Beyond Limits: Unrealized Artworks of Chris Burden
The First-Ever Digital Art Experience from the Chris Burden Estate Developed in partnership with Art + Tech innovator TRLab

December 15, 2023 | Updated on December 29, 2023

New York — On December 15, the Chris Burden Estate launched Beyond Limits: Unrealized Artworks of Chris Burden, a multi-faceted digital experience with an educational mission. Created in partnership with art + tech innovator TRLab, Beyond Limits invites participants on a free online journey to explore the work of pioneering artist Chris Burden.

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WHAT: By leveraging interactive design and blockchain technologies, the Estate aims to: • educate digital-centric audiences about Burden's work and artistic vision, including some of the unrealized works that were not completed during his lifetime; • provide a digital realm for participants to engage with Burden's work, and experience his unrealized works in a virtual environment; and • create opportunities for supporters to buy digital art to support the Estate’s ongoing efforts.

WHERE: Access to the experience is at link. As a key educational resource of the Estate, access is free and open to all site visitors. For regular project updates, follow ‘trlab’ on Instagram. Link

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BACKGROUND: Beyond Limits: Unrealized Artworks of Chris Burden explores the artworks of pioneering American artist Chris Burden (1946-2015). Burden's career spanned decades and mediums, having first gained recognition in the 70's for performance works where he used his body, like Shoot (1971), in which he had a friend shoot him in the arm with a small-caliber rifle. While Urban Light (2008) remains perhaps the most widely recognizable of the artist’s public sculptures of architectural scale, he also left behind a large quantity of unrealized, but documented, projects when he passed away at age 69. These unrealized works -– discoverable through hand-rendered drawings (including Beam Drop for Michael Ovitz (2008), above), maquettes, written proposals and oral histories – represent Burden’s artistic vision in the purest form, clear of the many logistical, financial, and legal constraints involved in material production.

Beyond Limits invites participants to explore Chris Burden’s realized and unrealized works across several genres, using the latest technologies to create a cinematic online experience that submerges the viewer in Chris Burden’s imagined world and explores the audacity of his artistic visions. Throughout the self-paced, blockchain-based journey, participants can track and share their progress and unlock free achievement badges in the form of digital tokens stored in each participant’s personal account.

For digital art collectors, the experience offers limited editions of 6 digital artworks inspired by Burden's unrealized works (including Burden Water Wheel, rendered at left), as well as a 1/1 short-form digital film dedicated to Xanadu, the imagined cityscape often referred to as Burden’s ‘incomplete magnum opus’. The Estate will use proceeds from sales of the digital artworks to support the conservation and restoration of Burden's existing works, and to potentially help realize unrealized works.

COLLECTING OPTIONS: Within the online experience, participants can purchase digital artworks from 2 open editions (closing March 31, 2024) priced at $50 (0.025 ETH) and 6 Unrealized Artworks in editions of 60 priced at $485 (0.25 ETH). All artworks may be purchased with ETH or with a credit card. _There are also 12 free badges participants can claim as they journey through the online experience. For collectors who want to optimize the display of the artworks offered within the ‘Beyond Limits’ experience, TRLab is pleased to partner with Infinite Objects, a provider of physical frames specifically designed for the display of motion-based digital art. _

Yayoi Shioniori, Executive Director of the Chris Burden Estate, commented: “The Chris Burden Estate is honored to be partnering with TRLab on’ Beyond Limits: Unrealized Artworks of Chris Burden’ to actualize some of Burden's works with technology now available to us.  We hope that this education-first digital initiative will allow audiences, both new and seasoned, to learn about Chris Burden's works and support the Estate's efforts to steward Burden's legacy into the future."

Audrey Ou, CEO and Co-Founder of TRLab, added: “At TRLab, our primary goal is to make fine art and art history more accessible to digital-centric audiences. We do this by integrating elements of arts education, gaming, collecting and community into one online experience. With ‘Beyond Limits’, our first digital collaboration with the Chris Burden Estate, we invite participants to get to know this pioneering American artist on a deeper level, and to join the growing community of art enthusiasts who enjoy discovering great artists with the help of digital technology.

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