NOUNS x NOIR proposal

please note this is a copy-paste of the Google Docs url linked in Nouns Discord:

NOUNS x NOIR

Origin of the Project

To further proliferate Nouns, a NOUNS X NOIR collab for a public art project is proposed. The project entails creating two 4 metre (12 foot) high bronze sculptures that will stand side by side in a major international city. One sculpture shall be of Nouns and the other will be of Noir.

What is it?

The Nouns sculpture will be based on one Noun (tbd which and how). Noir’s sculpture will be a ‘Super Classic Head’ of the kind Noir originated on the Berlin Wall in the 1980s. Noir’s early physical world avatars clandestinely painted on the Wall were a form of political activism through art and represented the people of Berlin at the time. Both Nouns and Noir set out to effect change in the world with their art. From the past to the present, now Nouns and Noir will stand side by side in physical public space in solidarity and friendship.

Both sculptures will be cast at the largest fine art bronze foundry in Europe and patinated using traditional techniques. A suitable permanent and prominent public location will be secured in a major international city and the sculptures will be installed together in dialogue. Because the Nouns and Noir sculptures will be cast in immutable bronze, like the blockchain, they will stand the test of time.

Project Ethos

The collaboration aims to further make Nouns an iconic figure worldwide by creating a bridge from the digital to the physical world. An epic cross over from the crypto native world of Nouns to the realm of outdoor public art alongside Noir.

Scope of the Project

In order to complete the project from origination to installation, we need:

  1. Fabrication of both sculptures
  • Digital design Ξ2
  • Structural engineering Ξ2
  • Modelling phase Ξ12
  • Cast, finish and patinate Ξ100
    Total: Ξ116

Timescale: 8-12 months

The first stage of the fabrication process involves designing the sculptures in CAD before milling full size CNC models of each. Once milled the physical models can be further worked on by hand to create the final forms. The models will then be directly sand cast in pieces, welded back together and finished. The final stage will be to patinate the sculptures. Before physical work starts on the sculptures a structural engineering report is commissioned to ensure that the construction of both is safe and to design the steel subframes that will secure them in place.

  1. Installation
  • Fabrication of steel subframe Ξ7
  • Shipping Ξ15
  • Installation in public Ξ25
    Total: Ξ47*

*assumes installation in New York City

Timescale: 2 weeks

The sculptures will either be installed flush to the ground with the steel subframe secured under the surface or will stand on plinths comprising the steel subframe clad with stone. Cost and production time for either method is equivalent. Once the subframe and sculpture joinings are tested the sculptures will be ready to be shipped to their installation location and installed. This task will be undertaken by specialists in installing public sculptures.

  1. Documentation
  • Documentation of fabrication phase Ξ4
  • Documentation of installation phase Ξ4
  • Editing of video footage and photographic material Ξ4

Total: Ξ12

Timescale: duration of entire project

The entire process of creation at the foundry through to installation shall be documented through film (ground and drone), photography and timelapse. Each stage of traditional bronze casting shall be captured. The story of the project shall be told. The resulting documentary will attract an audience drawn from both the native crypto world and the art world and propagate a crossover between the two worlds.

Total project cost for the three phases:Ξ175

Opportunities

  • Following the installation of the Nouns and Noir public sculptures a pair of smaller one metre versions will be cast in bronze. These will be the only other versions created aside from the public sculptures. The one metre bronzes will then be sold as a pair at Christie’s or Sotheby’s (most likely in excess of the initial project cost) to benefit a Nouns nominated charity and continue the virtuous cycle.

Who is building this:

@thierrynoir#1989 ( discord )
Thierry Noir is a French artist based in Berlin. You can read more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thierry_Noir. Thierry Noir will manage the project in collaboration with the Nouns.

Compensation

The artist is not seeking any compensation for his work, will dedicate a year of studio time to the project and is donating all project management resources. The artist can also add extra funding if needed.

As outlined above Ξ175 is required to execute the project.

The amounts shall be paid upon completion of the project milestones set out in the below schedule:

Funding schedule:

In an effort to remove the uncertainty that crypto price volatility brings to a long-term project such as NOUNS X NOIR, I propose that 100% of the funding be sent to a multi-sig managed by 5 NounsDAO members and converted to a stable coin. In this manner, we can assure the funds will be available as the project progresses to completion.

Upon completion of design, modelling and structural engineering phase Ξ16 ($56.1K USD)

Halfway payment of casting phase Ξ50 ($175.5K USD)

Upon completion of casting phase Ξ50 ($175.5K USD)

Upon completion of installation phase Ξ47 ($165K USD)

Upon publication of documentary materials Ξ12 ($42.1K USD)

5 Likes

I think this is really cool. I am a big fan of using the DAO to do things that bridge Nouns from crypto-native to mainstream, and I think a collaboration with a famous artist is a great way to accomplish that. Look no further than the Pixelated campaign by SaveArtSpace and what it did for Punks.

I can’t comment on the proposed costs since I’m not an expert in this kind of work, but at first glance they appear relatively reasonable and the 175 ETH is just 3% of the treasury today and roughly what 1 Noun has been selling for in the auctions lately.

One last thought - we should verify Thierry Noir on Discord is actually the person he claims to be. I have no reason to suspect he’s not… I’m just a paranoid guy!

1 Like

While I appreciate the spirit of this proposal and find the symbolism very compelling, it feels as though it’s lacking detail around execution, especially given the scale, scope and cost of the project. Before voting in favor of a proposal like this I would personally want to see answers to the following questions:

One sculpture shall be of Nouns and the other will be of Noir.

What are the relative sizes of these sculptures, juxtapositions? How will the relationship between Nouns & Noir be construed?

The Nouns sculpture will be based on one Noun (tbd which and how)

imo this could be prove to be contentious and figuring it out in advance of funding the project is likely important.

Both sculptures will be cast at the largest fine art bronze foundry in Europe and patinated using traditional techniques.

which foundry? are they aware of the project? have they been engaged on any level? is there a cost estimate? what happens if half-way through the project they need 2x the capital to complete it? are we prepared to spend more?

A suitable permanent and prominent public location

this seems like a critical detail. is it in a small park in a small city, or a major public area in a major city? justifying the cost is (on some level) related to the visibility of the end product

The artist is not seeking any compensation for his work, will dedicate a year of studio time to the project and is donating all project management resources

Again, appreciate the spirit of this, but I think we’re not doing diligence if we don’t ask why. What is in it for the artist? Are they being compensated in other ways?

I propose that 100% of the funding be sent to a multi-sig managed by 5 NounsDAO members and converted to a stable coin

do we know who those 5 nounders are? has anyone come forward? what are the tax etc. implications for those individuals?

This is a non-exhaustive list of the questions we should be asking before funding a proposal of this nature.

May I suggest that we instead fund the project in phases? If fabrication actually takes 8-12 months, proposal times don’t meaningfully impact the outcome of the project. Funding a preliminary exploration and then deciding to proceed based on the results of the exploration seems appropriate.

Thanks to Thierry, Cryptoseneca and everyone else who put this forward. It is a very interesting idea!

5 Likes

I am keen to hear all discussion and answers to the points raised here, all seem relevant/important to me to be worked out. Thanks 4156.

On which noun?
I agree this needs to be considered carefully. I’ll just start things off:

–Idea 1: Generate a noun specifically for this project from the playground that is not any of the heads currently on chain. Maybe a non-chain noun is less appealing to some, but I’m not sure it bothers me. One day a noun similar or the same may appear, it might therefore fetch a premium, this is kind of exciting to me.

–Idea 2: Noun owners could bid on the chance to be this noun, could this some how count towards to budget of the project / subsidize the nounsDAO’s cost?

–Idea 3: Randomized number picker (up to number of current existing nouns) rolls on the same block that the proposal is approved and the winner is the statue.

1 Like

This may not be very practical but I love the idea of having all the people affected by the sculpture ( shops, residents, municipality) to use the nouns playground and propose what noun to use.

Depending on the location there may be very good symbolic reasons to use a nouns instead of another.

1 Like

It seems strange to me that The Noun Project would choose such an old-world way of representing themselves, especially this early on. To many, statues (which is essentially what this is) represent privilege, colonialism, and empire and are often just understood as artefacts of the past that should be toppled.

To spend that much on a bronze sculpture, especially as a first public community project could create an image of privilege and exclusivity. A pixelated Bull of Wall Street. It smells reallt wrong.

I think there is a possibility that this could backfire quite badly and in my opinion, is about as far away from representing how the Noun Project should be perceived. 116ETH is a lot of money and in my view should be rallied around a project that educates and informs rather than stands as a vanity ‘look what we can do with all out money’ project, which I think is how it will most probably be perceived by many.

2 Likes

I’m really into Idea #1 and Idea #2.

Another idea- we could designate an arbitrary noun # as the sculpture Noun. (Ex. #42 or #99). This will give people who are interested in Nouns a chance at an extra special Noun.

1 Like

Interesting that this is the way you saw this proposal. I appreciate absorbing the different point of view and will entertain this idea entirely. But here is my personal take:

I think referring to it as a statue instead of a sculpture is partly a framing thing that you’ve either purposely or not latched onto… When you refer to all the things that go along with it (like privilege and colonialism) do you also apply that to all artistic sculpture works? I find this a bit strange and limiting. I guess the bronze factor is a “look” that is more closely associated with that form but i’m still not really sure I buy that as a problem, nor am I comfortable with the idea that because icons of injustice were created with a certain material/form that it is now off limits as a form of expression lest it be construed as associated with them. :thinking: Is the bronze the issue? I am curious. I had wondered why not a colour sculpture myself –given it’s powerful use in both Theirry Noir and the nouns artwork– but I did not feel it was really anyones place to try and micromanage the artist’s vision.

I never saw this as nouns projecting an image of privilege and exclusivity, I saw it more as Nouns being represented in an accessible (public space), loud (bold), and powerful (large) project to behold, transformed through traditional artistic medium to say: Nouns are art.

However, the fact that you saw it this way means obviously it can and probably will strike that chord with others. This is just my gut take on your comment. Curious to hear the discussion continue from others.

Keen to also hear more from yourself of course.

1 Like

A statue of a noun in Tokyo, in the right area (omotesando or nakameguro, or in say the old meat packing district in nyc, in the context of art vs a statue of a historical figure with negative aspects as described, could have the impact and make sense / have positive impact on nouns, in the way the giant Kaws statues in specific neighborhoods in Korea are made to grow awareness for the visiting tourists from mainland China who are seeking out new art and pop culture.
But I agree with 4156 and the concerns raised.

My friend made a giant bronze statue for the flagship Starbucks in nyc back in 2019 and from foundry to install lost his fee and then some due to unforeseen costs, and that was with most of these questions answered.

I think a fiberglass noun made in Korea for an indoor exhibition at COEX in Seoul could have the positive impact of the above without much of the costs. I feel like a more permanent statue should come once nouns is more ubiquitous with normie pop culture, but if, for example, the foundation of Gramercy park in nyc or the people responsible for installations at rockafeller center are all in, I would say worth it.

(Murakami first became known to New Yorkers via his giant installations outside the today show at Rockefeller , which at that point that space had not really been used by such artists and had great impact at a time when every other artist was putting stickers all over soho)

I would ask does nouns need a statue… isn’t nouns already a monument of this new world.
Time magazine is not anointing Cool Cats a certain level of status… Time
Magazine is trying to survive.

2 Likes

Thanks for you for your reply and I completly understand your responce, I hope I didn’t cause offence but felt the need to discuss.

I think it was actually a gut reaction initially, probably prompted by the nature of bronze and teh publci space but also the growing symbolisim of statues being toppled and removed from public places over recent years.

I understand the sculpture/statue arguement, but the nature of such a bold move, irrespective of it’s definition, I think could be misconstrued the the wider community, especially at this early stage. I guess that was the point I was making rather than my own opinion.

Of course it hasn’t escaped me that it’s extraordinary to be able to even have this conversation about such a truly bold idea. As with many things at the moment, it requires stepping back a few paces just to take in the wonder.

1 Like

4156 has really important questions here. I can understand how there might be concerns about a statue being installed at a time when statues of other figures through history are being taken down,

Although a sculpture of nouns riding a horse in a similar pose could be seen as a victory and nice replacement?… but I do not think that’s what’s being proposed here.

I would say Tokyo Seoul or New York City where sculptures are understood as art I assume there would not be that connection.

4156 other points are very important.
There’s going to be a considerable cost and effort in securing the enthusiasm and permission and all related in the place of installation… and that point of installation should be a point of potential for high culture impact.

Kaws Did not just put his modified ad posters back into random bus stops and pay phones… he picked bus stops and pay phones on certain corners well aware of who was passing those posters on their way to work. (execs from Condé Nast or Ogilvy and Mather etc)

2 Likes

I like the proposal, but then I like Thierry Noirs art in general which in my mind was originally aligned to an expression of freedom and liberty with the fall of the Berlin wall.

Saying statues represent privilege, colonialism and empire as a sweeping statement is a very odd perspective to take and even then, is this even a statue? I don’t particularly want to get into a debate about the relative merits of all statues and their relationship with oppression but did want to counter the original viewpoint expressed.

In my opinion, the location and noun used would need to be carefully considered and local community involvement would be a nice thing.

I think some of the document has been updated to answer some of the very good and considered questions.

Look forward to seeing how this and the other proposals proceed.

Good luck all!

1 Like

I too love the idea of this project and collaboration.

I am new to the world of NFT but have gently eased myself into having an open mind into how it works and what it is that attracts people to owning NFTs

I feel that the joint venture of Noir/noun complement each other perfectly. I have no objection to the sculptures which is how I visualise them.

The costs that I see in the proposal seem to in the ballpark of where I would expect them to be I also understand that these will not be fixed costs and may be subject to change. A Contingency costs section could possibly be added to the proposal.

I live in a city that adopted the concept of ‘peace and reconciliation’ and is the current UK City of Culture.

Culture means different things to different people but there is no ambiguity in the definition of peace and reconciliation. This project is going to throw up some curve balls and there are going to be disagreements along the way. Principally though if the majority of people believe that the amalgamation of NFTs and original art can marry together to broaden people’s horizons of both worlds than I can only see that as a good thing.

I like TokyoSexWhale respect all opinions that have been made here and take onboard everybody’s concerns.

I am happy to help this project come to fruition in whatever way I can. Public art helps people in so many ways this DAO has longevity well beyond the initial proposal.

I hope that together we can help find a way to make it work.

1 Like

Good to see some discussion around the proposal and get a chance to understand other’s opinions.

I can’t help thinking that living in London, where you can’t walk 100m without some brass rendered mass murderer glaring down at you, may have coloured my opinion. I expect if I had lived in NYC, Berlin to Tokyo I may well have a differen opinion. Maybe it’s the brass I have a an issue with?

I look forward to seeing how the project develops. Have a good day

2 Likes

I’m interested in what people think about a location not only from a logistics and acceptance standpoint, but also what it would mean by placing it there.

The proposal suggests that the project would take on a social justice theme. Would it be trying to convey that based on the context of the location? Thierry’s work in Berlin was clandestine for a reason - if you are trying to effect social change somewhere through art, chances are the powers that be will not accept it. Those who do, on the other hand, are probably open-minded about social freedoms to begin with.

I wonder if the connecting thread for the two collaborators Is more about identity and how we are able to represent ourselves in the real world?

Very cool project and happy to watch its progress!

1 Like

All and all, a very interesting idea, but I think one that needs careful thoughts and planning.
The question of a DAO executing a built work is really interesting to me and I think we should challenge the old way to do things.

1/ First we need a defined location and that might be a proposal in itself: acquire the spot where the statue will be, if it is a permanent work. The size of the statue should be in relation to its context (legal, morphological, environmental).
2/ Is it a permanent installation? Or would it be more interesting to create a “flatpack” composite design that can travel around the world in a few containers to be showcased at different exhibits? I think the second option is more interesting.
3/ Should it be a collaboration with a single artist or should it be a true collective work? I would be very interested to build an interface where we can collectively sculpt a proposal, and agree on the outcome in a concurrent virtual environment first.

My expertise in the AEC industry is to create concurrent 3D/4D digital models first, not just as a representation of the project, but as a database that contains both geometry and data (fabrication sheets, providers, fireproofing information, materials, dimensions etc) and as a sequence of construction. It is called “Building Information Modeling” and it helps mitigate risks when it comes to construction. I have worked on a lot of complex buildings with this and I would strongly advise using something similar. Validate the virtual model first and move to construction after.

I would not rush this idea. It’s a good one that needs to mature.

2 Likes

As a SharkDAO member who wants to see Nouns brought into the physical world, this is my favorite proposal brought to NounsDAO thus far. I want to point out that Thierry has gone through the feedback presented in the Nouns community and has since updated their proposal. I would encourage everyone to give it a re-read, and perhaps the OP of this thread needs to be updated?


Here are some questions found in this thread which I believe have been answered by the updated proposal:

From @4156

What are the relative sizes of these sculptures, juxtapositions? How will the relationship between Nouns & Noir be construed?

In Proposal:

  • The project entails creating two 4 metre (12 foot) high bronze sculptures that will stand side by side in a major international city.
  • Additionally, the artist has described the intent of the relationship in the “Art” section.

which foundry? are they aware of the project? have they been engaged on any level? is there a cost estimate?

In Proposal:

  • There is now a dedicated section “Project management and fabricators” that has details about the foundry, Pangolin Editions, as well as the other main organization that would be involved, MTEC.

is it in a small park in a small city, or a major public area in a major city? justifying the cost is (on some level) related to the visibility of the end product

In Proposal:

  • There is now a dedicated section “Public location” which has added more detail into the location selection process.
  • " A major public area within the selected city is also essential to the legacy of the project. A public park or square will be the desired location."

What is in it for the artist? Are they being compensated in other ways?

In Proposal:

  • In the section of the proposal “Compensation” there is expanded detail into why the artist is interested in participating in this collaboration despite not being directly compensated.

I propose that 100% of the funding be sent to a multi-sig managed by 5 NounsDAO members and converted to a stable coin

do we know who those 5 nounders are? has anyone come forward? what are the tax etc. implications for those individuals?

In Proposal:

  • This has been updated to being a multisig between the entire group of Nounders instead.
  • There are now two funding structures suggested. The Alternative Funding structure involves direct ETH payments from the NounsDAO and no prior conversion to stable coins. Presumably this would have different tax implications?

From @Coralorca

Is it a permanent installation?

  • “A 99 year lease (based on a standard form public art precedent) of the sculptures will be granted to the location.”

Key Issues:

Selecting the Noun:

The artist intends for the NounsDAO to select the sculpture, which means that the DAO has to decide on a fair method. I think it would be very simple to propose a few different methods of Noun selection and take that to a separate proposal if NOUNS x NOIR is passed. I am a fan of what both @goldy.mov and @dropnerd have suggested as potential selection methods.


Location:

Simply put, I trust the artist in regards to this decision. It’s obviously in their best interest to find a prominent location as well, and they have made that intent clear with the proposal (see: Public location). I think the artist’s past works speak to their capability at finding compelling locations for their art.

Value of Proposal

The NounsDAO is paying 175 ETH for…

  • Public sculptures + a pair of mini sculptures
  • A documentary of the production of the works
  • A donation to a Nouns nominated charity generated from the Christie’s or Sotheby’s sale of the mini sculptures.

Also, all of the marketing towards NounsDAO from this effort:

  • Advertisement towards NounsDAO in a heavily populated city for 99 years. We’ll be well into 5 digit Nouns before these sculptures are supposed to be taken down!
  • Exposure for Nouns into the art world from any publications which cover NOUNS x NOIR
  • Exposure from Christie’s or Sotheby’s when they auction the mini sculptures

Risk

I think it’s important to note that the updated proposal has the following disclaimer

Important note: should the outcome of the design process be deemed unsuccessful from a collaborative, aesthetic or other standpoint the project can be halted by the NounsDAO at this point with no further funding.

With a proposed design budget of 2 ETH, this seems to be a very low-risk initial preliminary exploration.


TL;DR

I find this proposal to be extremely compelling and highly beneficial to the NounsDAO. The updated proposal seemingly addresses the majority of concerns brought forward and I would be interested in hearing from other NounsDAO members if they still have reservations about what is being brought forward.

2 Likes

I’m a big fan of the idea and digital art moving into a physical space. I’m not a fan of getting bogged down in the details as it really looks like people know what they are doing here.

For example it is a BIG tick to use Pangolin Editions - the bronze ‘Holding Hands Stik’ is a personal favourite. Take a look at their portfolio - stunning. Best of luck everybody.

3 Likes

Hey @Sasquatch, thanks so much for summarizing the updates and relaying them on Discourse. I’m absolutely in favor of moving ahead if we can make proposals phase-specific. Just chatting with Thierry on Discord and it sounds like he is in agreement. 2ETH is a ‘no brainer’ for moving this project ahead and seeing what we can learn about execution. Thierry and I also discussed creating a ‘working group’ for the project so that he does not have to converse with the whole DAO. I’ll make a #noir channel in Nouns Discord now and we can get organized.

edit: see #project-noir in Nouns Discord

3 Likes

+1 on the work group idea!