v.0 24 March 2021
Kanon appreciates your patience as we collectively respond to our communities. We use this FAQ to continuously gather, consolidate, and update the recurring questions we receive. The best forum for submitting questions is through @KanonDotArt on Twitter or by emailing [email protected] for general inquiries and [email protected] for press inquiries. How will K21 as a project unfold? K21 itself is not a project. It is a token that represents partial ownership of a collection of 21 artworks. When all K21 artworks are completed, they will be added to a smart contract vault and then the vault will be sealed. At that point, no other artworks will be added to the K21 collection.
Separately, we at Kanon are building a number of products and protocols on top of the K21 token.
These products include a gallery that displays the works and provides rich contextualization in other online formats. We are also finalizing the first version of the KSPEC open source standard to ensure that key information is burned directly into the blockchain for all the works before they enter the vault. We are also developing the ability to mint XNFTs – serial NFT artworks by collection artists that extend their unique original works – as well as liquidity mining that may potentially make use of the XNFTs.
Note that we have chosen to develop products for the K21 token because we believe it will add to its value, however there is nothing that precludes any other party with an interest in enhancing the value of the K21 token from also developing applications that make use of the token.
Why does Kanon operate anonymously? This is common for developers in crypto but not curators in the art world. Kanon sits at the intersection of two distinct cultures – crypto and art – where the rules have yet to be established. We seek to bring the best of both to our ventures. Many of the most impactful crypto projects were helmed by anonymous inventors and teams, beginning with Satoshi Nakamoto. Because the blockchain bakes the rules directly into the code for all to see, projects should not live or die by the charisma of their founders but by the value of the infrastructure they provide. The identities and achievements of the originators are irrelevant. In this sense, unlike many other art world-based projects like biennales, we aim for the concept to lead the narrative, not the identity or cv of the curator. K21 will foreground the artists’ works and the causes they choose to support, letting artists direct the way the value derived from their NFT is distributed. We stand by the quality of the products we make and the impact they have, not by personal recognition in the art- or cryptospheres. The intergenerational and diverse list of artists participating in K21 not only reflects our values but also the diversity of our team. Kanon’s founders include women, people of color, and people Indigenous to lands currently under regimes of settlement. By remaining anonymous we de-center ourselves in favor of the artists we admire and the technology we are building for them to experiment with a new medium. This may be foreign to art world conventions, but it was the norm online in the pre-Facebook era.
Why are you not showing the work yet? We are releasing the K21 artworks as they are completed. You can view the artworks that have been released to date in our online gallery.
Why do you need to lock the collection away in a sealed vault? Isn’t the point of NFT art that it is available for all to enjoy? We are using a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain known as a ‘vault’ to bundle the NFTs together in order to allow for the fractionalization of ownership through the K21 token. Only the ERC-721 NFT tokens representing ownership of the works will be sealed into the vault. As with any NFT, the digital files of the artworks will be freely available for anyone to view and interact with on the Internet. As the K21.kanon.art website evolves, the artworks in the collection and the XNFT artworks will be featured in various ways for all to see and experience.
Are 21 digital artworks really worth $100m? The market cap of the K21 token is not the sum value of the artworks themselves. What is being valued is the system as a whole and the potential it harbors. We hope to show at each step that we are bringing sophistication and integrity to the intersection of art, technology, and finance, through a forward-looking project that will continue to grow and evolve. As with any crypto project, the early days of price discovery can take the form of wild swings. One reason Kanon brought institutional purchasers into the presale is because such investors take a long term view and are not quick to sell off their allocation, helping to dampen the early swings. As more features are built and the artworks are released, investors will have more data to make informed decisions and the price will be a more accurate reflection of the value of K21 as a whole. It will take months to know this with any conviction, and by then it will be clear that the artworks are part of a much broader value system. As Isabelle Graw writes of the value of art in High Price, “No expression of price will be adequate, since the peculiarity of symbolic value lies in the impossibility of measuring it.” K21 is a pure expression of this idea.
What will happen to the K21 collection if the on-chain auction never materializes, based on the veto bids from current token holders? The 21 artworks will remain in the collective possession of the K21 token holders indefinitely. Fees from the minting of XNFTs (additional serial NFT artworks by the same artists that extend those in the vault) will continue to accrue to artists and be used to increase the value of K21 (more details on this TBA). Kanon’s KSPEC NFT standard aims to support the creation of works that can last 100 years and beyond. Even in the absence of a kanon.art website in the distant future, the works will remain accessible on-chain as long as the Ethereum blockchain is operational. Some artists may also elect to allow for their NFTs to be migrated onto other chains through the KSPEC protocol to ensure they outlast the particular Ethereum blockchain itself.
How would you characterize your artist list? K21 introduces a new approach to bringing artists and artworks together. It is unencumbered by traditional categories or expectations, but introduces novel curatorial challenges. For our first collection, we wanted a diverse roster, not only in terms of identity, but also in terms of approach, medium, and visibility. Because the value of the K21 token will be visible to all, if this collection were monolithic – say, all “blue chip,” or “emerging,” or “cryptonative” artists, or any of the other labels that curators and critics wield – then the token price would be an index of a particular category of art. A diversified collection can best insulate the artworks and artists in the collection from the inevitable swings in the value of their work should they continue to make NFTs in a way that puts price tags into public view. We believe this provides space for artists to be more experimental and push the limits of format. It also allows artists that typically show and sell in vastly different environments to come together in a mutually reinforcing way.
Is the list of 21 artists finalised?
Kanon has entered into arrangements with each of the artists listed on the k21.kanon.art website. Each of these artists has agreed to provide an artwork to the K21 collection.
Until the artworks are transferred into the K21 Safe, unforeseen circumstances could require changes to the list.
Please visit K21.kanon.art for the latest list of artists and visit the Updates section of the K21 docs to stay up to date.
Are artists making new work specifically for K21 or did the work exist prior to it? Many of the artists are making new work commissioned specifically for K21 and NFTs as a medium. Some of the works are pre-existing, but their ownership is being minted onto the blockchain for the first time.
Are the works in the K21 collection unique? All works are 1/1 unique; they are not editions. XNFTs are specifically developed by Kanon to extend these unique originals with related serial NFT-based artworks that anyone can purchase and mint. Some XNFTs will be editioned works, others will be iterative.
What is the relationship between the artists and K21?
K21 is acquiring 21 artworks from a group of pivotal artists in exchange for a combination of cash equivalents and K21 tokens.
Once those works have been included in the K21 Safe, the commercial arrangement with each of the artists is completed.
As such, the relationship between Kanon and each of the artists is the same as any other relationship between an artist and a collector of art.
Why are the artists receiving K21 tokens?
The design of the K21 Vault and Buyout contracts will result in the artists failing to receive a royalty on secondary sales in the event that a buyout of the collection is successful.
In order to compensate for this foregone royalty, Kanon offered to include K21 tokens as consideration paid for each artwork.
What does the X stand for in XNFT? XNFTs extend the original work both in concept and in format. Depending on the artists’ wishes, these may take the form of image, video, 3D, sound, or text, but also VR and AR objects or environments. The X stands for the vast potential of this design space, a catch all for arNFTs, vrNFTs, xrNFTs, and whatever else our artists may develop.
How does Kanon address the environmental impact and ecological cost of the crypto art industry? We are conscious about the carbon footprint of the Ethereum network in its current Proof-of-Work iteration. For K21, Kanon has chosen to work in partnership with Art into Acres, an organization that works with the art industry to permanently preserve old growth forest, sequestering carbon that has been in the ground for tens of millions of years and preserving the best known technology for taking it out of the atmosphere. K21’s contribution will amount to permanently preserving well over 21,000 acres of old growth forest in Latin America. Read more about Arts into Acres in this interview.
The question of NFTs and their CO2 footprint is a complicated one. This article by artist Sterling Crispin is highly recommended.
Who speaks for Kanon? The only official Kanon and K21 channels are @KanonDotArt on Twitter and Instagram, the Kanon Medium blog, the kanon.art web properties, and the [email protected] email account. Press inquiries are being fielded by Anja Kaehny of Bureau A+ through [email protected] The Discord admins are volunteer members of the wider Kanon community who act as intermediaries to provide timely answers to key questions while the core team focuses on building.
What was the issue price of K21 tokens?
Prior to launch, K21 tokens were issued to various parties, including investors, artists and collaborators, at a price of 12.4 cents each.
On 21 March 2021, 172 ETH, valued in total at approximately $310,000 at the time (based on the average opening and closing ETH price of $1,803 according to Coingecko.com), was combined with 2,500,000 K21 tokens to create the initial K21 Genesis BPT liquidity tokens.
The implied initial K21 price at the time of the creation of the K21 Genesis BPT liquidity tokens was $310,000 ÷ 2,500,000 = 12.4 cents.
The inputs for calculating this implied initial 12.4 cent price can be verified in this Ethereum transaction.