In the modern era, the realm of digital art has undergone a profound transformation. Instead of relying solely on traditional mediums, artists have embraced the power of coding to produce breathtaking works of art. One such visionary artist is Pak, a pseudonymous designer whose genius stems from their problem-solving approach to art.
Pak considers themselves a creative with a designer’s perspective, in their own words, “I have always preferred to define myself as a ‘creative,’ but if I am forced to answer the question ‘designer or artist,’ describing my mindset as a designer might be a more accurate approach.
The reason for this is that most of what I produce emerges as a result of steps taken to solve an existing problem. I believe the main reason for this is innovation. Creating something that has never existed, thinking about something that has never been thought of before, or taking steps that I can first say ‘this could be truly ingenious’ so then others can say the same has always been a great motivation for me.”
In 2021, Pak unveiled a dynamic on-chain project called ‘Merge,’ an Open Edition project that emerged from a similar path of innovation and would simultaneously change the fundamentals of modern art and blockchain design forever, generating significant recognition and value in a public sale. In their own words, “Merge is a thing, an artwork, that emerged on a similar path. To innovate, to push existing boundaries, to create a brand-new artwork, a toy, a ‘thing’ while doing so, and to reach unexplored places with a never-before-designed vehicle…”
The Acquisition of Unique Digital Art in a Modern World
The concept of Open Edition is quite new in the art space. Prior to Pak’s development, it had never been done and was initially viewed as a daring and even crazy idea just two years ago. But how does Open Edition actually work? The process involves narrowing the time window for collectors to collect and allowing them to acquire as many editions as they want within that window, after which production ends forever. Now, the art world has fully embraced the idea of Open Editions and incorporated them into the system.
“When I first designed the Open Edition concept, I designed it for a project called ‘X’, which I offered to its collectors. As a newcomer to the art world in this context, I faced a problem that many artists had before me for the first time: ‘How many editions of the work I produce should I offer to the buyer?‘” says Pak, “This question is not a simple one, because if you offer too many, it won’t be ‘sold out,’ and if you offer too few, it may never reach its potential. Therefore, I wanted to bring a different perspective to the existing edition-based production system.
A simple question was the source of this: ‘What if we didn’t limit the editions, but narrowed the time window for the collectors to collect, allowing them to acquire as many editions as they wanted within that window, but then production would end forever?‘” Pak continues, “I decided to implement this approach in ‘X,’ which was the first to realize the ‘Open Edition’ definition we know today, under the name ‘Infinite Editions.’ ‘Infinite’ because there is the potential to produce an infinite number of editions, but of course, since we never have an infinite number of collectors or blockchain wallets, it can never reach that potential.”
With ‘The Fungible’, Pak takes things one step further, confronting a new challenge: how to manage oversupply? With The Fungible collection, collectors had the right to accumulate as many “a cube” pieces as they desired. However, the number they chose to collect determined the class of art pieces they would receive. This design was a system aimed at solving the oversupply problem, providing collectors with the opportunity to collect as many as they wanted, and most importantly, providing collectors with art pieces in different classes (A Cube, Five Cubes, Ten Cubes, Twenty Cubes, …) to establish a new scarcity equilibrium mechanism.”
After the success of X and The Fungible and the dawning of a new era in Open Editions, Pak was seemingly pioneering an entirely new landscape for collectors to experience and acquire art pieces through their work. All of which would lead up to what many are calling their pièce de résistance, Merge. With the problems of “how many editions should there be?” and “what about oversupply?” being left behind, Pak started to wonder if all of this could be done dynamically.
In The Fungible, the number of art pieces “minted” during the collection process is equal to the number of units collected, but they do not change dynamically afterward. Approaching Merge, Pak’s goal was to create a dynamic scarcity and extinction mechanism. Begging a new question, “What if each collector could hold only one of these pieces in their collection, and every time they got a new one, they didn’t have more art pieces, but the existing artwork grew in some way?” These “growth” and “uniqueness” concepts formed the foundation of Merge.
The Origins of ‘Merge’
Merge has an innovative blockchain contract design allowing each collector to obtain as many “mass” units as they want and accumulate it as a single “mass” art piece in their collection. “Of course, Merge doesn’t stop there and continues to work its mechanisms with every art piece transfer,” says its creator. “We can say that this is a single work that tells its own story as a living contract.” This system, called ‘Merging Open Editions,’ continues to work even after the release, and collectors have accumulated as many as they want. The beauty is in this.
Therefore, the number of tokens in the Merge collection will decrease day by day, and who knows, maybe one day there will be only 1 token owning all the existing mass. Due to this mechanism, Merge is a single artwork divided into thousands of pieces, owned by thousands of collectors, and a “game of extinction”. By defining Merge as a “single artwork,” it has become an incredibly valuable work delivered to its collector by a living artist in human history so far, generating a history-breaking value.
As the project gained more attention, collectors and artists alike were in awe of the innovation and complexity behind the design. The Open Edition project that began as an exploration of dynamic scarcity and extinction mechanisms had evolved into an entirely new dimension of art.
Pak’s contributions extend beyond the realm of art, shaping our perception of blockchain technology and its capacity to disrupt diverse industries. Through their innovative problem-solving approach to art, Pak showcases how creativity and innovation can give rise to pioneering works, fundamentally altering the landscape of modern art and opening doors to a dynamic, innovative, and boundary-pushing era of Open Edition projects.