From Adversity to ‘sä-v(ə-)rən-tē: The Real Story of Jacque and Rayden

Written by
Sam Brukhman

From Adversity to ‘sä-v(ə-)rən-tē: The Real Story of Jacque and Rayden

Written by
Sam Brukhman

From Adversity to ‘sä-v(ə-)rən-tē: The Real Story of Jacque and Rayden

Written by
Sam Brukhman

“Honestly, the perception of Bitcoin in the media has been eerily close to how black people have been perceived,”

- Isaiah Jackson, author of Bitcoin and Black America

When you were young, what was the first response you gave when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Doctor? 👨‍⚕️

Scientist? 👩‍🔬

Astronaut? 👨‍🚀


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you already have something in common with the two featured boys, Jacque and Rayden, in retired baseball player and artist Micah Johnson’s ‘sä-v(ə-)rən-tē.

Life [Dis]advantage

From a young age, Jacque and Rayden experienced extreme circumstances that put them at a life disadvantage and after learning about their life story, Johnson felt a strong desire to help the boys.

His inspiration came from author Isaiah Jackson’s "Bitcoin and Black America" and the programmability of Async Art. At first, his goal was to feature the boys in his art as a way to unleash their perception of what they’re capable of. That goal quickly evolved.

“The work takes two real subjects who have faced an adverse situation at a young age,” says Johnson. “The mission of this work started by simply wanting to empower them by letting them see themselves in high-art, but quickly turned into one of the most impactful use cases for Bitcoin and blockchain technology the world has ever seen.”

Birthday Bitcoin

It's a work teeming with symbolism that evolves over time.

Every year on Jacque and Rayden’s respective birthdays, a Layer change reveals what each brother wants to be when they grow up along with a bitcoin wallet that anyone can contribute to. Symbolizing the boys’ opportunities to achieve their dreams, the door in the center opens during their birthday.

When Jacque and Rayden turn 18, their figures completely disappear from the Master artwork and they receive access to their bitcoin wallets. This a permanent, irreversible change that will happen to the Master. A moment that can happen only through the programmability of Async Art.

The astronaut on the left, a hyper-detailed replica used in the movie “Martian”, is the only Layer that can be owned by a collector. This collector has the ability to reveal the astronaut or tease the viewers by choosing the state change that shows the astronaut removing the helmet.

Can you guess who the figure is behind the helmet?

Adversity into Sovereignty

“It provides an alternative solution to a financial and social system that continually puts African-Americans at a severe disadvantage,” says Johnson. The artwork transformation spans 11 years and encourages viewers to interact with it through its continual evolution and support of both brothers.

The piece is an act of sovereignty, an independent solution to an ongoing national conversation about equity, diversity, and inclusion. Though Jacque and Rayden will have to navigate life without their father, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be given a fair chance at success. This piece is not only symbolic of their lives, but a direct call to action to make a difference.

“Through the technological vision of Async and the potential growth of Bitcoin, society will be able to directly impact lives like never before,” says Johnson.

November 6th is Jacque's birthday and the first time anyone will get an opportunity to impact their lives.

So now we ask you: What will you do to create an impact?

-Async Team