October 7, 2022 | Updated on November 16, 2022
TRLab and the Calder Foundation are pleased to announce the launch of The Calder Question, the first official NFT project devoted to the pioneering genius of 20th century artist Alexander Calder. Beginning today, October 7, 2022, we welcome arts enthusiasts and collectors at all levels to experience this unique journey to connect with the life and work of Calder.
The Calder Question takes you through orientation materials and an exploration of “Mobiles,” the first season of a multipart educational journey that will highlight Calder’s mastery of multiple art forms. There is no cost to join the orientation, but you must connect a cryptocurrency wallet in order to move through the three-week educational journey, where you may participate in challenges and collaborative activities and unlock rewards, including a singular opportunity to acquire limited-edition NFTs commissioned by the Calder Foundation specifically for the experience.
Limited-Edition NFT Artworks
To create the collectible limited-edition NFTs for the first season of The Calder Question, the Calder Foundation and TRLab collaborated with two-time Emmy® Award-winning motion graphic designer, and artist Raoul Marks, represented by Triple X. Marks’ sophisticated expertise has been showcased in memorable title sequences for The Crown, Westworld, and True Detective among other TV series, as well as major advertising campaigns for Apple and Louis Vuitton. Marks is represented by Triple X, an organization focused on curating quality NFT projects and bridging the gap between mainstream art collectors and artists working in the digital realm.
As Art Director for the NFT artworks connected to the “Mobiles” season of The Calder Question, Marks worked with Calder Foundation President Alexander S. C. Rower to explore the roles of motion and negative space in Calder’s works and use animation techniques to showcase five extraordinary mobiles in the Foundation’s permanent collection. The resulting NFT artworks – each in the form of a one-minute digital experience – allow viewers to experience the mobiles from a unique perspective made possible only through technology.
"It’s a fascinating thing, understanding the work of other artists. And what a peculiar and enormous honour to be entrusted to interpret the great works of Alexander Calder. For me, Calder’s work speaks of immeasurable space, the gaps in our collective knowledge and a desire to poke the edges of the universe. They work immediately as pieces of visual art, but the more time you spend with them the more questions emerge. I saw my role here as equals parts student, translator and artist." - Raoul Marks
The five NFTs will be offered to The Calder Question participants at the conclusion of the three-week experience on October 31 for a price of $8,000 each, in an edition size of just 32 per artwork. In keeping with the educational and art historical mission of The Calder Question, participants who engage with the challenges and activities portions of the journey will be given a significant advantage at sale time; any remaining NFTs will be available for purchase for the price of $16,000 each starting November 1.
Nonspace NFTs are an integral part of The Calder Question. Each Nonspace NFT is an element of a Calder mobile—a wire, a sheet of metal, a sketch, and more--just like a puzzle piece. Participants who course through The Calder Question will be given opportunities to mint Nonspace NFTs. And only by piecing together the correct Nonspace NFTs, will you unlock Season 1's Limited Edition artworks, Mobile NFTs, at a pre-sale discount (USD$8K instead of USD$16K)on a first come and first served basis.
But why name the mobile elements "Nonspace"? "Nonspace" was a term used by James Jones to describe Calder’s work in his 1964 essay Letter Home:
"The thing that makes Calder unique as a sculptor is his sense of a cosmic mathematic. He is willing to believe equally in a nonspace as well as in space. Because of this, his stabiles (and his mobiles as well) are able to fill a given space without occupying it." — James Jones, Letter Home, 1964
Click here to view the Limited Edition NFT artworks of Season 1.
"Calder wanted to push what was possible in art within the confines of physical reality. For my interpretations of his work, I was intrigued to see what could be depicted digitally that couldn’t exist in the physical world...I want viewers to feel transported to the edge of space, to peer into black holes surrounded by points of light or to swoop under giant monoliths suspended in the void. But most of all I hope it leaves people with many questions and a desire to know even more about Calder’s exceptional body of work and how relevant it continues to be for us in the now." - Raoul Marks
How to join The Calder Question
Here's what you need to know to collect Nonspace NFTs and have the chance to collect the limited edition art NFTs.
There are five phases to The Calder Question:
Phase 1, The Calder Archives has officially opened on Calderquestion.trlab.com. Learn from the Calder Archives to advance to Phase 2.
These are the key dates to know:
Learn more on how to navigate The Calder Question here.
Be in the know