IMN #15 — ᗩᒪᎧTTᗩ ᗰᎧᑎEY❂

Saint Nakamoto by ᗩᒪᎧTTᗩ ᗰᎧᑎEY❂

It's Monday Night #15

Tonight, let’s share thoughts about @money_alotta’s work: how a journey to the end of the absurd becomes a spiritual cyber-pilgrimage in the most remote territories of web3.

I shall speak in the present tense because a legend never dies.

In the cryptoart world, @alotta_money is a pioneer & explorer who is both patient & prolific: on the one hand, he ventures where no one has gone before & invites you to follow him; on the other, when you think you've joined him, you realize he's already branched off ten times.

He can use anything as fuel. Why is that? Because he is not looking for a masterpiece, he is looking for combustion. He picks up anything he can get his hands on and lights big bonfires everywhere: a Caravaggio, a banknote, a random gif, a meme, etc.

His aim is not to quote or wink eruditely, but to break into the iconographic culture of his time and disrupt its forms. Nothing is more alien to his art work than a sanctimonious or grandstanding attitude.

Like many artists, he is not a scholar, but a DJ: he produces remixes and makes you hear in a different way the melodies you thought you knew by heart.

He brings together what was separate; he animates what was frozen; he opens what was closed; he makes lame what was straight.

I say DJ because @money_alotta works on visual loops & makes you feel like you are dancing with your eyes when he gets behind the decks.

I don't know about you, but in preparing this tribute I was often surprised to realize that his works were actually not accompanied by music.

The figure that I think @money_alotta is obsessed with is that of reversal.

Things always end up upside down: the unfolding of one image makes another appear which, in turn, returns to the first.

It is a very old figure, haunting Western thought since Greek antiquity: how can the flow of things unite opposites? It is the ceaseless becoming of forms that pass into one another, the one becomes multiple before coming together again, and so on.

It is no coincidence that philosophy has defined itself as a discourse that makes it possible to distinguish between opposites and to escape from contradiction.

There is nothing more foreign to @money_alotta's work, which seeks not so much to overcome contradiction as to inhabit, through his art, the great swing of beings.

If I had to place @money_alotta in a thought tradition, I would put it more on the side of the little Taoist tale, somewhere between clowning and spiritual facetiousness.

He can see that it's a mess, but he's not trying to tidy up his room: he's using this mess as material for his collages, his montages, his jokes, and if you don't think it's funny, he'll still laugh at the face you'll make when you see his work.

The visual equivalent of reversal is anamorphosis: an image that changes as the viewer moves through space.

But @money_alotta proposes anamorphoses in which the viewer is immobile, in front of their computer.

It's as if his animations were looking at you from two places at the same time and that the little dizziness you feel comes from this doubling by which the image envelops you.

These are hopeless jokes, but they are not desperate humor. Certainly, the search for meaning leads to nothing: thought always finds a way to oppose itself to make absurd what it has succeeded in thinking.

The cyberdelic jokes of @money_alotta are the allegory of all this nonsense: the deeper you go, the deeper the hole; beings are Russian dolls, they contain another doll and a lot of emptiness; the more you try to embrace life the more you find death.

I find that he approaches these metaphysical clichés with great finesse and accuracy: he approaches the essential questions by distracting or, rather, by pretending to distract, while he is actually approaching the essential questions.

There is a great revolt, a great protest of life against an absurdity with which we must deal, and at the same time a taste for play, a punk appetite for destruction and an assumed desire for irreverence.

Profaning the sacred, sacralizing the profane, that is the program.

We will not admit icons on earth again until they have become a common good, as vulgar, as serious as a toy.

And @money_alotta pokes fun at our need to see things differently and shows us that, even if we saw them differently, nothing would change.

To the point of saturation, his work takes the side of a real waltz of signs: he looks for the passages, the rhythms, the symbols that emerge and that will be able to tear us away from our nostalgia for the lost paradise.

There is no "recovered truth" in his work, it is only through a burst of laughter that one understands that one has just regained a little meaning.

Thank you, sir.

9:11 PM (CET), Monday, March 7th, 2022 — Collector: trevorjonesart