Were Marcel Duchamp’s Monte Carlo Bonds the precursor to NFTs?

If you are a fan or even passingly aware of Marcel Duchamp , you likely have heard of works of his: Nude Descending a Staircase to Fountain to Large Glass. They are all well known With the arrival of NFTs on the art scene, I was reminded of another of his works not so well known: Monte Carlo Bonds. As Wikipedia explains:

The Monte Carlo Bonds were a 1924 Marcel Duchamp work in the form of legal documents, created as bonds, originally intended to be produced in editions of 30. The creation of the work came out of Duchamp’s repeated experiments at the Monte Carlo Casino, where he endlessly threw the dice in order to accumulate profit through an excruciatingly gradual process.

The use of an artificial and random process is not unlike using blockchain for NFTs. And while both methods are associated with art, the primary purpose seems to be to generate profit. Duchamp was well ahead of his time.

Christie’s has more on these bonds.

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