Temporary mural to be marketed as NFT will come down during the demo of the building near Michigan Stadium
ANN ARBOR, MI – Martin Vloet, owner of the Stadium Club venue, which housed a charity hatchback from 2016-18, is set to demolish the building on Monday – and he has created a temporary mural to match.
The building’s 30-foot east-facing wall now contains five “cryptopunks” – 8-bit characters created in 2017 as one of the first publicly distributed non-fungible tokens.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are collectible assets that enable the trading and sale of encrypted certificates that give the holder ownership of a digital work of art. The tokens are secured in digital “blockchains”, which are similar to the cryptocurrency and are often used when buying and selling. But instead of being an exchangeable currency, each token is unique.
The recent NFT phenomenon has boosted the value of CryptoPunks, which were originally issued free of charge to users of the cryptocurrency Etherium, into the millions. On March 11th, two of the most valuable cryptopunks were sold at a Christie’s auction for about 4,200 Etherium tokens each, which equates to about $ 7.5 million apiece.
Another NFT artwork at the same auction sold for $ 69.3 million – its largest sale to date.
Vloet hopes to take advantage of the phenomenon to convert his decade-long investment in the Stadium Club building into enough cash to purchase a new venue for the charity tailgate. He was in contact with the charity Bonnie Dockham, executive director of the Cancer Support Community, to find another place in the meantime.
Vloet considered selling the building in 2016 and then planned to develop it as a high-rise apartment building with retail on the ground floor. Those plans have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now he plans to convert the property into an open-air event space.
Vloet plans to film the demolition of the building on May 17, which has been largely empty since the charity event ended prior to the 2019 season. He will record the video in the NFT along with a time-lapse of the painted mural.
Vloet chose the NFT concept to take advantage of the transience of the space. He chose the “zombie” characters in order to keep the variety of colors to a minimum, and was able to secure reduced colors from PPG Paints in Pittsfield Township. He matched each hue as closely as possible to the RGB color code associated with the colors used in the original files.
From there he organized a chalk grid on the wall and sketched the outlines of each character on a grid. With no prior experience with murals, the 24-pixel by 24-pixel cryptopunks were relatively easy to replicate.
The NFT concept allows anyone to make a digital copy of the art in question – but only the owner keeps the encrypted certificate.
“Anyone can own a copy of Moby Dick, but if you happen to get your hands on a copy of Herman Melville’s notebook, that’s a different deal,” Vloet said.
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