‘The Currency’ Referendum

By Damien Hirst

This past July, he has offered 10,000 unique NFTs

For sale at $2,000 each.

Each NFT corresponds to a unique painting

on handmade paper, numbered, titled, and signed.

The buyers will have until 3pm BST on July 27, 2022

to decide whether they want to keep the NFT or exchange it for the material painting.

If they choose the original

The NFT is erased.

If they choose the NFT

The painting will be publicly destroyed by the Damien Hirst Studio

Which work would you keep? NFT or Original?


Julia Friedman is a Russian-born art historian, writer and curator. After receiving her Ph.D. in Art History from Brown University in 2005, she has researched and taught in the US, UK and Japan. Her work appeared in Artforum, The New Criterion, Quillette and Atheneum Review. www.juliafriedman.org

David Hawkes is Professor of English Literature at Arizona State University. His work has appeared in The Nation, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Criterion, In These Times and numerous scholarly journals. He is the author of seven books, most recently The Reign of Anti-logos: Performance in Postmodernity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

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