It seems like every day now a new headline breaks regarding a high-profit NFT sale. Each one represents exponential growth in the digital fields of art and design. So while it’s not exactly surprising that Krista Kim’s Mars House just brought in over $500,000, it’s still worth considering the fact that that’s over $100,000 more than the average cost of a physical home in the United States.
Mars House is a digital house. According to the platform where the home design was sold, it’s the first digital home ever sold. While that automatically earns it the title of the biggest sale for a home-design NFT ever, it might be a while before another digital house fetches 288 ETH, which is the cryptocurrency equivalent of $514,557.79.
Krista Kim has made a name for herself as an inspiration in the techism movement – an artform that combines art and technology. It’s a branding that inevitably increased the dollar amount on the final sale of Mars House. However, the project likely also garnered attention thanks to Kim’s collaboration with Jeff Schroeder of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Adding to the artistic and design aspects of the digital house is the focus on human well-being. According to Kim, the Mars House was created to be a healing atmosphere. Especially during the pandemic, she has embraced a Digital Zen philosophy that raises mental health awareness.
To further promote the cause, the majority of the proceeds were put towards the Continuum Foundation, as reported by Kim in a tweet following the sale that read, “@ARTofInternet is the new owner of Mars House and we will put the majority of proceeds to our Continuum Foundation, which will support a world tour of healing sound and light installations for mental health and healing. NFTs can do powerful social good by empowering artists.”
The Mars House was inspired by the architecture of Kyoto, although Kim further expanded on the tradition using digital aids to ultra-modernize. Since the intent was to formulate a meditative space, the floorplan is open and reflective – literally – with floors, ceilings, and furniture made of glass. In honor of the Earth, all decor and building supplies inside the home stem from renewable materials. Jeff’s musical contribution soundtracks it all with a calming composition that floats through every room.
NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) combine digital works with a specific type of blockchain that provides a unique signature to each one. This encryption means there is only one owner and one product, effectively enabling the creation of a virtual art market for emerging and established artists to develop, buy, and sell their work. In the case of Krista Kim’s Mars House, it also serves as a medium to promote the cause of improved mental health.
“As a Techism artist, I am challenging the power [of] NFT as an art medium. Mars House will live forever as an NFT, so let it represent an art movement for humanity through the power of digital technology. Let it remind future generations that we are here to create a new and better world,” Kim says. “The NFT can become an agent of positive social change through empowerment of artist-led initiatives, and Jeff and myself are ready to show how it is done.”