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The Artistic Fusion of NFTs and Literature: Robert Alice’s SOURCE ON NFTs | NFT CULTURE | NFT News | Web3 Culture


Images Credit: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

A Pioneering Auction at Christie’s and the Seminal Publication “On NFTs”

In a groundbreaking collaboration with TASCHEN, Christie’s is thrilled to introduce Robert Alice’s SOURCE [ON NFTs] (2024), a unique collection that brings the digital and literary worlds into a fascinating dialogue. This collection stands as the first on-chain, generative art collection to be auctioned and minted live on the blockchain via Christie’s 3.0 platform. The event, scheduled for March 12, 2024, is not just an auction but a landmark moment marking the US launch of Alice’s extensive study on NFTs titled “On NFTs.”

Robert Alice, a visionary artist at the forefront of the crypto art and NFT movement, offers 400 distinctive generative digital paintings. These creations are deeply inspired by the comprehensive research and insights captured in “On NFTs,” a 600-page tome that Alice has edited and co-authored. This publication is hailed as the most extensive art historical study on NFTs to date, tracing the medium’s origins and trajectory.

Exclusive Auction and the Hard Code Edition

In a special arrangement with TASCHEN, Christie’s will also auction a select number of copies of “The Hard Code Edition” of “On NFTs.” This edition features the rarest copies, with Edition No. 1 through 10 of the 600 available, being offered first to auction participants.

The Intersection of Literature and Digital Art

Sebastian Sanchez, Christie’s Manager of Digital Art Sales, highlights the collection’s exploration of how literature and language shape the digital realm. Each artwork is a unique expression derived from foundational texts in understanding NFTs, ranging from Walter Benjamin to Seth Siegelaub.

Alice employs a Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm to sift through these texts, merging historical narratives to forge new meanings. This process brings together elements from diverse fields, including science fiction, digital art manifestos, and ancient philosophy, showcasing the rich cultural ecology surrounding NFTs.

Artistic Philosophy and Digital Graffiti

Robert Alice’s approach treats the text as a form of digital graffiti, blending legibility with chaos across vibrant color fields. This method celebrates the RGB spectrum central to digital art, introducing an element of unpredictability into the generative process. Alice’s work reflects on the essence of NFTs and their relationship with text and blockchain technology, offering insights into the disruptive potential of blockchain in publishing.

A Revolutionary Auction Format

The auction of SOURCE [ON NFTs] will utilize a ‘Dutch auction’ format, a first for Christie’s 3.0. This method, where the asking price decreases over time, has become increasingly popular within the Web3 community.

A Full Circle Moment for Christie’s

Nicole Sales Giles and Marlene Taschen express their excitement for this innovative project, noting its significance in the evolution of digital art auctions and the study of NFTs. Alice’s previous work, Block 21, holds the distinction of being the first NFT auctioned by Christie’s, creating a full circle moment with this latest collaboration.


Robert Alice’s SOURCE [ON NFTs] collection, in partnership with TASCHEN and Christie’s, marks a significant moment in the intersection of art, literature, and blockchain technology. The auction and publication “On NFTs” offer a deep dive into the origins and evolution of NFTs, showcasing Alice’s innovative use of NLP algorithms to create unique generative art. This event not only celebrates the artistic achievements of Robert Alice but also heralds a new era in the understanding and appreciation of NFTs.


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