Archive for April, 2022

Meet the Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet Keeping Us All in Suspense

Xer0x is a NFT artist and provocator. His blend of satire and generosity, combined with a behavioral economics-inspired play, unmasks truth in the NFT space, including: 

  • Twitter’s distortion of “reality” 
  • Legitimacy’s fragile and illusory nature 
  • The tensions between fine and glitch art 
  • How perception and demand can be gamed
  • The potential with CCO and derivatives

He accomplishes this through his artistic work, a trojan horse through which he launches his “fuckery” –  a satirical assault on conventions.

Xer0x noticed that Twitter can be an echo chamber in which we lose perspective on the important happenings in the world. He learned about the attention-grabbing power of the “shill post.” He designed his own type of shill post, one that he laced with eye popping headlines from world news stories. In doing so, he commanded attention from the buying and selling frenzy and redirected it as an experiment in social hacking.

Trust, one of his most respected works, is memorable NFT performance art. To explore the concept of trust, Xer0x invited bids on the piece, which he had no intention of accepting. Instead, he used the bids as a strategy to identify and sort highest bidders. The highest bidders, and a few random ones too, were to receive art in exchange for their trust in him. He received ~$250,000 in bids, which he did not accept. It became one of the most talked about NFTs projects of the year and had thousands of people on the edges of their tweets.

Royalty, one of his most celebrated pieces, provides insightful social commentary on the rat race artists face to find and persist in their style. The piece is a meta commentary on royalties within NFTs. In fact, Xer0x received no royalties from this influential work. That’s right: 0. The premise behind Royalty was to create a work that had no contractual means of benefiting him in the future, but rather based on “merit,” on the community choosing to find some other means of bringing value to him as the creator. Further, he used this work to invite hundreds of artists to create derivative works exploring the same concept.

Life Royalty (A derivative work)

His sense of play, combined with social commentary, is more a hallmark of his work than any aesthetic choice alone. In an approach one might describe as half Banksy, half Robinhood, he frequently refuses money for his works, delights unexpected fans with airdrops, and plays on the norms and social conventions.

Derivatives are essential to how he creates and plays. Even the name Xer0x is a derivative of the company holding a trademark for that name. The etymology of Xerox is “dry” and “writing,” which was so named to emphasize the differences between the old and new ways of copying. 

No one knows his IRL identity. We spoke recently. In the hour-long conversation, he shared that his artist career, and perhaps even sense of play, started as a teenage graffiti artist. Counter culture credibility underlines all his work.

He is among a tight-knit, invite-only community of counter culture artists called, “La Creme.”

Xer0x challenges the status quo not as a nihilist, but as a provocator: one who uses his talents to point us to a better way.

We explored his vision further in dialogue: 

Zach:   How did you get into digital art and Tezos?

Xer0x:  I always liked the idea of being able to control perceived reality, and digital art is an easy way to do that. My main artistic interest has always been in sound design. I still love sound; it is ungraspable and fleeting. But I turned my focus to the visual arts because of a hearing condition I developed. 

Signal Vs. Noise

Zach: Expand on your interest in “perceived reality” and sense of play? 

Xer0x: Well I realized early on that perception can be altered and that people exploit the perceptions of others all the time. I have a keen interest in the Viennese psychologists as well as the works of behavioural economists such as Veblin, Kahneman, and Thaler.  Using tricks to distort perception isn’t new to any of us here, but to make a mockery of this and to put it on display, that I think has been somewhat new.

Xer0x is a self professed copy artist who is foremost interested in things like satire, performance art, and self-mockery.  I also need an audience and people to “play” with. Although I like to mock and satirize our current reality, my audience is never the subject of such mockery. They actively participate in the performance aspect of my work and help shape it. 


Zach:  Whose work do you find exciting?

Xer0x: Bilge Kaan is perhaps my favourite artist in the space.  Yazid, Kim Asendorf, Alonerone, Daniela Leoni, Rover, Drain, Waxhead, Everlastingbuilding, and Justin Wood (Antique Future) also come to mind. 

Zach: What are you interested in exploring next? 

Xer0x:  What is the NFT equivalent of graffiti or rebellious vandalism? A true graffiti artist risks their own freedom to beautify some dark corner and does so for free. Some beautiful mural or message that the public can enjoy as a result of an artist’s sacrifice. THAT. I will continue to explore that idea for as long as I’m in this space.

Zach: What do you wish more people understood about your work?

Xer0x:  I am known for making free airdrops. I’ve minted 17 works so far and have only accepted offers on one piece called Royalty and also auctioned 1 ed of my Right-Click tribute. Royalty has a 0% Royalty as well. Some people seem to think I’m stupid for doing this or that I am some kind of communist, though with every airdrop I am able to ask the recipients to directly set the value of my work. So far they have continually decided to value it higher with each passing day. So the airdrop recipients effectually own my project and set the value of my work directly. 

Loser was a free airdrop to 1000 people I did not know, an act of vandalism. Parasite was an airdrop for people who bought the Loser airdrop, an act of generosity. 

Right-click and Save (An Anthology)

 Zach:  How have you seen the community for NFTs change since you’ve been involved?

Xer0x:  I have seen a lot of exceptional artists enter the space only to leave it disillusioned. When you reduce art to a mere speculative token and artists can see how people value their work in real-time, there are consequences.Though there have been some amazing advancements, most notably with Obkjt and FXHash overall, the Manitcor’s, Ciphrd’s, and Marchingsquares of Tezos give me a great deal of confidence in the future. Akaswap is also pretty cool….I’m not a fan of platforms using KYC. Artists are not investment advisors and the value of art should be more personal than a bet at a casino. 

Zach: What keeps you busy outside of NFT creation & appreciation?

Xer0x: I have a family and occasionally try and make some actual money to support them. Can’t pay my mortgage with these chuck-e-cheese tokens. I kid, Chuck-E-Cheese I think is bankrupt now…

Zach: What was the most surprising reaction to your work?

Xer0x: Someone messaged me during the drop for Trust and asked if I could delay the snapshot I was to take in time for a loan they had taken to clear. The person said they were going to use their line of credit. It made me very sick to be honest. That and the 40 some odd derivatives that have so far been made on my CC0 piece named Royalty. I can’t express how much of an honour it is seeing far greater artists than myself reinforce my imposter syndrome. So nice of them. 

Zach: Who are your influences? 

Xer0x: XCopy’s work opened my eyes to the concept of colour-in-motion. I don’t think people really appreciate just how deep XCopy has gotten into colour theory— – he uses illusions such as chromostereopsis and what we call impossible colours…some of his works are effectively rhythmically sequenced. He lands on 4 like you would on a drum sequencer. Bansky is certainly an influence as far as fuckery is concerned, as well as Aphex Twin, Burial & Modeselektor on the music front. 

Golden Ratio

Zach:  Do you have an interest in IRL experiments?

Xer0x: Mostly interested in psychology and run psychological experiments on people all the time.

Zach: How important is your anonymity?

Xer0x: I think it’s best everyone imagine me as whatever they like. I once wanted to know who XCopy was because I’m convinced he makes music as well. I just wanted to hear what an XCopy track would sound like. But then I thought ‘What if he’s a fan of Manchester and drinks cider?’. So yeah, not planning on ruining XCopy for myself… 


Connect with Xer0x here and see it all unfold in real-time….

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Sarana Haeata‘s work offers insightful social commentary that is raw and beautiful. It is rooted in a desire to build a better world and is bold and honest in its pursuit.


Sarana, and her talented partner and husband Tom Lee, comprise the Creative Design Studio Aslan Ruby. They are kind and active artists with a young family, adventurous spirit, and deep empathy. 


There is vulnerability in Sarana’s “Postcards from Home.” Her vibrant, hand-painted scenes make us long for a sip of tea, the sound of crickets, and the texture of good paper. Like all of her work, these postcards are more than just beautiful objects: they are stories that invite us to a dialogue with art and ourselves.


Sarana’s signature storytelling gave the Honey Badges’ collection its witty edge and Meta Angels their wings. Celebrities and Web 3 collectors alike are among her many fans.  


Her 63 Patron Saints is one of the most exciting collectives I have seen. It honors women and non-binary people elevating them, and their daily experiences, to sainthood. Each hand drawn 1/1 in the collection is iconic. It captures essential truths in our society and celebrates them artistically. 


Sarana doesn’t just take her existing work and mint it; she creates with her community. Recently, she auctioned an opportunity for one of her fans to be portrayed as a Patron Saint and included in the collection. 

Sarana, Tom, and Aslan Ruby represent the best of Web 3: extraordinary artwork, exceptional storytelling, and authentic experiences that make a better and more inclusive world. I had the pleasure to speak with her recently and have included the interview below.

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