On Still Life, Photography, and COVID-19

Written by
Lisa Liang

On Still Life, Photography, and COVID-19

Written by
Lisa Liang

On Still Life, Photography, and COVID-19

Written by
Lisa Liang

Most of us are still in quarantine. The endless Zoom calls. The crowded lines at grocery stores. What used to be abnormal is now the norm. Here at Async, we’re also noticing a trend of cryptoart pieces that explore how the global situation is impacting all of us.

Our first photography-based piece emerges from Fabin Rasheed’s “In Other News”, inspired by his travels through Hyderabad, India with a Canon DSLR. His black and white photographs give the viewer a stark glimpse into the lives of India’s street vendors, in particular, the ones who are consuming their own products out of poverty and necessity.

There is a sweets maker eating his own dessert, a perfume maker smelling his own oils, and even a con man making himself believe his own lies.

These photographs were taken and exhibited in a gallery back in 2015. Now during the 2020 global pandemic, the artist decided it was the perfect time to resurface the snapshots in frozen time and remind us of how fortunate we all are and to instill empathy for the unfortunate ones.

Read more about it here.

There is no auction planned for this piece. Once min reserve pricing is met on any of the Layers/Master, it’ll trigger a 24 hour countdown and the artist will accept the highest bid afterwards. Check out the current bids here.

Our next piece is an autonomous artwork by OficinasTK, called “Still Life with Silver Apple.” A geometric, reflective Apple sits quietly in the scene as rendered sunlight alters the piece at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm UTC every single day. The artist wanted to study how something as simple as light can suggest different moods, and induce a symbolic narrative with the viewer.

This is one of our most active autonomous pieces yet, with 6 automatic changes every day. And yet it is also one of our most tranquil and meditative pieces. With most of us at home and losing track of time, this artwork peacefully passes through each period with quiet resolve and steadfastness. Almost counting down the days alongside us.

Check out all the possible states of the artwork in OficinasTK’s Cryptovoxels gallery.

Finally, we have Jake John’s “Masked” which is our first autonomous piece focused on COVID-19. The woman’s face, the magazine she is reading, the background can all change colors according to the Layer owner’s desire. The autonomous element is in the opacity of the facemask. That Layer is hooked up to the Johns Hopkins CSSE global tracker for COVID-19 and will increase or decrease opacity based on daily new confirmed cases.

As of today, the facemask is at full opacity because of the increasing rate of new cases. In the hopeful near future, we’ll see the opacity decrease by 5% with each day when the infection rate is lower than the day before. The daily difference is somewhat discernible, but just as it is on a global level, we can see more visible improvement gradually week by week, month by month as we work together to flatten the curve and beat the virus.

We’re auctioning off this one-of-a-kind COVID-19 themed artwork this weekend and Jake Johns generously pledged to donate the proceeds to Johns Hopkins University, a key organization in tracking and researching the global pandemic.

Read more about the piece here as well as the Nifties feature.

Feel free to leave a comment and/or question about any of the pieces, and we’ll try to answer them Sunday. Join us for this weekend's voice auction on our Discord and Twitter.

- Async Team