Who is Alex Ramírez-Mallis? Brooklyn artist sells FART audio clips for nearly $200 as NFT cryptocurrency
Quarantine had us doing strange things, but not as strange as one Brooklyn artist. A 36-year-old man is selling audio recordings of his farts as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of cryptocurrency. The clips are available in a file named 'One Calendar Year of Recorded Farts,'to clarify in case anyone has any confusion about what they are buying. One file is currently up for auction, but you'll have to do better than the $196 reserve price.
NTFs are a type of cryptocurrency that is a unit of data, usually a unique piece of creative work. Since each piece is unique, they tend to have a higher value since they are not interchangeable. Increasingly, they have been gaining popularity to commodify digital creations like art, with artists turning to crypto to make money as incomes have taken a hit due to the pandemic.
Other prominent NFTs sold recently include 'When You See Yourself', the latest album from Kings of Leon and a highlights package sold by the NBA. We've seen digital art, and in-game assets as well. But this is definitely something we've never heard of before. Who's the mastermind behind this crazy idea you ask? Meet Alex Ramírez-Mallis.
Who is Alex Ramírez-Mallis?
Alex is a filmmaker, DJ, producer and editor. He's currently based in Brooklyn. Alex has directed and produced a variety of short films and documentaries like 'Raising Baby Grey', 'Crescendo!', 'Billy Star' and 'America Is My Home'. The films have been selected for multiple film festivals, and 'Crescendo!' even debuted at Tribeca 2020.
Alex has an MA in intergrated media arts from Hunter College, one of New York's most prominent public colleges. He is also an active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and the Meerkat Media Collective. He has also won several awards, including a 2014 Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for his documentary 'After Trayvon'. Alex is also a DJ with Pleasure Jams.
So why farts? "If people are selling digital art and GIFs, why not sell farts?” he told The New York Post. According to the Post, the project began in March 2020 at the start of the lockdown. He and some friends began sharing recordings of their farts on a WhatsApp group. Selling the weird collection was a recent idea, inspired by the increased adoption of NFTs. “The NFT craze is absurd — this idea of putting a value on something inherently intangible,” he told The Post.
What's the deal with NFTs?
Thanks to the lockdown, artists have lost millions due to closures of galleries, museums and live performance venues. Looking for other ways to make money, many turned to digital performances and live streams. NFTs have emerged as a valuable option since they are unique. If you own an NFT-based artwork, you can be sure no one else does. It's like owning a rare painting by Da Vinci, but only digitally. If you own an NFT, you own the original and ownership over that particular work of art.
NFTs have skyrocketed in recent months. Musician Grimes sold 10 pieces of art for $6 million on March 1. A 'Gucci Ghost' is on sale for $16,300. Digital artist Beeple sold an NFT work for $69 million. So as you can see, it's a very lucrative market. “I’m hoping these NFT farts can at once critique [the absurdity], make people laugh and make me rich,” Alex said. At the rate they are selling, is sure looks like it!
'Prosperity under Biden' jokes Twitter
News of the unique sale has made its way to social media, with many finding it absurd and hilarious that one could make a living from selling recordings of farts. "This is prosperity under Biden" one user tweeted. Another asked, "You mean im missing out on $8500 a day?" Another said, "If an alien lands on earth today, let this be the only tweet they read. This is what I want the universe to think of earthlings". Replying to someone's tweet to stop, another user tweeted "You can't spell fart without art, Garvey"
This is prosperity under Biden— DadBrady-UgChump-GulagBound (@trumpgender) March 18, 2021
You mean im missing out on $8500 a day?— Boyar Dee (@whatyamaking) March 18, 2021
If an alien lands on earth today, let this be the only tweet they read. This is what I want the universe to think of earthlings https://t.co/pZZ4C9DoZM— Kirsten Fleming (@KirFlem) March 18, 2021
You can't spell fart without art, Garvey— Kirsten Fleming (@KirFlem) March 18, 2021
Interestingly, Alex isn't the only one cashing in on the craze. Another NFT on OpenSea is available selling 52 recordings of farts. If you wanted to really jump in on the trend, check it out.