Art must fit into one of two categories to strike a chord with the public. It must be either aesthetically pleasing or make a statement. It is rare within the art community to have an artist who ticks both boxes so completely. NFTZine has been lucky enough to have had some time with a true crypto art heavyweight. The one and only Primal Cypher. His labyrinthine approach to his chosen medium of expression includes compassionate social critique, philosophical commentary, altered states of consciousness as well as spirituality in a secular fashion. The fundamental elements of his work include “the joy of the creative process”, “The search for the inner self” and the implicit need for introspection. On top of all this thought-provoking artistic output, he is also a keen follower of blockchain technology (main focus being ETH), The Occupy Movement, Anonymous and the early cryptographic blockchain forerunners, The Cypherpunks.
Being a child of the 80s “thus one of the earliest generations of Millenials” he was especially swayed by the technologies of the era. He stated “although consumption of computer games has been very limited throughout my life… I cannot deny that they have influenced me significantly in the way I look at life and society” he was particularly roused by “Final Fantasy 7”. He was fascinated by its “rebellious component, the dystopian elements, the struggle against a mega-corporation that took life from the planet to profit in a selfish way”. The origins of the word profit equates to “a gain for the soul”. The modern connotations of the word have come to mean something drastically different and with mega-corporations misanthropic.
At the age of 17, he was in the military. Shortly after being called up for a medical examination, “after a night of drinking and carelessness” he was in an army barracks hall watching “Fight Club” and “Matrix” (1999 first in the trilogy). His altered state caused by lack of sleep gave him a singular view of these two “wonderful films”. The extent of this resonance he explained further honed his world view. The irony of the military showing two such films based around rebellion against the system, questioning the status quo and in the case of “Fight Club” downright irreverence was not lost on him. The experience fostered ney cemented his rancour against certain power complexes and authority in general in a more focused and vindicated way than ever before. It became apparent to him that no matter what structural violence he was exposed to his “basic character structure was anti-authoritarian, subversive and rebellious”. With time he mitigated these feelings, discovering coping mechanisms, one of which was his higher education and ultimately his Master’s thesis, concentrating on themes of “cultural criticism, manipulation and psychoanalysis”.
The 2084 collections “the High Topicality of CYBERPUNK” and the later “(Fantastic) Intermezzo of a Contemporary Witness” are driven by Primal Cyphers dedication and affection for the Cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, with its futuristic dystopian mise en scene. Tending to focalise on a high tech but low-life combination, with advanced scientific accomplishments, such as AI, transhumanism and cybernetics, placed in proximity with an element of civil decomposition or extreme shift of social rubric. For Primal Cypher “2084” is representative of a very convoluted scheme. It is an adventure through time, a lens through which to view the narrow and subjective line between heaven on earth and hell. The scope and reasoning of the project is separated from the creative inward eye. Socially pertinent issues, with a momentous effect on us now and undeniably more in the future, with a central focus on humanity and the human condition.
“Let’s face the facts – humanity is currently undergoing massive change. We are entering a new stage of history and many of the past literary or cinematic dystopian representations of potential future visions of our society seem to be partially and increasingly reflected in reality.”
REST IN POWER:
The shocking case of the death of George Floyd (RIP), after being suffocated by police in Minneapolis, pursuant to an arrest for a minor crime. The days of civil unrest that were to follow shocked, saddened and inspired Primal Cypher to create the compelling and striking “RIOT DAYS” collection. Inspiration was taken from the portion of events captured by on lookers on their mobile cameras which virally spread over the net. “The internet as a space that connects us globally and the transparency that comes with it shows us as humans that racism and police violence are still explosive issues”. The solidarity shown by the masses taking to the streets, protesting and demanding recompense for the travesty and ultimately closure for Floyds grieving family was resonant of Rodney King’s maltreatment by police, and then subsequent acquittal of the perpetrators some 28 years before. Demonstrating that no matter how far we believe we have progressed as a socially conscious civilisation things have remained disgracefully constant.
The inspiration for the piece “BITCOIN WILL SAVE US” came after following the plethora of daily footage of the civil unrest in the aftermath of George Floyds untimely, cruel death at the hands of a police force, already in the spotlight for a spate of iniquitous murders of Black Americans. There was a young man in the thick of a group of protestors displaying a sign with the words “Bitcoin will save us”. Primal Cypher was struck by the passive and dignified manner in which he was standing there. The message was clear, Bitcoin is the kind of peaceful objection that can be levied to speak out about fiscal tensions and the unfairness of the manipulated central banking system. It all has a trickle down effect that subtly connects to the whole system.
Crypto currencies are regularly touted as an escape from the contemporary debt driven pecuniary paradigm. They can promise a new modern and decentralised system. Money and therefore power is becoming decentralised and put in control of the many rather than the 1%. Crypto art is a means for both artist and steward to be involved in a common practice of being part of a system that can be seen as disruptive and detrimental to the current state of affairs. To invest emotionlesly has always been a fundamental part of the investment process. This prediliction is different and more difficult to ascribe to investment in art, especially digital. The fervor that is intrinsic to the very nature of art for both artist and collector is an integral part of its value. The essence of NFT art with its inert non fugibility makes the emotion elicited by the artistry central to its value. Primal Cypher attains this impassioned value through the statements he makes, his personal attachment to his work and his clear love of humanity and bold unique style.
Some of his new work including “Awakening III” are available exclusively to EDDA token holders. The native token of the DeFi Bench innovative ecosystem. Token holders with these native NFT assets, in a groundbreaking new yielding system will be able to stake their digital assets to earn more EDDA. Tokens are limited to 5000 and selling out fast, and the one price for all sale (1.25 ETH) ends at the very end of 2020. NFTZine are closely following DeFi Bench as it represents a new archetype for the already booming NFT market and industry. Please keep an eye out on the Zine for an article exploring the company dynamics and ecosystem, including some of the other exclusive NFT craftworks that will be a part of it.
Written by : Benny Steele