Preacher's SXSW Exhibit Presents Very Different Kinds of NFTs
SXSW attendees want to be wowed, wooed and eat their weight in tacos. Austin agency Preacher went with placing a different spin on NFTs with an exhibit of more than 50 non-traditional tokens.
The agency uses its ground-floor space as a gallery that curates local artists year round. For SXSW, an annex was created inside the gallery to feature an "NFT Treasury" of items—where NFT doesn't stand for non-fungible token, but something else entirely.
Ten of the most popular items will be minted into actual NFTs and auctioned on OpenSea. Winners will receive the digital token along with the physical object and its gallery card. Proceeds benefit Ukraine through donations to the IRC (International Rescue Committee).
The IRL NFTs are nothing you would expect, and that's the beauty of them. There's "Noodles Fused Together," "Non-Flushable Turd," "Nimble Fingered Tetris," "Ninety-Four Tacks," "Neutered Fragile Tramp," and "Napoleonic Fascinator Taco. "A personal favorite, "Neccowafers? Fuck That," is described as "sugar, chalk, misery."
Muse spoke with Tyler Booker, associate creative director at Preacher, about standing out during SXSW and creating enough atypical NFTs to fill a gallery.
Muse: How did you come up with this idea? Did you always intend to do this as an exhibit during SXSW?
Tyler Booker: We knew that discussion around NFTs would be one of the biggest motivators drawing folks to SXSW this year, so we wanted to welcome folks back to the fest after a two-year gap with our own good-humored contribution to the conversation. The idea first came up as a way to entertain visitors to our SXSW party because we knew they'd be inundated with lots of heavy discussion of NFTs once they touched ground at the festival. We're always interested in inspiring and surprising our visitors, and ourselves, with conceptual activations.
How long did it take to come up with the varying NFTs and create physical ones, too?
From first thought to final product, we had about two weeks to gather our tokens and get the exhibit ready for prime time. We leaned on a few of our more tchotchke-oriented teammates to scour their curio cabinets for the first additions. But once we started searching for items that fit the NFT bill, it was hard to stop finding them wherever we went, especially thrift shops. We kept assembling the collection right up until the opening: A video montage of clips from some of social media's most senior content creators ("Nana found TikTok") was concepted and edited only about an hour before we opened the doors.
Click the images to enlarge and scroll through | Photos by Alison Narro
Which 10 pieces will be minted and sold?
We're still finalizing the list that will be minted and sold, but we're aiming for it to be a "greatest hits" of pieces that got the biggest reactions in the room, like "Noodles Fused Together" and "Nope: Freaky Twins." We gave the NFTs themselves the white-glove treatment, handling them with the sort of care that one-of-a-kind finds deserve—even though we were dealing in busted toasters and rubber dolls.
Where will the rest go?
The remaining pieces will go either back to their homes or be returned to the blockchain of local secondhand stores where we found them, ready to be rediscovered and revalued by future investors.
What do you hope comes out of this?
The whole concept of NFTs has drawn a lot of attention, hype and healthy scrutiny. As we enter this emerging space, we wanted to use a healthy dose of smart-stupid humor to show that joining conversations full of question marks is nothing to fear. We wanted to explore what a "real" NFT is. Is the value in the physical object? In the digital token? In the concept itself that makes your mind start inextricably seeing the world in terms of this acronym? Naturally, freakin' torn.