Pak’s 404 and the Presence of Absence

Legendary artist Pak returns with his first piece since The Merge. Sort of. 

Created for the Alotta Money Tribute & Charity Auction, 404 delves into the profound theme of absence and loss. This piece is a unique exploration of the emotional void left by those no longer with us, juxtaposed against the backdrop of the digital realm.

What is 404?

The piece is intentionally designed to return no metadata, a deliberate nod to the ones we’ve lost, those who are now “not found.” Just as we notice the void left by their absence in our lives, this artwork makes that absence tangible in the digital world.

The concept revolves around the idea that the most profound feelings can be evoked not just by what is present, but also by what is conspicuously missing.

  • Metadata Status: Absent. When queried, the NFT doesn’t provide the typical title, description, or image, thus embodying the entire theme of something vital being missing.
  • Contract Behavior: The contract is deliberately crafted to give a “Not Found” or “404” error for the metadata, reinforcing this concept of absence.
  • Token Existence: Despite the lack of metadata, the token itself will still exist on the blockchain, mirroring the enduring impact and presence of those we’ve lost, even in their absence.

“The message I’ve chosen to return instead of the metadata is “In memory of the absent,” encapsulating its essence in a way that transcends language and resonates universally.” — Pak

What does any of this mean?

The token will intentionally look broken in all marketplaces. There is no metadata, and technically, there is no title of the token, image of the token, description of the token, or anything of the sort. However, the token on the contract will be token #404, so platforms will have to render it as 404.

In other words, 404 is the only token that exists on this contract, that returns a string message rather than a string metadata url. Every other token (that does not exist) returns “404.” 

Published by Brady Evan Walker

⚪️⚫️ MakersPlace Content & Curation Manager | Host of the Pixels & Paint Podcast | @bradyevanwalker on Twitter

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