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Block 21
(42.36433° N, -71.26189° E)

The first publicly available work from Portraits of a Mind
October 7th, 2020.
Christie’s New York.
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ON 21

Portraits of a Mind is a landmark addition to both Bitcoin’s cultural history as well as art history itself. One of the most important historical documents of our time, Satoshi’s codebase has now been immortalised in art history.”

MATTHEW ROSZAK
Collector
ON 21

“This will be a landmark moment for Bitcoin’s culture to see Satoshi’s historic codebase exhibited on the global stage“

Monica Younsoo Chung
KoreaITTimes
BLOCK 21  (24.9472° N, 118.5979° E)
2019
ARTWORK ADDRESS
1KQABBun1iixbMcFnQM5d7vrxbcKY3YqqT
DATA
24k gold leaf, suspended pigment, acrylic and canvas laid down on panel
1/1 Unique NFT (Non-Fungible Token)
Opendime hardware key attached to the reverse
signed and dated ‘R. ALICE 2019’ verso
128.5 cm (50.59 in) diameter
BLOCK HEIGHT AT TIME OF COMPLETION
566,735      2019-03-12 10:38
CODEBASE SECTION
6,763,009 - 7,085,056
ON 21

“I wanted to pick something that would [be] similar to existing currencies, but without knowing the future, that’s very hard. I ended up picking something in the middle. If you imagine it being used for some fraction of world commerce, then there’s only going to be 21 million coins for the whole world”

SATOSHI NAKAMOTO
Email correspondence with Mike Hearn Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 10:44 PM
Notes on Block 21
42.36433° N, -71.26189° E

Brandeis University, MA
1890

“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.”
Louis Brandeis

An individual rights to privacy is one of the major political pillars upon which Bitcoin was built.  Moulded by libertarian rhetoric, refined in purpose by the Cypherpunks, the idea of the internet as a forum for anonymous and pseudonymous life had in the years leading up to 2008 been placed in significant jeopardy. Following on from September 11 attacks, governments globally increased their invasion of their citizen’s private lives to a scale never before seen, culmination in 2007 with the development of PRISM.  It was against this invasion of privacy that Satoshi wrote, “we can win a major battle in the [political] arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.”

Nearly a century earlier in 1928, Walter Brandeis sat across the US Supreme Court and envisaged with prophetic accuracy the future Satoshi would go on to inherit - proclaiming that the “progress of science in furnishing the Government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping”. Author of the seminal text on privacy, ‘The Right to Privacy’ in 1890, Brandeis laid the legal and conceptual groundwork for the our modern conception of privacy. Throughout his life, Brandeis railed against encroaching government, corporate monopolies and public corruption. He was in the words of Professor Steve Whitfield, “the single most import figure in the history of the concept of privacy”.

An advocate for financial decentralisation and the opposition of the financial class, he published another prescient and seminal text ‘Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It’, again forewarning the excesses of a too big to fail banking system.

In all of this, Brandeis encapsulates the spirit of Nakamoto almost a century before their birth.
LAUNCH AT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK
From 1st - 7th October, Block 21 will be exhibited at Christie’s New York before becoming the first work from the series to be made publicly available for sale.

The decision to release the project via auction rather than through the traditional gallery exhibition model was threefold. Firstly, the auction process is a much more democratic form of decentralisation, opening itself up to the participation of anybody. Secondly, the market dynamics of auction speak directly to the value discovery of Bitcoin itself.
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