Sotheby’s to Auction Source Code for the World Wide Web
The sale further establishes computer technology as its own art category.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Source Code for the WWW (1990-1991). Animated visualization of the code being written. Video, black & white, silent. 30minutes 25 seconds. Courtesy Sotheby's.
British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. From 23–30 June, Sotheby's will auction off his original code as an NFT in an auction entitled This Changed Everything.
The approximately 9,555 lines of code include implementations of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers, which are located by Uniform Resource Locators, or URLs). These features continue to define the Internet.
The NFT also includes an animated visualisation of the code, a digital poster of the code created by Berners-Lee, and a letter he wrote about the experience.
The single-edition sale will take place on the Ethereum blockchain with bidding starting from US $1,000.
Berners-Lee described NFTs as 'the latest playful creations' in the digital realm, and 'the ideal way to package the origins behind the web.'
While many NFT artworks are created using digital technology, selling technological breakthroughs and iconic moments in the history of the Internet is relatively new.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million on the Valuables platform. Dorsey's tweet, 'just setting up my twttr', was purchased by Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi on 22 March, 15 years after it was posted.
Sotheby's also auctioned off the first NFT ever minted, Kevin McCoy's Quantum, for $1.5 million as part of their Natively Digital sale from 3–10 June.
The big art auction houses have found a ready supply of collectors for NFTs among technologists and early adopters of cryptocurrency.
Major sales in 2021 include: Beeple's Everydays – The First 5,000 Days NFT, which went for $69.3 million at Christie's; Pak's The Fungible series, which sold for a total of $16.8 million at Sotheby's; and Mad Dog Jones' REPLICATOR, which sold for $4.1 million at Phillips. —[O]