Duran Duran is doing its part to help offset the carbon emissions associated with minting NFTs.
The legendary British new wave band are offering owners of their existing “invisible” NFTs, 100 of which were sold last year, a second NFT connected to a specific tree planted this week in Queenstown, New Zealand, on behalf of the collector. . It’s the first of many upcoming micro-forest initiatives from the band, known for its infectious tunes and wide array of art and design.
The new Duran Duran digital collectibles, which feature images of trees in the same style as the original “invisible” NFTs, are also the first in an ongoing curatorial collection called Digital Native, which wants to re-wild the world with native trees and fight carbon credit accounting. Each Digital Native NFT represents a geocached and traceable living tree on the blockchain.
The group and its project partners – Huxley, an AI-powered artist and blockchain-based community engagement platform Cube – are donating 100% of their proceeds from secondary sales of new NFTs to populate more forests. Microforests are small, densely planted areas containing native plant species that are cultivated to enhance biodiversity and combat the climate crisis.
And they also encourage collectors to donate. Those who donate 50% or more of their after-sales revenue to the cause will receive a digital “key” that will unlock future group benefits, including new NFTs.
“It’s uplifting to think that you can carbon offset and even become carbon positive by doing something like this,” says Duran Duran co-founder and keyboardist Nick Rhodes.
“I’m all for someone planting a tree for no reason, but there’s something really good about it. And the AI had created trees [for the original “Invisible” video], so we thought there was something poetically correct about creating these other trees. I thought we should create a new phrase, it really should be NFTrees.
Duran Duran’s first NFT collection, priced at $1,000 a pop, was unveiled in December to commemorate the band’s 15th studio album, Future Past. Named for the song Invisibleeach of the 1,000 minted coins contains art from the song’s video created using Huxley AI, which was developed by a company called Nested Minds.
“I didn’t know that the AI could possibly make a video, but slowly we put this thing back together from just the machine-made footage from what was fed into it. And it was coming up with these gorgeous footage, extraordinary and profound. We ended up with something otherworldly,” says Rhodes.
“After we finished the video, we looked at all the images and thought each one was like a painting. And that’s when we decided to hit 100 ‘invisible’ NFTs.
Rhodes’ only reservation was the carbon issue. “I love the idea of NFTs and think it’s a new and popular art form, but I’ve read a lot of it and realized there are issues,” he said.
The group approached the Cube team, which was already working to identify solutions to help offset the greenhouse gas emissions produced by Ethereum (which is how most NFTs are bought and sold). Although not ready at the time of the band’s initial sale, the Digital Native tree planting initiative was already underway.
“It’s not free,” Rhodes says of the project. “It’s something that I think could lead to something very positive.”