‘Set the bar for what digital art can and should be’ is the message behind the NFT collection by musician Imogen Heap, which includes six audiovisual NFTs that are carbon negative.
Heap’s Firsts Collection is her first venture into a non-fungible token (NFT). It features short improvised audio clips known as Rifffs that she made during live jam sessions with users of the music app Endlesss.
Soundbites from Heap are featured on digital collectibles marketplace OpenSea alongside visuals designed by Andy Carne, a longtime collaborator of Heap’s.
Heap donated 45 per cent of her earnings back to her Creative Passport project while half was split evenly between all contributors at the sale, along with the exact breakdown listed in the description of each non-fiction story in an effort to cultivate greater transparency.
It was Heap who told Dezeen that people may be able to run on commission instead of up-front payments in the future, which would be extremely beneficial to some musicians.
“You all invest in the music together. It’s interesting to be able to have that opportunity to share the profits in different ways and get creative with it.”Heap
Heap’s personal profits went to a start-up in Seattle called Nori to help capture carbon in order to “set the bar” for digital art.
Compared to the estimated 0.2 tonnes CO2 emissions generated by an average NFT release, this helped remove 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is due to the processing power needed to mint a non-fungible token on the Ethereum blockchain.
As a means to prove the authenticity and ownership of a digital asset, the token acts as a means for verifying said asset, and any transactions related to the digital asset are recorded on the blockchain, causing emissions as they happen.
Formerly, Chris Precht of Vienna cancelled a planned satellite drop after finding out that it would require more electricity than he uses in two decades.
Heap’s partnership with Nori meant it was able to sequester more carbon dioxide than she was able to emit from her six NFTs, making the release carbon negative.
“Even though we didn’t raise anywhere near the amount of money we were hoping – the drop hasn’t even paid its costs – we were able to buy 20 carbon tonnes worth of removal, so that’s 100 times more than it generated, even just through a relatively small sale. In that way, it was a success.”Heap.
Instead of using reforestation as a carbon offset, Nori invests in regenerative agricultural practices, which allow CO2 pollution to be sequestered safely in the ground and in turn lead to more fertile soil.
Heap’s Firsts Collection featured six NFTs, but only one was sold, and some fans felt that she tried to cash in on the NFT trend just to make a profit.
“I got a lot of disappointed fans messaging me, maybe not understanding the full story and not reading the full premise of what we hoped to do and that it’s not just about buying a Lamborghini,”Heap
Consequently, sales and average prices have declined in recent months due to a growing fatigue with NFTs after marketplaces like OpenSeat became flooded with increasingly outrageous projects.