Over the years, “when Lambo” has become a common saying in the crypto community. Seemingly, it stems from a 2014 event in which a crypto trader purchased a Lamborghini Gallardo with money they earned from Bitcoin speculation. Today, “when Lambo” is used by members of the crypto community as a way of ironically asking, “when are the rest of us going to get rich?”
Shl0ms is a prominent NFT artist, and as far as they are concerned, the question should be retired, as it signifies everything that is wrong with crypto. “Call me a curmudgeon, but I see the ‘when Lambo’ meme as representing the short-sighted view of crypto purely as an instrument of self-enrichment,” Shl0ms said to nft now in an interview. “I fear this attitude, left unchecked, may lead this industry down a dark path and preclude us from fully exploring the more positive-sum things we can create,” they continued.
Instead of “when Lambo,” Shl0ms asserts that a slightly better question is “where Lambo.” The answer? All over the place.
The pseudonymous artist has blown up Lamborogini Huracan, which cost some $250,000, as part of their forthcoming NFT drop, which is fittingly called “$CAR.
Transforming a Lamborghini into art
Shl0ms argues that, through destruction, they have achieved meaningful creation. How?
999 fragments of the car were meticulously categorized, documented, and filmed in rotating videos. These videos were subsequently transformed into NFT art pieces. By destroying the stereotypical object of desire of many within the crypto space and transforming it into art, Shl0ms asserts that they are both creating fine art and delivering a smoldering critique of the zero-sum, extractive practice common in crypto communities and industries.
In this respect, Shl0ms notes that the purpose of the project is to, first, force people to question the emphasis that is placed on financial gain and, second, encourage people to refocus on using blockchain technology for broader societal value rather than self-enrichment.
“I think the best way to demonstrate the transformative potential of [NFT] technology to skeptics is to provide compelling, clear examples of it being used for primarily non-financial goals. Art is an incredibly powerful tool in that regard,” Shl0ms said. “I think bad-faith attacks on NFTs are reaching a fever pitch, and another hope is that we all figure out more effective ways of engaging critics while demonstrating the potential for good,” they continued.
That said, it must be acknowledged that Shl0ms is a prominent artist in the NFT community. As such, this project is likely to bring in somewhere between 0.5 to 1 Ether for each NFT. That means the earnings could be between $1.12 million and $2.24 million, which is quite the profit. Additionally, the artist previously brought in more than $500,000 from their $FNTN collection and has had several other collections that brought in tens of thousands of dollars.
Then again, the money could be put to useful and beneficial purposes.
$CAR is linked to OBELISK, Shl0ms’ newly formed, obscure art organization. Although the purpose of the organization has yet to be revealed, Shl0ms says they hope for the endeavor to serve as a beacon within the crypto community and a “strikingly positive example” to those on the outside of crypto and NFTs.
In any case, this innovative new drop brings to light the duality of Shl0ms. While the anonymous artist can often come across as a supreme contrarian on social media (to put it mildly), they are an irrefutably unique and innovative artist. With the aim to push boundaries and challenge perceptions of what constitutes art, Shl0ms’ $CAR collection echoes the artist’s previous efforts towards fractionalization and the democratization of NFT collections.
“My previous drop $FNTN had a similar motivation. I don’t believe in making multiple editions of NFTs, so it was a way to create a larger amount of 1/1s,” Shl0ms tells nft now.
The $CAR collection will launch on Feb. 25 via the artist’s official website. For the initial launch, there will be a total of 888 $CAR NFTs available via a ranked auction system, with the remaining 111 reserved for future use by the team behind the drop. The auction will last a total of 24 hours, with the top 888 bids receiving one $CAR.
“Ultimately, auction mechanics are an important aspect of the potential for NFTs to provide a novel medium for artistic expression. I haven’t had the resources to really experiment with game theory or new auction mechanics, and I’m excited for the opportunity to finally do so, even though it was an incredible amount of work and there is certainly a risk of confusion when taking such an idiosyncratic approach,” they said.
BY LANGSTON THOMAS