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John Gerrard released his first-ever NFT, Western Flag (NFT), this week through the digital platform Foundation. Considered a “superneutral” initiative for its lack of carbon footprint, the sale of the work coincides with the debut of the artist’s emergency Ethereum cryptofund regenerate.farm, which focuses on soil restoration and soil regeneration in the artist’s home country of Ireland.
Drawing on the artist’s Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas)—a solar simulation created for television and digital purposes on Earth Day in 2017, the last two editions of which are in the Ullens Collection and the Pinault Collection—Gerrard’s NFT presents as an empty landscape with nothing but a flagpole at its center, where a cloud of thick, black smoke looms in the space where the emblematic fabric would usually fly. Available for viewing on sim.stream and downloadable for free as a public work of art, the NFT will see 50 percent of sales going to regenerate.farm through the blockchain currency Ethereum.
Also introduced this month, the artist’s regenerate.farm was founded to open a dialogue on carbon reversal efforts, ensuring the funds raised are sourced and used in an entirely transparent, traceable manner. Gerrard has put into place an energy tracker through the website Carbon.FYI to capture an accurate record of the carbon footprint created by the initiative, which will see an additional donation of Ethereum for every 0.1 eth per ton of carbon dioxide produced, or about 16 times the standard rate.