The city has partnered with Los Angeles-based design firm Speakerhead to create NFTs
RENO, NEVADA, USA, July 11, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The city of Reno, Nevada, has devised a new plan to restore a beloved local landmark. The Space Whale, a piece of public art salvaged from the Burning Man festival and on public display in Reno, has been transformed into an iconic NFT (non-fungible token) and installed in its new digital residence in the Metaverse. This innovative project is part of the city’s effort to market itself as a city of the future and attract businesses and residents with its cutting-edge technologies.
Los Angeles-based design agency Loud speaker was recently hired to turn the city’s dream into reality. The entire piece was modeled in Unreal Engine 5, and Speakerhead CEO Karriem Muhammad said, “Many of our more recent projects are in development for crypto, NFT, and metaverse applications. The project Space Whale has given us a rare opportunity to illustrate how intricate parts can be accurately modeled for these new spaces.”
Matt Schultz is an artist specializing in large scale sculptures. In 2016, he created Space Whale, a massive sculpture designed for the Burning Man festival. The sculpture was made from recycled materials and stood over 30 feet tall. After the festival, Schultz attempted to sell the sculpture for over $1 million, with all proceeds going to his team of artists and The Generator, the local art and creative space where it was built. . However, he was ultimately unable to find a buyer for the piece.
In October 2021, the Reno City Council approved $137,500 to purchase and repair the sculpture which has been in City Plaza since 2017. The price includes $62,500 to purchase the sculpture and $75,000 for repairs.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve sees this project as an important first step in raising funds for a variety of public projects and hopes to digitize more public art for this purpose.
The Space Whale project presented unique challenges for the Speakerhead team. The team’s first approach was to gather all available photographic assets related to the piece. Daytime and nighttime views were acquired to help illuminate the environment accurately. They then accessed the original CAD design data and redesigned it.
“Since Reno’s natural desert environment offers spectacular mountain views by day and equally impressive constellation views at night, we determined that an alternating day and night environment was the perfect setting for the piece. “Muhammad said.
This move by Reno is just one example of how cities are beginning to experiment with blockchain technology to improve efficiency and transparency. Reno also revealed that it is developing its own DAO and NFT system on top of the Tezos blockchain network. With the help of DAOs and NFTs, cities can access new markets and create new economic opportunities. As more cities begin to explore these possibilities, we are likely to see even more use cases for blockchain technology in the years to come.
Reno also made headlines last month when it hosted the 90th annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, which included an appearance and a speech by Vice President Kamala Harris.