Haroon Mirza, Lisson Gallery and Verse present Solstice Star NFT
23 February 2023
Lisson Gallery and Verse are coming together to present the Solstice Star, a gif(t) by artist Haroon Mirza that merges physical art practices with digital interactions.
Solstice Star appears in two forms at the exhibition |||: as a vinyl QR code on the wall, where upon scanning it, a self-referential, augmented 3D sculpture is activated. By recontextualizing the Solstice Star as tokens on the blockchain, it becomes possible for anyone to own the GIF version of the artwork. This allows the artist to remain creatively engaged and continuously evolve with an emerging network, onboarding digital collectors and enabling them to become part of the artist's experimental project that unravels over time.
At the heart of the Solstice Star is a fly agaric mushroom, a symbol of winter, psychedelia, fantasy, and magic in the fungi kingdom. Some associate this iconic mushroom with poisons and toxicity, while others see it as a healer and a gateway to another universe. The artwork features a spinning eight-pointed geometric star known as the “rub el hizb," which is a symbol found in many ancient civilizations, including Arabia, Babylon, Egypt, and Hindu mythology, representing faith, strength, and protection. Haroon Mirza created the Solstice Star by using solar panels to convert sunlight into sustainable energy. This design element frequently appears in his work, as it is also the most energy-efficient way to arrange eight square solar cells in a circular form. The name “solstice” reflects the abundance and scarcity of sunlight absorption that powers all natural creations.
Through minting, Solstice Star leads the way into a shamanic journey in the digital space, allowing mysticism and technology to find balance by combining opposing energies, akin to the yin and yang concept in traditional Chinese philosophy. The project follows the principles of Daoism, emphasizing the practice of "wu-wei"—effortless action that is in harmony with the flow of nature and the environment. The output will be determined by the participants, who may choose to treasure it, manifest it as a shelter to resonate with others, co-create a peer-to-peer research ecosystem, build an artist-led decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) based on a circular economy, or engage in a networked collaboration open to all.
Solstice Star is a gift for those interested in non-hierarchical digital interactions surrounding art, nature, science, technology, sustainability, and spirituality. The project will be gifted during the exhibition period from February 24, 2023, to April 8, 2023, with only gas costs (approximately $10) required. It can also be redeemed at solsticestar.xyz and verse.works. No cryptocurrency wallet is necessary. After that, there will be no more.
At the opening of Lisson Gallery's exhibition on 23 February, Verse is honoring the partnership by giving the first 200 NFTs to gallery visitors for free, starting from 6:30pm.
The Solstice Star gif(t) is led by Haroon Mirza, Sha Li, in collaboration with Greg Hilty and colleagues at Lisson Gallery, and Verse, all of whom embrace the unknown with the hope that each gif(t) reflects the spirit of Solstice Star, the exhibited self-sustaining ecosystems, and brings the exhibition experience into everyday life and practice.
'Haroon Mirza: |||' runs from 24 February