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Inside the Reactor

December 2021 ––
At the conclusion of 2021, the worlds of traditional fine art and NFTs merged as one in an unprecedented showcase between legendary auction house Christie’s and nft now at Art Basel Miami. The collaborative gallery, The Gateway, opened to the public and with it an exhibit of work from some of the most prolific animators, artists, technologists, and painters in the world. With pieces ranging from the subversive to the pastoral, the nft now x Christie’s collaboration was a reflection of this moment in art history — of the seismic shift away from siloed thinking on how artwork is made, sold, and shared. 

“The Gateway” offered a glimpse into this not-so-distant future in which the worlds of traditional art and NFTs coexisted in creative harmony. By bringing together storied auction house Christie’s, crypto-native platforms SuperRare and Blockparty, curator Ronnie K. Pirovino, and leading collectors like Seedphrase and 33NFT, nft now united the crypto art trailblazers with luminaries from the fine and contemporary art worlds under one roof.

The artist lineup for the sale was a who’s who of top Digital Artists in the space and was a huge honor to be included with such esteemed company:

Andre OsheaAlpha Centauri KidAsh ThorpBaeigeBlake KathrynDotPigeonFriendsWithYouFvckrenderGMUNKJoshua DavisKESHKrista KimMaciej KuciaraMad Dog JonesOlive AllenOseanworldVictor MosqueraWhIsBe

Munky’s contribution to the auction was a rather unconventional piece, leaning into his repertoire of kinetic light manipulation through the lens of optical enhancement. The series, entitled Inside the Reactor, is a graphic study of radiance and powerful connection through rays of oscillating light.







Artist: GMUNK (b. 1975)
Title: Inside the Reactor : Geometra
Type: born-digital, single-channel digital video
00:01:12 seconds (4096 x 1710 pixels)
Auctioneer: Christie’s x Opensea
Curator: Ronnie PirovinoNoah Davis
Collector: think_flexible
Price Realized: 8.5 WETH | $36,632.45
Executed in 2021. This work is unique and is accompanied by a non-fungible token.






Lot Essay

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Cosmic in aesthetic and mechanical in narrative, the Inside the Reactor series is a graphic study of radiance and emission through rays of oscillating light, a statement about the scientific and hallucinatory qualities of raw energy generation and formulation.

In Geometra, we are audience to the harnessing of light as it takes laser form to power an unseen machine. The alchemy of these elements in motion act as gears powering the machine, while also creating a constellation of transmission, the unexpected beauty captured inside the core of this catalytic reactor.
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The Process

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Philosophers have long heralded the arrival of the Imagination Age, a successor to the Information Age in which creativity is the main driver of economic value. With the advent of NFTs, a powerful new creative medium that empowers artists by unlocking the potential of digital ownership, the creative community has watched long-standing norms fall by the wayside as a new chapter in art history is being written in real-time.

Taking place in the “The Gateway” was historic on many levels. There’s nothing typical about a 255-year-old auction house partnering with a six-month old startup. That’s the beauty of the new paradigm being built here. Both nft now and Christie’s have been breaking trail at the forefront of this movement. It is only fitting that our paths converge during the first Art Basel Miami held at the dawn of this new Imagination Age.


Munky wanted to contribute a unique piece of work that blurred the lines between the Digital and Physical.



Collaborating with longtime collaborator and incredible cinematographer Dr. Joseph Picard and laser operator Adam LaBay, the piece was a practically captured machine of light emoting through radiance and illumination, sensing and reacting to its surroundings by almost speaking through connecting vectors in space with bold, graphic light. It was shot practically with a circle dolly, anamorphic glass and stacks of spherical squeeze diopters, creating interesting optical effects with the lines of pure light; offsets and flares stacking on top of each other to give a unique look.
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Furiosa

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Furiosa frames a composition and stature of the energy matrix to a more confrontational angle, the points and connections of the reactor pushing forward in a geometric lattice of radiation. In this orientation, the voice of the machine is more hostile, and almost indignant – communicating in very direct and purposeful messaging conveyed through expeditious machine emotion.

The optical distortions are more magnified and accentuated, pushing out of the frame forming pyramids of rafracted light on all sides. In this mold of galvanized spark, the signals are almost tribalized, collectively transmitting signals of heritage caught up in the intricacies of pyramids – the syncopation of design and energy at peak conduction throughout the volume.  
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Constructus

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Constructus is a different vignette of Geometra’s transmission energy, one that focuses on the additive power of light to build the matrix in full, rather than preview disparate connections in moments of ephemera. The energy mesh is slowly building in an almost meditative state, each stroke contributing varying degrees of heat.
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Director, Digital Artist

at GMUNK INCORPORATED
for Sotheby’s Metaverse
Credit List

Digital Artist: GMUNK
Director: GMUNK
Assistant Director: Derek Jaeschke
Executive Producer: Adam Baskin
Producer: Max Knies
Cinematographer: Joe Picard
Laser: Adam LaBay
Lighting: Matt Ardine
Choreography: Kitty Mcnamee
Movement: Lisa Sainvil
Color Grade: Billy Hobson
Composer: Keith Ruggiero