The Associated Press will auction off a series of 10 non-fungible tokens (NFT) celebrating the news agency’s iconic photojournalism over the past 175 years, making artistic representations of some of history’s most notable photographs available on the blockchain for the first time.
Working with blockchain knowledge company Everipedia, NFT marketplace OpenSea, and digital artists, AP will publish each one-of-a-kind piece of digital artwork on the Ethereum blockchain beginning this week.
A representation of AP’s iconic photo of U.S. soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1945 is the first piece to be auctioned in the “AP ARTiFACTS: The 175 Collection.”
Renowned digital artist Marko Stanojevic breathes digital life into AP photographer Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning image, with an interpretation that offers collectors a historically important work of art. Set to an original score by violinist and composer Nick Kennerly, the NFT includes a number of rarely seen images taken by Rosenthal; a rare, digital version of the first print produced from his negative; and Iwo Jima film and audio from the AP Corporate Archives.
The piece is now up for auction on OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace.
“We are excited about this new way to view, own and experience historic moments captured by AP journalists,” said Dwayne Desaulniers, AP’s director of blockchain and data licensing. “AP’s NFTs are a homage to our rich history of factual journalism, history and facts that belong onchain.”
“The ‘AP ARTiFACTS: The 175 Collection’ uses art and blockchain technology to bring history to life and fund factual and accurate journalism,” said Everipedia Co-founder and CEO Theodor Forselius.
“OpenSea is excited to bring the AP 175 collection to auction. The collection of NFTs combines blockchain technology, digital art, and metadata with historical significance to create innovative pieces that will stand the test of time,” said OpenSea Cofounder and CTO Alex Atallah.
Using its Ethereum address, AP created and cryptographically signed the collection, which commemorates the news agency’s 175th anniversary this month. Auction proceeds will fund AP’s journalism.
AP made blockchain history in November when it published its 2020 U.S. election race calls on the blockchain, using Everipedia’s OraQle software. The same data was used to create AP’s first NFT, an artistic representation of its race calls from space, which was sold on the blockchain in March for $185,000 (100.888 ETH).
AP has a distinguished history of powerful visual journalism. The news agency has won 54 Pulitzer Prizes, including 32 for photography.