Richard Nadler's Memento Mori Explores Bitcoin Immortality

Physical forms may perish, but essence gains immortality in the digital realm...

I’ve been trying to get my hands on Bitcoin Ordinals and the newest AI art for a while, but due to work at Academy by Blind Gallery, the launch of onchain subscriptions, and traveling, my efforts have been put on hold.

That changed last week when Richard Nadler shared the stunning story behind Memento Mori —his newest AI art collection on Bitcoin.

If you have been following my newsletter and podcast, you know I’m into the art (inspiration, aesthetics, and concepts) as much as the underlying technology. This collection is both exciting and challenging on both sides of the equation.

Here is why…

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Memento Mori - Remember You Must Die

Although the message might scare some, the meaning of death has been celebrated by many cultures and civilizations across history. Richard chose this release to honor the memory of his father, who has been his artistic inspiration since childhood.

The loss of his father when Richard was just 18 was the period in which this collection began to germinate: ‘Suddenly everything stopped. He was such a strong guy, and guide. I was left hanging in the air… I visited my father at every opportunity: he was my teacher, my best friend. So many good times.’

Richard Nadler's art mixes nature with skeletons, using threads infused with bright colors and organic materials like flowers and fungi. He creates a lively scene out of something that usually represents death to show how life and death are connected. Nadler brings a modern twist to this theme, making it feel like a fresh take on old medieval art but for the digital, onchain world.

Richard plays with the inscribing act on Bitcoin. He is trying to say that while one's physical form may perish, one's essence gains immortality in the digital realm.

Behind the Technology and Curatorial Process

Although these stories resonate on the collective and institutional level, they first began to emerge as tokens of Nadler’s own lived experience before he began work on his previous collections, Izanami Islands, and Yamabushi’s Horizons. He spent six months training an AI model on skulls, before turning to the Japanese structural work of his debut collections.

There are 206 Memento Moris, one for each bone in the human body.

Each artwork has been meticulously curated from an extensive collection of over 17,000 outputs.

This model underwent a rigorous six-month training, refinement, and iteration process. To facilitate the generation of ultra-high-quality outputs, the gm.generator service (from gmScribe) was designed with Magic Eden’s capabilities in mind. The latter supports off-chain images, enabling content rooted in Bitcoin to be rendered seamlessly in browsers.

Block 9 450x Sats

The artwork is inscribed on the rarest satoshis from Block 9, mined by Satoshi Nakamoto on January 11, 2009. This block is historic, containing the first-ever Bitcoin transfer. The 450x sats, sourced from this block's first bitcoin, are the oldest satoshis available for such art. The gmScribe team meticulously isolated and inscribed them over several days to ensure their uniqueness and value.

The Perfect Timing

Collectors and artists initially found it tricky to navigate the Ordinal art scene. It was complicated, lacking adequate wallets, marketplaces, or creation tools. But let me tell you, things have moved fast in the inscriptions world.

We've got functional wallets and reliable galleries like Vivid, Sovrn.art, and gmScribe, which are starting to put together high-quality shows and unique works, as well as better creation tools and marketplaces like Magic Eden.

Ordinals kicked off some great communities like Taproot Wizards, OnchainMonkeys, and OBM, but the really out-there art was a bit thin on the ground. That’s changing, thanks to the mentioned galleries and pioneering artists like FAR and Harto (who shared their experience on Bitcoin Ordinals in the podcast), who are pushing the envelope with their generative art collections.

When we think about the moment we are in, with Bitcoin and Ordinals volumes setting all-time highs every week, there couldn’t be a better time for Memento Mori and the message it is trying to express.

Auction Details

Important: If you plan to participate in this auction, you must use Magic Eden Wallet or Xverse. These wallets support Ordinals; therefore, you won’t risk losing your inscription when transacting Bitcoin.

About gm.Scribe

gm.scribe is a generative art platform built for Bitcoin. They provide an end-to-end service for artists to launch long-form artistic collections on Bitcoin, offering a white glove service that handles everything from strategy, marketing, and inscription to after-sale collector services.

It is built and owned by gmDAO, the creators of the gmStudio generative art platform. In 2022, I wrote a market analysis about gmStudio.

Until next time,

- Kaloh


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