece. “And hopefully,” he says, “someone who just loves the art.”
In Titan’s Light will be released on the SuperRare platform on Tuesday December 15th at 5pm ET.