I’m gazing at this Lamborghini NFT created by Swiss Artist Fabian Oefner, which portrays an Aventador Ultimae heading towards the moon right now. So why would I enter the race to purchase it when this gets auctioned off via RM Sotheby’s next month? This question is only natural, and while we’re feasting our eyes on the otherworldly creation, we’ll drop a few answers.
For starters, if, say, you wanted to enjoy this glorious media without an Internet connection, you could always download the image, but you’d grab a JPEG and that would be the end of it.
Nevertheless, as we all head into the metaverse, which is a virtual reality space allowing users to interact among themselves while enjoying the benefits of AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and the blockchain (the decentralized, often public digital ledger collection of blocks that record transactions), only a limited number of people—five in this case—can own the authentic artwork released by the Raging Bull, which would mean the rest of us somehow enjoy perfect replicas.
Now, NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. Non-fungible generally means these can’t be replaced with other pieces, whereas other assets secured via the blockchain, can. For instance, most NFTs released these days are part of the Ethereum blockchain that also holds ETH coins, but while swapping one ETH for another means you end up with the same thing, each NFT is unique, so interchanging them is not possible.
NFTs can mean a lot of digital things, from tweets to a piece of AI, but most of the online momentum is currently built around collecting digital art.
Lamborghini is making bit steps
For the record, Lamborghini has previously issued blockchain-based collectible digital stamps shortly after restarting production paused by the global health crisis back in 2020, but that was a limited effort confined to the Bitstamp app, while the automaker had also used Salesforce Blockchain to authenticate heritage Lamborghini vehicles.
So, while the said past move is, a bit like the Asterion hybrid concept the Italians presented back in 2014, this new launch, which involves partners NFT PRO and RM Sotheby’s, is in a totally different league, something more along the lines of the electrified production vehicles Lamborghini has already started rolling out.
At the same time, the effort is also an anchor for Lamborghini’s iconic V12 supercars—Oefner’s work showcases an Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae, which might just be the final N/A V12 the company builds (read: non-hybridized), becoming a collection of parts as it heads deeper into outer space.
This was just as much of a real-world endeavor as a pixel adventure, with the initiative requiring a camera to be sent to the edge of space via balloon to immortalize the curvature of the Earth.
“Every part of this image is real. 1.500 car parts photographed individually, Earth’s curvature captured by sending a balloon with a camera into the stratosphere. Then carefully assembled into a hyperrealistic moment that never existed,” Lamborghini explains.
Physical assets are attached to the work
Each of the five buyers will receive a physical Space Key, which includes carbon fiber units that Lamborghini sent to the International Space Station back in 2020 for testing purposes—scan the QR code featured on the Keys and bang! you get a series of five photos showcasing the immersive artwork.
Each of those five NFTs includes over 600 million pixels, so, if you’re a zoom fanatic, you’ll be able to read the firing order of the V12 motor.
“Space Time Memory’ is an analogy to the memories we make in life. Memories are rooted in the physical world; we make them in reality. We then store them in our brains, what could be considered the digital world. […] I wonder with the ever-increasing amount of digital realities around us, what is more precious, reality itself or the copies and derivatives of it, that exist in the digital universe,” Oefner said.
The auction for the first of the five NFTs will take place on nft.lamborghini.com start at 4:00 pm CET, while each of the other auctions will start and end 15 minutes later than their preceding one. Every auction will last for 75 hours and 50 minutes, the exact time it took Apollo 11 to leave Earth and enter the moon’s orbit.
Lamborghini is so dedicated to achieving V12 perfection that the company has only released three all-new engine designs of the sort since it built its first car back in 1963. And, whether you plan to collect digital art or not, having the current V12 exposed in outer space via this artwork sounds like a reason to celebrate.