Ready-Made Token

The Distributed Gallery was inaugurated under the double sign of Dada and Blockchain through its first art work: the Ready-Made Token. In 1917 Marcel Duchamp's famous "urinal" was exhibited in New York, a ready-made, that is to say a common object elevated to the state of art by its simple conceptualization and its exhibition in a gallery.

A century later, a certain Richard Prince, an artist known for his work of appropriation, launched the Ready-Made Token: the transformation of a cryptographic unit into a work of art. By exploring the potential of Blockchain technology, the Ready-Made Token marked the first conceptual link between cryptocurrency and the art world.

Richard Prince was not Marcel Duchamp. Richard Prince wasn't the Ready-Made Token artist either. As The New York Times wrote:

On Dec. 16, the nascent market for what might be called cryptoart appeared to reach a new level when the hitherto-unknown Distributed Gallery announced the auction of “Ready Made Token,” a unique unit of a cryptocurrency that the gallery said was created by Richard Prince using technology from Ethereum, the network responsible for Ether.

By appropriating Richard Prince, the Distributed Gallery has created a scam inside the so-called contemporary art, but through the universe of the blockchain. The Rare Digital Art Festival has invited the Distributed Gallery and Richard Prince to exhibit the RMT. And naturally, the Distributed Gallery was pleased to invite the manager of Richard Prince to present his new work of appropriation. Can we appropriate an appropriator ? The RMT exhibition at The Rare Digital Art Festival did not take place, but the auction continued, making a token a Fountain 3.0, and art a true cryptoart. In a certain way, Richard Prince is the creator of the Ready-Made Token, insofar as it is the blockchain technology, the Distributed Gallery and the anonymity they underlie that has appropriated the figurehead of appropriation art. The art world did the rest, inviting this Richard Prince and the Distributed Gallery to a public show and relaying the news within its network. The Ready-Made Token is a Ready-Made in the sense that it draws its artistic and conceptual evidence from a process by which anonymous people, the Distributed Gallery, have drawn the logic of appropriation to its limit.