“Offset” by Justin Tagg

Justin Tagg (Devoid)


Offset by Justin Tagg, white boxes that might be words on a black background

objkt.com | text/plain

Typed.art is a platform on the Tezos blockchain. It allows any keystroke, including universal alt keystrokes and symbols, to be stored on-chain as compositions of text, as opposed to imagery. This has created an unusual opportunity for text-based art. In the example of OFFSET, a grid of “blocks” represents letters and spaces, creating both a minimalist artwork, created entirely with keystrokes, and hiding within it the frame of a private poem. The poem itself is hidden—the words are represented by the larger of two sets of blocks.

Full Text:

Our love
is like a
to it

from Rattle #80, Summer 2023
Tribute to NFT Poets


Justin Tagg (Devoid): “Literary NFTs have a promise that’s not yet entirely fulfilled—that of storing original text on the blockchain itself (as opposed to being stored only as imagery), rendering it framable, tradable, and composable—with NFTs that are coded to communicate with other NFTs. Whilst NFTs have already ensured that poetry can be framed and traded as provably original works of art, it’s the ability to store text on-chain that will reframe the concept of ‘page’ in ways not seen in our lifetime. There are many examples of on-chain text, but it’s still in the minority—whereas I expect it will become the gold standard in the future. For now, the opportunity with NFTs to render a piece of poetry as provably original or of a limited edition has meant I’m able to sell individual pieces of poetry without the need for a publisher. If somebody enjoys my words, they can add my microfiction or poetry to their collection in the same way they might do with visual work. Most of my poetry has been explored through the Tezos blockchain, which is an inexpensive but robust network to publish NFTs. In addition, by allowing visual and literary work to be distributed on the same ‘rails’—as opposed to using independent media-specific distribution models—we’ve also seen a flourish of collaborations between ‘pictures’ and ‘words’ that have revealed a fertile space between the two forms that is blurring the lines between them.” (web)

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