“All technologies are tools and it depends on how the tool is wielded.”
Initially launched by an anonymous “White Male Artist,” $HT Coin was eventually revealed to have been created by Cassils — a Guggenheim Award-winning, transgender, Canadian-American performance artist. The project is a complex questioning of how art engages with consumption, and particularly NFTs. In the project, Cassils ate a series of meals based on the diets of the most financially successful white male artists. They then pooped into tin cans and put those cans on display at 432 Park Avenue from July 26 to 30. Over a 24-hour period, from July 29 to July 30, Cassils auctioned off the five cans on the Ethereum blockchain through an online-only auction for Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Cassils themself.
The cans are very much real, but were sold with accompanying NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are data stored on the blockchain that can represent anything from a photo to a song to, yes, a tin can of shit. The starting bid for each can was set at the weight of gold, roughly $1,800, in reference to Piero Manzoni’s famous piece, Merda D’Artista (Artist’s Shit).