Sven Eberwein: M Carbon Dioxide

Editorial is open for submissions: [email protected]

by Sven Eberwein
Works of the internet, by the internet, for the internet.

CO2 offset as digital art.

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

Image for post
M Carbon Dioxide
Edition 1 of 1

This work represents 1000 tonnes of CO2 offset. It shows a world without land and 1,000,000 black particles representing 1 kg of CO2 each. For every tonne of CO2, there was a corresponding Verified Carbon Reduction Unit (VCU) purchased on behalf of the work. Every VCU represents one tonne of CO2 offset from forestry protection and renewable energy projects. This work is listed in the exact dollar amount required to offset the corresponding CO2 reduction and acts only as a transmitter. The VCUs have been purchased via Offsetra and attributed to this work. They can be accessed via the links present in the QR codes. The owner of this work would be supporting the reduction of emissions equivalent to the average first world citizens emissions for the next 41 years.

Can digital art have a place in the real world?

While most tokenized art is digital, I believe there is an opportunity to use the medium to represent analog items. If a NFT is tied to a physical, real-world object, it now lives in two worlds. M Carbon Dioxide is my attempt to create such a hybrid. The collector, acquiring the work, will not only own the token but also the 1000 tonnes of CO2 attached to it. The CO2 can’t be redeemed and will be attached to the art forever, even if the work is changing hands in the future.

The message that the NFT art space is amplifying is changing all the time. With a rapidly growing audience there is an opportunity to guide the narratives towards conversations that artists find important. Climate Change being one example. If those artist driven narratives now merge with crypto native ones such as value, ownership & technology I believe that a whole new relevance of digital art will emerge.

By collecting M Carbon Dioxide, do you acquire art or do you acquire CO2?

The work is listed at 15 ETH, the exact price I paid to purchase 1000 VCUs and retire them via the VERRA Verified Carbon Standard. I do not charge any premium for the art itself and technically list it for “free”. Of course this is not how I see it, I like to think of the art as a vehicle to enable climate action and a thought-provoking instrument about the price of our own environmental impact. By owning the piece you obviously own both, Art & CO2. The motivation to own it can be chosen individually though. This ambiguity in the true value of the NFT I find very interesting to explore.

A big thanks to Offsetra & SuperRare for both waiving their shares as well!

Proof of authenticity

The work owns 500 tonnes CO2 in two projects each. The entry in the Verra public ledger, that proofs the ownership, can be accessed via the QR codes embedded in the piece. Additional information on the projects can be found here.

1: Cerro de Hula Wind Project in Honduras


2: Bull Run Overseas Forest Carbon Project in Belize


Author profile
Sven Eberwein

Sven Eberwein is a new media artist working at the intersection of computer graphics & internet pop culture. His digital works are emerging from references collected all around the web, set out to explore their impact and relevance in a new context. Works of the internet, by the internet, for the internet.

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